Meet our Ambassadors
Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center has named its 2017 Ambassador children. This year's Ambassadors each have their own story and their own set of abilities. The oldest is a young man, 22 years old, learning to make his way in the adult world. The youngest are 7, a couple of boys who are full of spirit. In between, the only girl, showed off her shiny personality (and her cartwheeling skill) in the Schreiber music video.
Here they are, the 2017 Schreiber Ambassadors.
Age: He turns 23 in May
Diagnosis: Down syndrome
Parent: Clair Campbell, East Hempfield Township
Siblings: Mary Catherine, 27; Caroline, 25
Favorite activities: Baseball, bowling, singing and dancing, movies.
Favorite foods: Pizza, cheeseburgers, subs
What he watches and listens to: "Walking Dead" for TV; "E.T." for movie; "Sherry" by Frankie Valli and the Four Season
Three words to describe him: Kind, gentle and loving
What else to know about James: He has a black lab named Harper.
James connected with Schreiber through the recreation programs about 10 years ago.
"When Jim first started attending Camp Schreiber, he was painfully shy," said his mother, Claire Campbell. "Each year, we saw tremendous growth. He became more and more comfortable as he learned Schreiber was a safe environment where there was no judging, just unconditional acceptance. A place filled with patience, love and understanding."
Throughout his teenage years, James continued to attend summer camp and then the Club 625 social outings. There are few traces of the shyness now. He's the first to grab his guitar and perform at the annual camp talent shows.
The confidence he built has stayed with him as he moves into adulthood. So have the social bonds. The Camp Schreiber counselors and his crew from Club 625 are among his best friends.
"The growth we have seen can only be attributed to the overwhelming love, kindness, patience and acceptance from the amazing staff," Claire said.
Age: She turned 10 in January
Diagnosis: Wiedemann-Steiner Syndrome
Grade and school: Third grade, Neff Elementary School in Manheim Township
Parents: Melanie and Don DeHart, Manheim Township
Siblings: Emma, 7
Favorite activities: Playing games on her iPad, Wii Bowling, Uno, Go Fish! and War; watching TV; going to Dutch Wonderland; eating out at the Olive Garden and Isaac's; Kid Worship at her church, LCBC; holding her cat, Milo; going to Root's with her grandpa; coloring
Favorite food: Red peppers, Finks French fries, noodles, grapes, pizza
What she watches and listens to: On TV, "OutDaughtered," "Doc McStuffins," and "Peppa Pig." Movies, "Frozen" and "Elmo Saves Christmas." Songs, "Jingle Bells," "Let It Go," "Party Rock" and "I Love You" (the Barney version)
When she grows up, she wants to be: A mother; a teacher; a dancer; a pet vet; to help children feel better
Three words to describe her: Caring, polite and social
Abby has a rare genetic disorder that's in the same family as Down syndrome. While Abby is a happy, social little girl, she struggles with ADHD, auditory processing disorder, executive functioning disorder and low motor tone.
In her time at Schreiber, she has worked on following directions and improving her social skills. She's trying to get better at her handwriting and coordination. She has practiced in the Activities of Daily Living room to learn how to take care of daily tasks at home like getting dressed and making her bed.
Her mom Melanie said Abby has made a lot of progress at Schreiber. She has gained core strength. She's following three-step directions most of the time. Her social interactions have become more appropriate.
"The staff is very patient and caring," Melanie said. "Abby's therapists are consistent. And they are dedicated to their job and have been with her for many years."
Abby has played in the kids' game for several years during Schreiber's Softball Weekend. She also enjoys spending time in our courtyard garden and going to the Schreiber Rubber Duckie Race.
"Schreiber is fun to Abby," Melanie said. "She looks forward to coming every week."
Age: He turned 7 in November
Diagnosis: Cerebral palsy
Grade and school: First grade at Lititz Area Mennonite
Parents: Lauren and Kent Pierce, Manheim
Siblings: Hudson, 6; Brinton and Kelvie, 4
Favorite activities: Sports, both watching and playing; going to Penn State games; learning new facts in science, math or reading.
Favorite food: Spaghetti
What he watches and listens to: Lego Ninjago
When he grows up he wants to be: A police officer, a doctor or an orthocist
Three words to describe him: Joyful, adventurous and caring
What else to know about Elijah: He was featured in one of the Schreiber Stories videos we produced last year.
Elijah has cerebral palsy that affects him from the waist down. Since starting at Schreiber nearly four years ago, Elijah has gone from not being able to walk or stand to needing just one crutch to get around. And he does it with a grin that makes you smile right back.
Swimming in the pool has been a big part of his therapy, and it's one of his favorite things about Schreiber. He likes his therapists, too, Denisha Kline and Megan Campbell Roland.
"Elijah has greatly improved with all of his therapy and encouragement," his mom Lauren said. "Schreiber has walked next to us to give the tools we need to help him succeed in life."
Age: He turned 7 in January
Diagnosis: Neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, a rare condition that caused his mother's immune system to attack and destroy his platelets before he was born. The condition caused a significant brain hemorrhage, which in turn produced severe brain damage that left his hearing, speech and vision impaired and caused cerebral palsy and seizures.
Grade and school: Kindergarten at Reidenbaugh Elementary School; alumnus of Schreiber S.T.A.R.S. Preschool
Parents: Brandi and Andrew Powell, Lititz
Siblings: Grace, 2
Favorite activities: Swimming, playing with his sister Grace, playing with helium balloons and visiting the aquarium
What he watches and listens to: "Finding Nemo," Shark Week specials, "Sanjay and Craig," "Spongebob Squarepants," any book by Dr. Seuss and "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day"
When he grows up he wants to: Help others
Three words to describe him: Beautiful, sweet and funny
What else to know about Alex: His favorite food is a Frosty from Wendy's
Alexander is charming and determined, loves a good Frosty and will watch just about anything to do with the sea. He's a pretty remarkable boy, considering all the challenges life threw at him from birth.
The Powells moved from Maryland to Lancaster County when Alex was 2 to be closer to family and because they knew of Schreiber's reputation.
Since coming to Schreiber, Alex has put in plenty of time trying to overcome his challenges. In physical therapy, he works on standing, walking in a gait trainer and riding a bike. In OT, he works on sitting, building his fine motor skills and feeding. In speech, he works on communicating and expressing choices using various switch devices.
"The improvements and accomplishments Alex has made since starting at Schreiber have been incredible," said his mom Brandi. "We have found that the Schreiber community has become an extended family of sorts. Everyone cares not just about Alex but his family as well. We are honored to be part of the Schreiber community."