Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago

14 E. Jackson, #900
Chicago, IL 60601
312-939-5115
312-939-0283 Fax
www.eastersealschicago.org

Mission
In response to our communities, Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago provides comprehensive services for individuals with disabilities and other special needs and their families.

Facts and Statistics
Easter Seals began in 1907, when Ohio-businessman Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. The lack of adequate medical services available to save his son prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio.

In the spring of 1934, the organization launched its first Easter "seals" campaign to raise money for its services. To show their support, donors placed the seals on envelopes and letters.

Cleveland Plain Dealer cartoonist J.H. Donahey designed the first seal. Donahey based the design on a concept of simplicity because those served by the charity asked "simply for the right to live a normal life."

Health Tips
People with disabilities are entitled to the same courtesies you would extend to anyone, including personal privacy. Below are some tips on interacting with people with disabilities:

When you offer to assist someone with a vision impairment, allow the person to take your arm. This will help you to guide, rather than propel or lead, the person.

Relax. Don't be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions, such as "See you later" or "I've got to run", that seem to relate to the person's disability.

If you would like to help someone with a disability, ask if he or she needs it before you act, and listen to any instructions the person may want to give.

When planning events involving persons with disabilities, consider their needs ahead of time. If an insurmountable barrier exists, let them know about it prior to the event.

Fundraising & Administrative Percentage
9.1%

Testimonials
When she was 8 years old, Lindsey Connelly loved riding horses, bicycling and climbing trees. "She had entered the world a healthy child," says her mother, Chrissy. Suddenly everything changed when Lindsey was diagnosed with brain stem cancer, and surgery to remove tumors left her blind. After rigorous chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Lindsey started rehabilitation to learn how to walk again, use her arms and hands, and adjust to losing her sight.

Seven months after the surgery, Lindsey was making remarkable progress until her doctors found tumors on Lindsey's spinal cord. Initially giving the Connellys a grim prognosis, the doctors took more X-rays. Remarkably, the tumors were gone. Elated, the Connellys felt they had experienced a miracle.

Their joy was diminished, however, when they found that the tumors had bruised Lindsey's spinal cord and left her quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down.

Four years later her cancer is in full remission and Lindsey, now 13, is gradually becoming more independent, thanks to intensive physical and occupational therapy she receives at Easter Seals Central Pennsylvania.

Though she uses a wheelchair full-time, Lindsey can now walk on a treadmill and go short distances with assistance. She can get out of bed in the morning, brush her teeth and get herself dressed. She enjoys riding a three-wheeled bike, and recently went down a water slide, to the delight of her siblings -- Sarah, 16, Billy, 10, and Elizabeth, 7.

The coming months will be especially eventful. Lindsey is re-entering her local school system after years of home schooling. She also will embark on a year as the Easter Seals 2005 National Youth Representative, sharing her story with others across the country.

"I hope I meet lots of new people and tell them how wonderful Easter Seals is and how much they've done for me," Lindsey says. "I enjoy sharing with people how Easter Seals has affected my life, and I hope that others who need therapy will be able to go to Easter Seals."

Lindsey also anticipates sharing the experience with her father, an army reservist who went to Iraq in February 2004 and is expected home soon.

Chrissy says Tim, who is a physical therapist, is cheered by the updates he gets about Lindsey's progress and feels strongly that Easter Seals is providing his daughter with the best care possible. For Chrissy, there's never a doubt.

"We believe Lindsey is where she is today because of Easter Seals and the dedication of the entire staff,"she says. "Easter Seals has the time for each individual child, and they make everyone in the family feel welcome. We sincerely appreciate that."

 

 

307 N Michigan Ave, Ste 800  |  Chicago, Illinois 60601  |  312.360.0382  |  Toll-Free: 800.299.6842  |  Fax: 312.360.0388  |  Email