i Oct 5th No Comments by

Fire Prevention Week is 10/7/12 – 10/13/12.

Fires are frightening. Not only can you get burned but you can lose your life.  I know because fire has personally affected me. You see my first husband and son died because of injuries sustained in a fire many years ago.

Take a look at this: In 2010 in Camden County, NJ fire departments responded to 29,192 fires ( — that’s a lot of fires. Big or small fire is fire and someone can get hurt. There are a variety of ways to prevent fires and plan for escape in the event there is a fire. Here are three tips that address  fire prevention and fire escape. (more…)

My PJs Program – Courier Post Online

i Aug 14th No Comments by

I am honored and humbled that the Erick’s Place program, My PJs, was recognized by the Courier Post yesterday.  In a write-up by Christina Mitchell, the program was applauded for providing brand new pajamas to chronically ill children as well as other children in need.

The original article has been archived, so I am sharing it here:

During years of grief therapy, she was once asked, “What is Erick’s legacy?”

Today — six years after Smith retired from the job whose benefits paid Erick’s monstrous medical bills — the answer is pajamas. (more…)

Hi, My Name is Jack

i Feb 24th No Comments by

While my son was hospitalized, a book like this would have been a welcome resource, particularly when my very young nieces had a host of questions about their cousin: Why is Erick in the hospital again?  Is Erick going to be okay? Are the doctors going to give Erick a needle?  Undoubtedly, siblings will have similar questions and this book is a helpful resource. Thanks, Christine Beall-Sullivan, for sharing your insight and experiences with all of us through Jack’s eyes!

Help! I Need Somebody!!

i Feb 12th No Comments by

Resources, Information, Help!  That’s what I searched for far and wide after my son Erick was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation (in 1989), and Developmental Delays. The Internet was just evolving then, so I had word-of-mouth and medical professionals.  I’m thankful for the resources I learned about thanks to a great Pediatrician and Social Worker at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Having help to navigate through what sometimes seemed like a massive ball of confusion greatly benefited me in securing the services it took to enhance Erick’s life.

Fast forward twenty five years, and today’s technology affords parents access to a wide range of resources. One such resource is My Child Without Limits, which operates under the UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) umbrella. Of course, there are blogs like this one and Terri Mauro’s Newsletter at About Parenting > Children with Special Needs that offer words of encouragement and parenting advice, as well as this beautiful poem she wrote:

You Are Blessed
It may feel more like a curse sometimes, but having a child with special needs brings with it abundant opportunities for grace. It slows you down and allows you to enjoy the little things — a calm quiet day, a hard-won skill, a spontaneous hug, a pleasant conversation. Where other parents are driven to find their children’s success in high grades and high scores on the playing field, you are granted the privilege of focusing on the things that really matter, teaching your children how to love and care and communicate on the most basic level. You know what’s important, and because you’re not caught up in trivialities you are able to appreciate that so much more deeply. Miracles happen every day, if you only know where to look for them.

What is the most helpful resource you have come across for your special needs child?

Why Them and Not Me?

i Feb 9th No Comments by

Why Them and Not Me?
Have you ever asked yourself that question – “Why Them & Not Me?”.  It applies to a variety of scenarios and situations.  For instance, why did they get the job & not me?  Why did the NY Giants win the Super Bowl and not the New England Patriots?  Why does my special needs child have to go through these challenges & not me?  That question – “Why Them and Not Me?” – came up a few times on a recent episode of Blue Bloods.  The Police Commissioner’s former partner died from injuries sustained during the 9/11 attacks.  They were both First Responders during the attacks, putting their lives on the line; one ultimately sacrificed his life, suffering through a devastating illness and later succumbing.  The Police Commissioner (Tom Selleck) questions his own mortality asking the question, “Why Them & Not Me?” – -“Why did thousands die and I survived?” (more…)