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My little cousin, and christmas :)

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:58 AM
  • 3 Replies

My little cousin Izayiah, was born with his intestines and stomach outside his body, and had surgery to fix it at only 4 days old, and also has cerebral palsy and optic nerve hypoplasia (his eyes make quick rhythmic movements and he doesnt see straight ahead, only peripherally. if he is reading something, he reads it sideways). Izayiah, was featured on the front page of my hometowns newspaper on Christmas day :)  My grandfather would have been so proud!!! Pappy passed in April of 2008 and Izayiah walked 2 weeks to the day after he died.  Here is the article from the newspaper.....I'm so proud of him, just wanted to share :)

 

School, community make Christmas, life brighter for student

By Ashley Gurbal, agurbal@altoonamirror.com

POSTED: December 25, 2009
 
 
 
 
 
 

BELLWOOD - It can't be wrapped up in festive paper and tied with a shiny bow, but Sunshine Price considers everything the staff at Lewis M. Myers Elementary School does for her family a gift.

There are the accommodations the school has made for her 10-year-old son Izayiah Covle, who's in the fourth grade. Izayiah has cerebral palsy and optic nerve hypoplasia, a condition that causes uncontrollable rhythmic movements of the eye.

When he came to the school as a first-grader, he was in a wheelchair and still wearing diapers.

Through the efforts of the Bellwood-Antis School District's special education team, Izayiah now is in a normal classroom and no longer wears diapers or uses a wheelchair. A few weeks ago, he got in trouble for running in the halls - to the delight of his teachers and personal care aide.

"I'm blown away by this whole school, period," said Price, 28, who lives in Antis Township.

"It's like a home with a whole lot of moms," Price said.

For Christmas, the school adopted Price's family through the Bellwood-Antis Blue Angels R Us program after her boyfriend, John Lowery, was laid off from Lee Food Service at the end of November.

Blue Angels purchased Christmas presents for Price's three children. The Bellwood-Antis Community At-Risk Fund provided a $300 gift card to Walmart so Price could get a Christmas tree, decorations and extra gifts for her kids.

"It's so heartwarming that [Price] is so dedicated to her children," said Crystal Himes, who founded Blue Angels seven years ago. "It's unbelievable. We were happy to be there for her."

Working together

to help Izayiah

Today, Izayiah is a happy kid, singing in the hallways of Myers Elementary to the songs playing on a flat-screen TV near the entrance.

"He never, ever gives up," said Rose Confer-Tambellini, a special education teacher at the school. "He never complains. He doesn't see himself as anything special."

When Izayiah started kindergarten, he was placed in a life skills class through Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8. The class was for students with cognitive delays and multiple disabilities.

Though Izayiah does have multiple disabilities, he has no cognitive delays, and Shannon Eye, director of special education for the district, felt he would be better served in a grade-level classroom.

The boy has "come a long way," Eye said, because of a collaborative effort among her team, the teachers and Price.

"He has such an advocate of a parent, who has such high expectations for her child," Principal Terri Harpster said. "[Price] has always felt that No. 1, he could be successful. She knew he didn't have cognitive delays, and [Eye] felt we could address and deal with his physical disabilities."

Everything it's taken to get Izayiah to this point - physical therapy, occupational therapy, special vision aides - has been provided by the district during school hours. Izayiah does need some help getting around, so the school employs Angela Taylor as his aide.

"He's a very amazing kid," Taylor said. "He's not afraid to try anything, and any shortcomings he has - he has no clue. With him, it's 'will' or 'won't,' not 'can't.'"

A very Merry Christmas

Both Taylor and Confer-Tambellini referred Price and her family to Blue Angels - without the other one knowing. The family was one of 31 families that Blue Angels helped, along with 64 individual children.

"There honestly wasn't going to be a Christmas at my house," Price said. "No tree, nothing."

Blue Angels is supported by anonymous donations throughout the year, Himes said; this year's gifts cost about $12,000.

"It's a cause that's important to me because I was one of those kids," said Himes, who is now assistant vice president of First National Bank Bank in Tyrone. "I used to be in those situations, and I just want to give back to my community."

The entire school district is involved with Blue Angels, Himes said; this year, six teachers and 100 students helped out, and all of the schools collected donations.

Price said Izayiah's must-have item for Christmas is a pair of Skechers sneakers emblazoned with images of the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. Her son Anthony, 8, wanted a Tech Deck skateboard game, and for 2-year-old Dakotah, it was a Disney Princess activity table.

"It's nice to know somebody out there cares that people they don't even know have a good Christmas," Price said. "It's hard to explain because like even last night, I was sitting there going through everything, and I was sitting there looking it, and I have three huge piles of stuff for my kids, and it's like, wow."

http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/525471.html?actionAlert=commentadded#commentNum64648


" There will be an answer, let it be......" --Paul McCartney

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:58 AM
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Replies (1-3):
butterbear
by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

That was so nice of them. This is such a nice story such a sweet little boy he is one strong guy with all of those struggles I am so happy for him. 

mrsjmomma
by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

What a great article!  It sounds like he's doing awesome and has found the perfect place to be:)

djemMama0725
by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM

he is a very strong young man :) he doesnt care (or realize) that he is different. he loves puzzles and can do 5000 piece ones within about 2 days. as the article said, he does not have any cognitive delays that hinder his learning, he actually has a pretty high iq. we adore him.....just an all around sweet sweet little boy.

Quoting butterbear:

That was so nice of them. This is such a nice story such a sweet little boy he is one strong guy with all of those struggles I am so happy for him. 



" There will be an answer, let it be......" --Paul McCartney

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