Champions for Children - Easterseals

Champions for Children - Easterseals Champions for Children provides direct financial assistance and support services for Georgia's medically fragile and special needs children and their families.
Champions for Children provides direct financial assistance and support services for Georgia's medically fragile and special needs children and their families.

Services: •Respite Care •Medical supplies and equipment •Medical services and therapies •Dental and optical services •Travel reimbursements for medical appointments •Recreational or therapeutic activities •Other services related to the child’s disability not covered by other payment sources •Referrals to Parent to Parent of Georgia and other resources

Mission: Champions for Children program helps Georgia's medically fragile and special needs children realize their full potential and enjoy a state of well being, including being cared for by their families at home. To increase awareness throughout Georgia about non-profit services available to medically fragile and special needs children and increase access to healthcare and support services.

"Sarah, Lana and I are so thankful and blessed we are for the support the Champions for Children program has given us ov...
02/18/2019

"Sarah, Lana and I are so thankful and blessed we are for the support the Champions for Children program has given us over the past year. When Sarah and I decided to adopt a child with special needs we had no idea about some of the challenges that we would face. Our sweet baby girl was born with multiple health complications to include spina bifida, clubbed feet, hip dysplasia, kidney disease, lung disease and heart complications. She almost pasted away in China due to renal failure and sepsis but thank God some volunteer families and nurses from around the world raised enough money to get her life saving medical treatments. This kept her alive long enough until we could adopt her. Immediately when we returned from China with her, we had to schedule an array of doctor’s appointments with over seven specialists. Over the course of this past year we made 29 trips to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; which is a three hour drive away from where we live in Albany, GA. In addition to this it was also discovered that she had a life-threatening lung condition that could only be treated in Cincinnati, OH. After going through two major surgeries in Atlanta, GA to get her spinal cord and feet corrected; she now faced a major operation on her lungs that would require her to be admitted into the hospital for a month. She still faces two more major operations on her kidneys and hip but she is doing miraculously well considering the state she was in before. If you were to see her in person what you would see is a beautiful child full of spirit and life with a bright future. It has been remarkable to see the transformation she has made and the champions program has played a big part in this journey with us. For families like us who are single income middle class this is the only program available to offset some of the major expenses we face with our child’s health conditions. Even with health insurance we still faced tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses and this is after spending every dime we had on a $34,000 adoption process. If it wasn't for the Easterseals Champions program we would be in a financial crisis right now. Every child deserves a chance for life and it is sad that there are not more programs like this one to assist middle class families who face the financial burden of caring for children with special needs. The number one reason why middle-class families choose not to adopt a child with severe special needs is the lack of financial means to do so. We are still recovering financially from this amazing journey; but knowing that the Champions program is there gives us hope to maybe adopt another child with special needs in the near future. So investing in programs like Easterseals Champions is investing in a child’s life and every child deserves a chance at life."

The Anderson Family

Since the program's inception, Champions for Children has had a clear mission of helping Georgia's medically fragile chi...
02/12/2019

Since the program's inception, Champions for Children has had a clear mission of helping Georgia's medically fragile children and those with disabilities realize their full potential and enjoy a state of well being, including being cared for by their families at home. In order to continue to serve families, we need additional funding from the state legislature. As of now, there is no additional funding in the 2020 budget beginning July 1, 2019. This Thursday, February 14th the Appropriations Health Subcommittee will hold a public hearing to discuss additional funding for the Champions for Children Program. We need your help in telling the Subcommittee how important this funding is to over 545 children and families living in Georgia. PLEASE take a few minutes to email the Appropriations Committee to help us advocate for additional funding for families.

Easterseals' Champions for Children program provides financial assistance for therapies, medical supplies, medication and respite care to families with children who have a disability or are medically fragile not covered by insurance. The program currently serves 421 families in the state of Georgia with 124 families still awaiting services.

11/19/2018
11/12/2018
11/05/2018
"Jack is 16 years old.  He has been with Easterseals Middle Georgia for 9 years.  Years ago when we had no insurance and...
10/30/2018

"Jack is 16 years old. He has been with Easterseals Middle Georgia for 9 years. Years ago when we had no insurance and no financial help, Easterseals Middle Georgia welcomed us.
Easterseals has helped Jack with all of his therapies, such as Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy, shoe inserts, eye appointments, numerous doctor appointments and his weight training. We like the fact that Easterseals Middle Georgia allows us to use Jack’s own doctors and therapists.
Easterseals Middle Georgia is an organization that truly cares for their families. We love Easterseals and they have been with us every step of our journey. Jack is proud to be an Ambassador for the Champions for Children Program. We are eternally grateful."

