A 12-year-old boy with dreams of working at Marvel. A girl whose journey brought her to Lancaster from the other side of the world. A boy who loves animals and trucks. And a little girl with a smile that lights up a room.
The stories among this year’s group of Schreiber Ambassadors are all different, their challenges unique. But the families have one thing in common: They came to see if Schreiber could help. They came looking for hope.
Meet the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development Ambassador children for 2022. All four will be formally introduced Saturday, May 14, during the 38th Schreiber Gala, to be held for the first time at Listrak’s offices near Lititz. This year’s gala, with the theme A Big ’80s Prom Party, will be offered thanks to the generous support of our many sponsors.
Journee Grace Halbleib sustained a traumatic brain injury as an infant, and her mother, Jennifer Halbleib, said doctors didn’t think she would ever learn to walk or talk. Thanks to the work she does in physical therapy, speech-language therapy and preschool, she is doing that and so much more, Jennifer says. Journee has two older siblings, Jade and Jayden, and a black lab named Lola. The family lives in Mount Joy.
“Schreiber has helped Journee reach milestones we were told would be impossible,” Jennifer said “Between preschool and therapies, Journee has a phenomenal team that never gives up on her. They have become family!”
Sam Leon-Durkee was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 18 months. He’s 12 years old now and has been receiving physical therapy from Schreiber for the past 10 years. His greatest accomplishments have been recovering from leg surgery and becoming strong enough to go from crawling to walking. Sam has a twin sister Isabelle and two guinea pigs, Juice Box and Capri. Sam and his parents, Casey and Mike Trone, live in Manor Township.
“Over the past 10 years,” Casey said, “the one constant has been the amazing staff at Schreiber, encouraging Sam and providing support and information to us as parents to provide the best care for Sam.”
Ellery brings a bouncy energy and lots of positive attitude to her time at Schreiber. Now age 7, Ellery was diagnosed with arthrogryposis, a rare condition that developed in utero. The condition causes stiffed, curved joints and muscle weakness, and Ellery comes to Schreiber for physical therapy and occupational therapy to strengthen her muscles and work on her balance and fine motor skills for daily tasks, says her mom, Alison McIndoe. Ellery and her mom live in Manheim Township with Ellery’s big brother Cole.
“Ellery has had a fantastic experience,” Alison said. “The therapists have gone above and beyond to keep therapy interesting for Ellery while continuing to push her to excel. Everyone is so warm and friendly, which makes Schreiber the wonderful place it is.”
Carter Peiffer can be a little shy when you first meet him. But when he warms up, the fun-loving silliness shines through. Carter, who turned 5 in February, has a complex array of challenges, including autism, sensory issues, feeding issues and a vitamin C deficiency that led to a scurvy diagnosis. He receives occupational therapy to help with his sensory issues and expand the foods he eats, and he does physical therapy to build strength. Carter has two siblings, Emma and Colton, and a chocolate lab named Kimber. They live with their parents, Desiree and Dustin Peiffer, in Mount Joy Township.
“Without Schreiber, Carter would not be able to do many of the things he can now do,” Desiree said. “We feel very blessed and extremely lucky that we found this amazing organization. I cannot thank them enough for giving me my happy little boy back.”
Note for editors: High-resolution photographs of individual ambassadors are available by contacting Dan Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please credit photos to Gretchen Elaine Photography.