Our Loved Families
Love, Olivia strives to provide special needs children with clothes, shoes, toys, and books. Additionally, Love, Olivia through its Family Fund, provides special needs families with cash donations to assist with medical and living expenses in conjunction with the Love, Olivia Business Plan.
Below are stories of special needs children who have received benefits from Love, Olivia with the assistance of community involvement and donations. We are honored to be able to provide support to these remarkable children and their families.
Joseph Seaverson has been diagnosed with a rare and terminal seizure disorder. Additionally, Joseph is starting to go blind. He has surpassed his Dr.’s expectations in terms of his life span thus far. He is currently 2 ½ years old. His family has struggled financially for years. The staff at Easter Seals pitched in last year and got a plane ticket for his mom to take him to her home country so that his grandparents could see him for the first time before he passes away. Apparently dad just lost his job, so the financial troubles that the family has experienced will be getting even worse. Joseph has extensive medical expenses due to his condition, so any help at all whether clothing, toys, groceries, financial is greatly appreciated by this family.
Paul was born on March 25, 2008, however, he began demanding attention well before that. Paul was diagnosed with hydrothorax, plural effusions or fluid build-up in his chest cavity inside the womb. There was so much fluid that it began causing heart failure. The doctors went in immediately with a very long needle through his mother’s abdomen, into his chest and removed the fluid. This only helped Paul for a few days, so the doctors entered his tiny, unborn body once again, this time to place a shunt in between his ribs to serve as a sort of drainage tube for the rest of the pregnancy. The shunt worked like a charm and Paul was born full term with Down syndrome. After his birth he remained in the NICU for two months. He had a severe heart defect which greatly affected his energy level and left him too tired even to eat. A gastronomy tube was finally placed to help with the feeding issues and he came home, not as a new born but as a two month old infant. At four months of age Paul was big enough and strong enough to have open heart surgery. His energy level instantly increased and he began rolling over a week after the surgery. Not long after that Paul caught RSV, a nasty respiratory virus that took over his lungs, caused pneumonia, and almost claimed his life. After a month in the PICU on the ventilator, Paul was in and out of the hospital for the next four months battling both strains of flu, Steven-Johnsons (a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics), and dehydration. The most amazing part of his story is not that he experienced all of this by the age of one, nor is it that he survived so many life threatening ordeals. The most amazing thing about Paul is his smile. No matter how many doctors he meets or how many times he gets poked with needles or how many therapy sessions he endures each week, he greets everyone he meets with a huge smile and instantly captures their hearts. Paul has been such a blessing to our family and has no bigger fan than his two year old sister. He has taught us patience, faith, unconditional love, and the true meaning of strength. We are only beginning to understand the great power of the extra chromosome and look forward to the wonderful things it will bring to our family.
My name is Eurasia. I am a single mother of two lovely girls and one brand new grandson. The last few years of our lives have been difficult. I took a pretty big pay cut when I took a position at Elk Grove Unified School District in January 2004. I worked with families of different cultures and children with different disabilities. It was an awesome job and I loved it, however, we lost a lot including my vehicle that was repossessed. Malaysia Laray Miller, was born on July 14th 2007 with Williams Syndrome, which was not diagnosed until September 2008. She was my second child and my little angel. Malaysia was born with a heart murmur. The doctors said that Malaysia was ok and the murmur would possibly go away with time, but there was no guarantee. Malaysia had a difficult time sleeping and breathing at night and I would stay up worrying about her. I was eventually told that Malaysia was actually suffering with Pulmonary Artery Stenosis and that she needed surgery right away. Malaysia had her first surgery on December 10th 2007 to help correct the problem with her heart. Malaysia had a second surgery on February 14th, 2009 for her umbilical hernia which was abnormally large, and her tonsils and adenoids which helped her breath better through the night. Williams Syndrome is a rare condition caused by missing genes from chromosome 7. Malaysia will live with minor to moderate retardation, learning difficulties, distinctive facial appearance, and a unique personality that combines over friendliness and high levels of empathy with anxiety. The most significant medical problem with WS cardiovascular disease is caused by narrowed arteries. More than 50% of WS children have attention deficit disorder, and 50% have specific phobias, such as fear of loud noises. People with WS require regular cardiovascular monitoring for potential medical problems, such as symptomatic narrowing of the blood vessels, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Malaysia has changed my life for the better. She is truly an angel. Although I have been blessed with employment, my family is still faced with hardships. As a state employee, I am currently furloughed 3 times a month which is a 15% pay cut. It’s difficult, but I am happy to be employed and to be with my children.
Kim’s family arrived from Vietnam in April 2011. They arrived with their two children Kim and Cang. They came to Sacramento without any family ties. Kim was a typical developing/thriving toddler until age 14 months. At age 14 months, Kim contracted spinal meningitis while still living in Vietnam. Kim became very ill and regressed. She lost all of her previous motor functions (rolling, sitting up, walking, and vocalizing). Kim is severely disabled now. Kim has been hospitalized frequently. Due to the severity of her condition, she requires a full-time nurse. The family is searching for work and assistance.