Sincerely,

Jack's Family

"I want to start off by saying that Easterseals and the Champions for Children program have been an incredible blessing ...
09/25/2018

"I want to start off by saying that Easterseals and the Champions for Children program have been an incredible blessing to Addison and our family! Addison was diagnosed with Autism in August of 2016. We immediately began intensive Occupational Therapy as well as Speech Therapy. As all of you know, getting the resources your child needs as well as paying for those services can be challenging to say the least. Fortunately, Addison was accepted into the Champions for Children program in January of 2017. Since that time she has been receiving the services she needs in large part due to the generosity of Easterseals and the Champions for Children program.
To say that Addison has made significant progress since becoming a part of the Easterseals family would be a huge understatement. In January of 2017, Addison spoke in one to two word phrases and had virtually no social and emotional skills or awareness. Since then, she now speaks in 5-6 word phrases and has very few “tantrums”. Her ability to reason and understand the context of conversations has improved. Where we’ve seen the greatest improvement, has been her social interaction with others. She is now, what many would describe as a “Social Butterfly”.
Addison still has many developmental and academic milestones we are trying to reach, but thanks to Easterseals, we feel that Addison has a bright future and we have a sense of real hope that she will be able to achieve all she wants in life. Our family can’t Thank Easterseals and their staff enough for what they provide to Addison through their wonderful programs and support!!"

Easterseals Champions for Children Family

Meet Mathew!!  Mathew is a 9 year old boy who loves school and really enjoys science, especially the science experiments...
08/31/2018

Meet Mathew!! Mathew is a 9 year old boy who loves school and really enjoys science, especially the science experiments such as making slime! Mathew is also a huge sports fan. He loves watching basketball and football. His favorite team is Ga Tech! Go Jackets! Mathew is involved in the Special Olympics where he participates in swimming.

Mathew has a diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome. PSW causes him to never feel full, overheat, have a high tolerance for pain, and also causes him to have a lower IQ. Matthew’s parents have his symptoms under control by enforcing a feeding schedule and by providing Mathew with proper medication.

Mathew’s family has been a part of the Easterseals Champions for Children Program for almost 4 years. Champions for Children has helped them by providing financial assistance for medical fees, especially the costly medication that Mathew needs yearly. The family has been able to remain free of medical debt because of the help Champions for Children provides.

Mathew is leading a normal life, participating in activities like any other child his age. He is a great child and is thriving because of the Easterseals Champions for Children Program.

This is our daughter, Christina.  She has a diagnosis of Prader Willi Syndrome.  This syndrome permeates every aspect of...
06/18/2018

This is our daughter, Christina. She has a diagnosis of Prader Willi Syndrome. This syndrome permeates every aspect of our lives. Along with developmental delays, Christina feels hungry all of the time. She also has a slow metabolism, so physical activity is critical to her health and well-being. After being enrolled in the Katie Becket program for fourteen years, we were unexpectedly denied. Fortunately, Christina qualifies for the Champions for Children program through Easterseals! We are so grateful to have additional resources to get the supports Christina needs to thrive.
The support we have received from Champions has helped us to address these areas to improve Christina's development. We have purchased a program called the Integrated Listening System which, over time, will help improve Christina's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills. Champions also provided funds for us to buy adult training wheels for a bicycle. At age 14, Christina had outgrown her child bike, but was not able to ride an adult-sized bike without training wheels. Now that we have these, Christina is able to get outside and exercise almost every day with us and her siblings. Champions funding also helped to send Christina to the national conference in Orlando sponsored by Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA). At the conference, Christina went to a camp-like program with other individuals her age with PWS. Because they completely understand the complexity of the syndrome, and potential life-threatening issues, I could relax, knowing Christina was safe. It was one of her favorite weeks of the year! She was able to hang out with others who "get" the challenges she faces on a daily basis while I went to continuing education classes to learn how to best care for and support her. This year, we are anticipating Christina participating in an adaptive swim team program, a summer day camp, and a summer overnight camp.
Without Champions, we would not be able to provide all these opportunities for Christina to exercise and have experiences in a safe environment while receiving interventions that improve her overall development. We are so grateful for the Champions for Children program for helping to fund these opportunities.
-Angela Spradlin (Mother of Christina Spradlin)

