2024 Schreiber Ambassadors Announced at the 40th Annual Schreiber Gala!

Every year we choose a few lucky kiddos to be Ambassadors of our mission. To join us as special guests at our events. To share their stories with our families and friends. To highlight the life-changing services our therapists are providing every day to those who need them most. This year we’re proud to announce that we have four amazing kiddos serving as Schreiber Ambassadors.

From oldest to youngest, we’d like to now introduce you to our 2024 Ambassadors, Aubrey Jacoby, Allegra Essis, Colton Kiss, and Grayson Smith.

Aubrey Jacoby

Aubrey is an 18-year-old, senior in high school, with a passion for video editing and a love of music. She has been a Schreiber client since she was three years old, when she began therapy sessions to counteract the physical effects of her cerebral palsy diagnosis. Through physical therapy and occupational therapy sessions Aubrey has gained and sustained both gross and fine motor skills that help her navigate through life as independently as possible.

Aubrey has undergone over 80 surgeries in her lifetime to combat difficulties associated with her diagnoses of both cerebral palsy and Treacher Collins syndrome. Because she had difficulty breathing one of these surgeries was to insert a tracheostomy tube, creating an opening in her trachea from the outside of the neck to help oxygen reach her lungs. She began speech therapy at Schreiber after that surgery and re-learned how to speak with the trach and use an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to communicate with the world and has since graduated from speech therapy. Just like most 18-year-olds she’s excited to graduate from high school next, and start working on building a career for herself.

Allegra Essis

Allegra is 13 years old and in her last year of middle school, where she is a social butterfly with a flair for theater. When she was just an infant her parents enrolled her in early intervention therapy care to combat challenges she was facing with her gross motor skills. At five years old she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has been a frequent flyer at Schreiber for physical therapy ever since. During her time at Schreiber sha has gained a lot of core strength, flexibility, balance, and of course confidence which all help her pursue her interests in dance, horseback riding, and skiing.

Early on, Allegra had difficulties standing up, walking, running, balancing, and using stairs. Her parents’ initial goals were for her to gain the strength and balance needed to walk independently. She was fitted for orthotics to help stabilize her gait and help her do these activities, which she continues to use today. A recent surgery on her hamstrings set back her progress slightly when it left her wheelchair bound for a time. Through dedicated physical therapy sessions at Schreiber three times per week, she is now back to her normal, walking independently and participating in her many activities.

Colton Kiss

Colton is almost four years old, and attends our Circle of Friends Academy preschool, where he enjoys learning and playing with his friends. He has attended therapy at the Schreiber center for three years, after a complication at birth resulted in four brain hemorrhages as well as a blood clot on his cerebellum that caused permanent damage. Shortly after he was born his mom was told by doctors that he may never walk or talk due to the damage done. His mom was familiar with Schreiber and knew that our center was his best chance at beating those odds.

He currently participates in all four of our offered therapies, physical, occupational, speech, and behavioral health to help him combat the challenges of his diagnosis. Please who have known Colton through his entire journey have witnessed the miracle of his transformation. And people who meet Colton today would never believe that there was ever a chance that he may have never learned to walk or talk. His physical therapy sessions have helped him build core strength and balance needed to sit, stand, and walk on his own. Occupational therapy has helped him develop the coordination and focus needed to perform self-care tasks like dressing himself and feeding himself. Speech therapy has given him the ability to communicate his wants and needs with those around him. And behavioral health therapy has taught him how to communicate those wants and needs more appropriately.

Grayson Smith

Grayson is three years old and has attended therapy at Schreiber since he was just nine months old. First for physical therapy to address a diagnosis of low tone, where he built the strength and coordination required to sit, stand, walk, and run on his own. A year after starting and later graduating from physical therapy he was also diagnosed with level 1 autism. At which time he began speech therapy and occupational therapy to help him gain both physical and social skills.

Once a week, he still comes to the Schreiber center to work on his sensory processing skills, social skills, and self-care tasks in occupational therapy. He uses the skills he learns in therapy every day to express his wants and needs effectively with those around him and navigate through new social situations that would have had him shutting down in the past. Thanks to occupational therapy he is also now able and willing to perform daily self-care tasks on his own and with the help of his parents without a struggle. His parents are confident that the tools he’s learning in therapy will ensure that he is developmentally ready for school in the next few years. His confidence has already grown tremendously as he learns to self-advocate and even initiate new friendships on the playground.

While each of our 2024 ambassadors have been attending therapies at the Schreiber center for a few years, we will be highlighting their progress and achievements on our social media channels this year to allow our friends and supporters to witness firsthand what makes our pediatric therapy center so special. So, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to watch their stories unfold.

We’ve also made fun collectible trading cards for each of our 2024 ambassadors to hand out to fellow Schreiber families, friends, and supporters during our various fundraising and community events throughout the year. These cards highlight the therapy journey of each ambassador and celebrate how far they have each come. Attend all our events and collect each ambassadors trading card for special keepsake showcasing your support of all Schreiber kids.  

Help Schreiber Kids like our Ambassadors receive the care they need, by donating in support of our Kids’ Care Fund, a long and short term savings account used to cover the costs of uncompensated care.

As a nationally recognized pediatric facility, the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development provides family-centered education and therapy programs for infants, children and adolescents with disabilities, developmental delays, and acquired injuries. Our goal-oriented approach maximizes each child’s ability to function independently within the community.

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