In April, CoachArt Deputy Director Molly Dirr shared some good news about a CoachArt family with the rest of the CoachArt staff:
“When Paz joined CoachArt in 2012, she had been spending most of her days in a hospital room. Paz has severe Gastrointestinal Disorder, IBS, and suffers from seizures. She had struggled throughout her life to meet and keep friends due to her almost constant stream of medical appointments, surgeries, and treatments. In 2014, she almost died from medical complications.
“I visited our Circus Club recently and was greeted by Paz’s mother, Holly, as I walked in. As we began catching up, Holly let me know that Paz has been thriving and her medical conditions have stabilized. Holly was explaining to me how CoachArt has been a huge part of Paz’s growth, development, and socialization over the past few years when Paz came bounding over and pulled on her mother’s arm. ‘Mom, come here, I want you to meet my new friend.’ Holly beamed at me and happily walked away to share in Paz’s joy.”
This month, Paz’s mother gave us an update:
“Paz was on a basketball team and was recruited by the Olympic regional sports director. He saw her running as she played basketball and said he would like her on the team. Not realizing that Special Olympics is a division of the actual Olympics, I said ‘sure.’ When we showed up for practice on the first day, I was blown away by the high caliber of conditioning these kids were participating in. I have finally wrapped my head around the fact that I have an Olympian for a daughter and all that entails with trainings, conditioning and so forth.
“The best part of being on the Special Olympics team is her ability to make friends, and her self-esteem has soared as she has all this attention from loving coaches who want her to have a better life. Paz is still very medically fragile but she knows she can enjoy life, be needed, and be a winner as long as she tries her best. Paz has yet another opportunity to focus on life outside the scope of being in pain, which is a daily occurrence. There is no better distraction than joy.
“Paz will always be grateful for Molly’s invitation to get involved with the Coach Art program. This taught her that even though she has a very complicated medically fragile body she can have fun!
“Medically fragile children see life through different eyes than we do. Special sports programs give them a longer lifespan, increase the quality of their lives, and help them build sustainable friendships, gain a sense of self worth, and discover that there is a life outside their diagnoses.
“These kids are the real champions in life and I and blessed to be a parent of one of them.”