We are so excited about this past year, we don't know where to start this newsletter! Throughout 2016, we have continued to provide vital help to 120 vulnerable families by giving therapy, care and treatments for their children who suffer from disabilities. We are happy to report we have been able to increase the number of overall therapy sessions over 2015. So far in 2016, we have provided a large number of important services including 3801 physical therapy sessions, 1839 multiple early stimulation sessions, 332 occupational therapy sessions, 203 hydrotherapy sessions and 198 electrotherapy sessions. These numbers speak for themselves - Pasitos de Luz is a critical lifeline for many children in the Bay of Banderas!
For this issue of the newsletter we would like to introduce you to two of our children who have benefited from Pasitos therapy and stimulation sessions
Xóchitl Guadalupe Ríos Joya
Xóchitl came to Pasitos de Luz in January 2015 at 2 years of age.
She was born prematurely at 6 months gestational age with cerebral palsy as well as strabismus (crossed eyes).
When she arrived at Pasitos, she was unable to perform voluntary movements and had very low strength in her trunk, only maintaining posture with help.
Through a comprehensive physiotherapy-rehabilitation program, she has demonstrated significant progress.
Xóchitl is now able to maintain a sitting position for several minutes without help; she has shown significant increase in trunk drag and control. In addition, she can visually track objects and reacts to stimuli of light-sound as well as smiling and babbling. Her eyes have reached a midline of crossing. Little by little she is advancing and becoming as self-sufficient as her disability will allow. The current work plan for Xóchitl includes:
• Strengthening defenses and protective reactions for falls
• Stimulate dragging
• Stimulate crawling
• Static standing posture
• Balance while sitting
José Alejandro Jiménez Ortiz
José entered Pasitos de Luz in May 2015 at the age of 18 months.
He was diagnosed with a severe neurological disorder called Leigh syndrome (Only 1 in 36,000 are born with this syndrome).
Leigh syndrome impacts the central nervous system and results in progressive degeneration of motor functions.
When José arrived at Pasitos de Luz he exhibited very frequent involuntary movements and was only able to lay face up with both arms in flexion.
Through a Pasitos health therapy program, José is able to sit up and has made significant progress toward reducing the involuntary, irregular and jerky attacks he suffers from. His current work plan includes:
• Stimulate dragging
• Static standing posture
• Balance in sitting
These successes could never have occurred without your support and without the support of our honorary volunteers including Franchezca-Escarras-Gaunet, Catherine Peabody, Milton Schmidt, Kristian Pentangeli, David Conriquez, Darinka González, Edwin Chavez.
Xóchitl and José today
Thank you to everyone who contributes to Pasitos de Luz successes!
The biggest news of 2016 is the completion of Casa Connor! In 2011 Casa Connor was a dream for Peter & Teena Oudman and it has been their life and breath for the past five years.
The couple has dedicated themselves to building a facility for children with special needs with the help of a dedicated board of directors and many compassionate donors. Their vision was focussed on building a facility that could have the space, required equipment and respite capacity for disabled children; one that would make the children feel special.
Their passion has been driven by their grandson Connor who passed away in 2011 from Hunters Syndrome at the age of 15. Grateful for the compassion and care that Connor received throughout his short life span, Peter and Teena wanted to give back by helping the special needs community of Pasitos de Luz in the Bay of Banderas. Their vision was to build a castle for Pasitos children so the children could feel magic in their lives every day.
These dreams have become a reality and were enabled through the generosity of Peter and Teena Oudman and an amazing number of people who donated time, effort and funds. Sincerest thanks, gratitude and our hearts go out to Eagle Wings, Bachas Restaurant, Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta, Brian Collins family, Weenings family, Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church in Calgary and to the many, many more anonymous and other donors. A million thank you’s – mil gracias.
Casa Connor is now ready to start offering services!! From January 9,2017 the children of Pasitos de Luz will be transported by bus and van from Monday to Friday to their new wonderful space. In addition, the new facility will increase our capacity for more children to receive daily attention and services. The current facilities located at Exiquio Corona 545 Col Bobadilla, will serve as a collection point for children. In addition, the current site will remain open to provide physical therapy services to children who only attend for one hour therapy sessions.
Casa Connor is ready, but we still need your help, please. The building needs to be equipped with items such as tables, chairs, beds, chalkboards, televisions, mattresses, etc. If you are able to help and are interested in learning more about what kind of furniture is needed at Casa Connor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We receive support through international foundations which offer donors tax deductible receipts. You can provide donations through the following organizations:
• Canada: CAN Children Shelter of Hope Foundation
• USA: USA Children Shelter of Hope Foundation
Banderas Bay Charities
• United Kingdom: New Life Line
We are looking for 500 sponsors who can help with $30 US per month or $300 US per year. In this way we will ensure we can provide care, therapy, education and treatments for the children at Casa Connor. Please visit Pasitos de Luz and discover how you can change a child’s life.
Watch for more information on our Casa Connor Open House Thursday February 9th at 10:00 am! Please hold the date to visit us!
Other Upcoming Events 2017:
Fashion Show Luncheon
The 4th annual Deja New, Alexander A Salon, Print PV sponsored fashion show is being held January 14th at River Cafe! We sold out 230 tickets in just one week!! Thank you to everyone who has purchased a ticket in support Pasitos de Luz.
If any of our supporters have clothing you can donate, please take it to Deja New Consignment Clothing on Jaccarandas. If any of you have anything you can donate for auction items please email Barb at email@example.com. Let's make this our best fashion show ever!
Note to attendees - we will have credit card machines at the event if you wish to pay by credit for auction items.
We are celebrating our 6th annual Riverfest at El Rio BBQ Bar and increasing it to three days - March 3, 4 and 5! We are going for a new record for Pasitos de Luz children several of whom will be in attendance on March 5th.
Friday March 3 - enjoy a preshow from 2:00 to 6:00 pm with two sets of musicians - including the amazing Bobby and Gilberto.
Saturday March 4 - our usual amazing day of approximately 7 bands, auction items, 50/50 draws, vendors, hair cuts by Alexander A, El Rio BBQ buffet line, paella from Barcelonas Tapas and more!
Sunday March 5 - enjoy a postshow with music and brunch!
Watch for more details in January.
Best Wishes for Happiest Holidays!
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your help and for believing in Pasitos de Luz. Everyday we are thankful for everything we receive from you and for the joy we receive from Pasitos de Luz children!
Our donors make everything possible! We receive no ongoing government funding and rely on private donations. In addition to the donors who helped make Casa Connor a reality, we also want to express our deepest gratitude to the Canadian Children's Shelter of Hope and the United States Children's Shelter of Hope who facilitate donations and tax receipts in excess of $100,000 pesos annually. Secrets, Now Amber, Mayan Rental, Dahl Foundation, Richard Reed Foundation, Eagle Wings Foundation, Oxxo and Sorianna have also provided financial donations of 100,000 pesos or more. Donations in excess of 50,000 pesos are deeply appreciated from Hard Rock Hotel, Elengorn Realtors, and New Life Line. And to all our donors - thank you from the bottom of our hearts - every peso helps!
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