Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer update from Forrest! 7/20/13

Hello everyone, this is Forrest Allen. Here is an update of what I have been doing recently.

This fall I will be attending Kettle Run High school to take a US history class. This past week I visited the High school to meet with the people who work there and see my classroom. It was great to meet the new people at the High school and I am looking forward to taking the class soon. The Principal Mr Warner is cool. My PT Cara, OT Brian and I took a map to figure out how to move around the school.

I have been swimming with Del my physical therapist with his help I am gaining strength to do 3 different strokes and snorkeling. Thank you to all of my friends who are letting me swim in their pool. I am happy to be back in the water and swimming again.

Recently I have been learning and practicing playing the ukulele for fun and to work on being able to play it well. Its great to practice it because I have gotten better at playing it the more I have tried to play it. It is fabulous to be able to play during my free time from school and sports. Here is a YouTube clip of me playing ukulele with my friend Ben.

I used to have trouble with my left hand and it was tough to have happen and a bummer not to be able to use my left hand. I worked hard to get my movement back. Now it feels good to have the use of my left hand back. I like to play with Gio and Ben

​Thank you all for your help and support in the past. It means a lot. Hope you’re all doing well.

Thanks from Forrest Allen

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dog Days of Summer 7/11/13

Your work continues Forrest, through the heat of the summer. And as your endurance increases and you get stronger, you're able to take joy in playful activities that have been absent from your life for so long.

Your extended school year includes Studying US history in preparation for returning to KettleRun High school in the fall. And you work so hard each day on your memory and brain games, with Tami encouraging and coaching you.

Between your lessons we look for opportunities to continue expanding your world with motivating and fun activities. Last weekend old and new friends gathered to pass the lacrosse ball around with you and to enjoy your Pops grilling! With visiting cousin Cailin, you shared in some wonderful horse time grooming Thunder Jam.

And finally you got back in the water at our neighbor Catherine's pool! We laughed when we realized your entourage for the first swim included Dr. Lee, two Physical therapists, your RN, medical student Megan, and two parental veterinarians! It was a magical afternoon filled with aquatic therapy of the best kind, laughter, sunshine, warm water, and good friends!

We give thanks every day for your growing strength and joyful spirit, loyal family and friends, amazing Medical Team which allows us to stretch your boundaries safely, physical therapists Del and Valerie who took you for your first swim, generous neighbors, and talented teachers.

Wishing all of your faithful followers a safe and healthy summer,


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Impossible Dream 7/1/13

From the moment of your injury in January 2011 we knew life would never be the same again. Through the darkest times we dreamed and prayed together that somehow one day you would live a productive, joyful, and independent life. Through sheer hard work on your part and the love, support, and faith of so many, our prayers are being answered and our dream for you is coming true.

Months ago your music therapist, Tom Sweitzer, told you he wanted you to be in their production of "The Little Mermaid". Even I wondered exactly how this could happen. You had barely begun to speak. Just two weeks ago, I watched in awe on the first day as A Place to Be music therapy camp began. A troop of 72 people, made up of children and young adults with a variety of special needs, their volunteer mentors, and therapists came together with a focus and determination I have rarely witnessed. And right in the middle of this troop you sat, with your shadow and mentor Ben, and an enormous grin on your face. Ben, Tami, Shayna and your nurse in the wings were all there to make sure you were safe. In my mother's heart I knew it was time to step away and let you tackle this challenge. And did you ever. This weekend along with all of the amazing talented and determined actors you put on three performances of your life. The last performance was a special fundraising benefit for A Place to Be. In the preshow, several of the students came onto the stage to share their inspiring stories. Then Tom introduced your story and showed a video collage of the last six months of your struggles to regain your voice. As I watched the images on the large screen, I found it hard to relive those terribly difficult months. And then the most miraculous thing happened, you walked onto that stage and joined Tom to sing for everyone "The Impossible Dream". I think I held my breath the entire time. Your voice was clear and strong. Your father's hand was on my shoulder and the only thing missing was your brother, Austin. I so wish he could've been there to share the magic of that moment with you.

You have a long road ahead Darlin, and life will never again be "the same". But you are already living a productive and joyful life. And with your spirit and hard work, along with the love, support, and encouragement of faithful friends, you will one day regain your independence too. The difficult places you have been are unimaginable, but you are on your way now to re-creating a wonderful life.

With love and gratitude overflowing for Tom and his amazing team at A Place to Be, Mum

Here is the link to Forrest and Tom Singing "The Impossible Dream" :