Meet “Our Little Miracle”, Grayson Brown. She was born with a fighting spirit at 22 weeks 2 days gestation and weigh...
05/15/2018

Meet “Our Little Miracle”, Grayson Brown. She was born with a fighting spirit at 22 weeks 2 days gestation and weighed 1 pound 0.5 ounces and was 11 inches long. Grayson was given a less than 10% chance of survival with the possibilities of severe and profound disabilities. She spent 4 months in the NICU, and at 1 month old she had to have a PDA ligation to tie the ductus in her heart. At 18 months old Grayson was diagnosed with Significant Developmental Delays (SDD) and began therapy through the Babies Can’t Wait program. At age 3, she transitioned into a 3 yr. old special needs preschool and was later diagnosed with Partial Complex Seizures as well as Dandy Walker Syndrome that same year. Grayson later transitioned to a Kindergarten inclusion classroom. She is now a healthy, strong-willed, and precious 9 year old girl that loves going to church, vacationing, playing ball, swimming, martial arts, horseback riding, and riding her bike. She hopes to be a firefighter when she grows up.
The Easterseals Champions for Children Program has been such a blessing to our family these past few years by defraying the cost of Grayson’s therapies each week, medical visits and procedures, medications, and supplies. This wonderful organization has also helped to provide Grayson with assisted technology to improve her speech delays and covered the cost of other extracurricular activities that have helped improve her fine motor and gross motor skills. Grayson has blossomed so much these past few years and gained so much self-confidence that she may have not done otherwise if it hadn’t been for this organization. We cannot thank you all enough for helping “Our Little Miracle” continue to grow into an independent young lady.

Join Easterseals East Georgia for a Date Night Auction benefiting the Champions for Children Program.
04/18/2018

Join Easterseals East Georgia for a Date Night Auction benefiting the Champions for Children Program.

Banks is a 19-month-old little ray of sunshine with the heart of a warrior. He also happens to have a twin brother, who ...
04/16/2018

Banks is a 19-month-old little ray of sunshine with the heart of a warrior. He also happens to have a twin brother, who is equally as cute. Banks’ journey began before he was ever born when his mom and dad found out about his Spina Bifida diagnosis at just 20 weeks of pregnancy. Immediately, they knew he was going to be a fighter. Because of Champions for Children helping cover the costs of the multiple surgeries and the lengthy hospital stays he requires, Banks’ parents are able to put their money towards supplies, medications, therapy, etc to ensure he receives all the care he needs at home. Champions For Children is a such a blessing for families whose loved one has been denied for Katie Beckett Medicaid. We are so very grateful for the financial help in alleviating the burden extra medical expenses can cause. Thank you, CFC!

Happy Easter!
04/01/2018

Happy Easter!

Wear Blue on Monday, April 2 for World Autism Day!  #lightitupblue
03/31/2018

Wear Blue on Monday, April 2 for World Autism Day! #lightitupblue

On September 8th and 9th Easterseals Middle Georgia held their 1st GAME DAY! event, supporting the Champions for Childre...
11/03/2017

On September 8th and 9th Easterseals Middle Georgia held their 1st GAME DAY! event, supporting the Champions for Children Program.
The two day event began on Friday night with a kickball tournament. The winners from the tournament were The Unicorns. On Saturday the festivities continued with a corn hole tournament. The Clark team walked away as GAME DAY! 2017 corn hole champs. The entire event was a huge success!

's cover photo
08/21/2017

's cover photo

Champions for Children - Easterseals
08/21/2017

Champions for Children - Easterseals

Meet Jameson.  He is a 13 year old with a smile that will radiate the room. He was diagnosed with autism spectrum disord...
08/21/2017

Meet Jameson. He is a 13 year old with a smile that will radiate the room. He was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 2 but has never let it slow him down. Through the support of Champions for Children, he has been afforded extracurricular activities which have made a difference in his overall progress and performance.
Most recently he attended camp at ABC Montessori in McDonough where each week was a theme exposing the children to life skills in a fun environment. Being a picky eater, we were concerned about ‘Chef’ week especially fruit day since he typically will not even touch fruit. The staff worked their magic and he made huge strides learning all aspects of cooking and even helped make a fruit bowl! Now he insists on making his own breakfast and helping in the kitchen which is amazing progress.
Providing financial assistance for camp is only a small fraction of the support Champions for Children has provided Jameson. CFC has also provided social and emotional support through various therapy programs which have been invaluable.

