Eleven-year old Rowan has been a client of the PA Elks Home Service Program since 2009. She has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus with a shunt to drain fluid from around her brain. She has a history of seizures.

The Elks Home Service Nurse, Dianna, has been a source of information and support for Rowan and her family. She lets them know how to navigate the system and learn about new programs that may benefit Rowan. Some of the many ways the program has helped Rowan and her family include:

  • Help to access funding for Pediasure with fiber from the ABBOTT patient assistance program
  • Help to find funding for assistance with their electric bill
  • Help to obtain funding to provide a ramp so that they can safely take Rowan out of her home
  • Referral to the Variety Club for an adaptive bike

Rowan has always been a smiling, happy girl, but now her smile is even larger because she can go outside with her brother, take her adaptive bike out, and go to the park by her house, with only one parent. Life has become a lot simpler for her and her family.

– Dianna McCord, RN – Unit 4

Here is a letter from Rowan’s mom, Andrea:

Sending a giant thank you to Dianna McCord for getting our daughter, Rowan, her wheelchair ramp! It is quite possibly the greatest gift of a piece of equipment that she could ever receive (aside from her actual wheelchair)!

Gone are the days where we felt trapped when she and I, her mother, were home alone. She’s 11 years old, 85 lbs. and 4’7″ tall. There is a park at the top of our street. But we could only visit it when both parents were home to lift her wheelchair down and over the front steps. Not to mention the fears I felt wondering, what if there would be a fire or urgent emergency where we would need to evacuate quickly… how would we do this? That has been eased immensely!

Last September she got a bicycle from the Variety Club. But even with her father and I both lifting it out the door and down the stairs, it was quite heavy and bulky – it’s not meant for lifting. That’s not a concern anymore – now I can wheel it out, and away on a bike ride we go! We’ve only had the ramp for several weeks, but we’ve done more coming and going out the front door in these weeks than we could the entire last summer.

She has been on cloud 9 since the ramp was put on, and that’s the greatest blessing of all – seeing the happiness on her face when I ask her if she’d like to go for quick walk, or if she’d like to go sit out in the sun, or for a bike ride – and we can just DO IT. No assistance needed. Her teenage brother can even take her out into the yard to look at bunnies and birds, it’s been a bonding experience for the entire family.

So, thank you Dianna, you’ll probably never truly know how grateful we are for this, but it’s had a huge impact on our lives already in this short amount of time. I can only imagine what fun activities and great memories are to come in the future!