May Champions Spotlight:Hayleigh was born on March 16, 2001. When she was born, she wasn't very responsive, had difficul...
05/26/2017

May Champions Spotlight:
Hayleigh was born on March 16, 2001. When she was born, she wasn't very responsive, had difficulty breathing and had low APGAR scores. She eventually came around and we were sent home thinking she was just a sleepy newborn. At 2 months old she started getting very sick. We thought she had the flu or a terrible cold. She would sleep for about 22 hours a day and had trouble nursing. Hayleigh was taken to the pediatrician's office (where I worked). A nurse practitioner named Elaine happened to be in the office on her day off. Elaine looked at Hayleigh and said she would like to do some blood work, even though her symptoms didn't warrant that. Her hemoglobin was 2.2. We thought the machine was broken. Elaine and I checked our blood twice and received normal readings. She again tested Hayleigh's blood and received the 2.2 reading. Elaine, swiftly went into her office and made some phone calls. She hurriedly came back and gave me specific instructions to go straight to MCCG and meet Dr. Clarke.
I was greeted at the hospital by a staff of nurses who were made aware of the situation. We were rushed to a room and we waited for the next step. Hayleigh would need a blood transfusion STAT. Unfortunately, the blood bank was very busy that day and the wait was almost overwhelming. Nurses would come in and see that Hayleigh was resting. They didn't want to bother her rest, so they just let her sleep. By now, we'd been there for over 3 hours. Hayleigh's breathing had changed from a normal quiet rhythm to what I can only describe as quick popping breaths. At about the 3.5 hour mark, a nurse, whom I will never forget, walked into our room. Her name was Mary. Mary walked over, without saying a word. She put her stethoscope on Hayleigh's chest, listened very intently, and looked at me. She swung her stethoscope around her neck and whispered, "I'll be right back".
Mary came back with a team of doctors and nurses filling the entire room. Among them was Dr. Clarke. He looked at me and said, "Hayleigh is in cardiac arrest, we need to go to the PICU now." On our walk to PICU, I asked what was happening. It was at that moment that I heard Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA) for the first time. He knew it was DBA. With only 600 cases in the world, I somehow managed to get led to one of the only two men in that hospital who knew what DBA was. Dr. Clark had even treated a patient with DBA in the past. To give an idea how huge that is. There are 4 people in Georgia that have it. 4.
The blood that was coming from the blood bank took so long that Dr. Clarke had to push the blood into Hayleigh's tiny body via a syringe. There was no time to hook up machines to do it. He stood next to her crib and pushed the blood slowly through her veins for nearly an hour. Once he was confident that she would be ok to have the machine take over, he connected the IV and walked with me. I asked how long we had if he hadn't gotten there to start the transfusion. His response hit me like a wall. "We had about 10 minutes". I was numb.
Hayleigh made it through that terrifying day and several other terrifying days as well. She is 16 now and unless you knew she had DBA, you'd never know she has it. She's a feisty, sarcastic, red head who is just as stubborn today as she was in that hospital room all those years ago.
Last year, when the State of Georgia decided that Hayleigh's daily care was "not so complicated," her coverage under the Katie Beckett program was taken away. We suddenly had to scramble to get her insurance coverage for the monthly transfusions and daily 10 hour infusions that keep her alive. That's when we learned about Champions for Children and what a blessing they have been! While many of Hayleigh's myriad treatments are somewhat covered by insurance, there are significant deductibles and copays that we have never had to deal with before. Thanks to Champions for Children, we are able to get much needed assistance with these costs. We are truly grateful as this allows us to focus on making Hayleigh's (and our) life as stress free as possible.
I don't know why things happen the way they do. I do know that everything happens for a reason. If one person or thing had happened differently, Hayleigh might not be here. That includes the Champions for Children program. For that, there are no words adequate enough to express my gratitude.

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Albany, GA

General information

Program Goals: •Increase awareness throughout Georgia about non-profit services available to medically fragile and special needs children •Increase access to healthcare and support services •Help families continue to care for children with disabilities at home

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