A8 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1996 UNITED WAY THE SALINA JOURNAL if. "Everything for Josh seems to cost a couple thousand dollars. That's what's so neat about the United Way." The Salina Area United Way is trying to raise more than $1 million, with some of that money going to help kids like JOSH Josh Glavin, 3, son of Jod! and Chris Glavin of Solomon, was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a medical condition affecting his muscle control. Josh Is the poster child for the Salina Area United Way. By CAROL LICHTI The Salina Journal T hree-year-old Josh Glavin didn't play much before he had a computer. The Solomon boy has cerebral palsy, a condition affecting his body movement and muscle control. He doesn't walk, speaks only a few words and has trouble moving his hands. But through funds donated to the Salina Area United Way, Josh has a special computer he plays by touching the screen. "He has been learning and can play things on the computer," Josh's mpther, Jodi Glavin, said. Josh travels in his new wheelchair; thanks to a chair lift for the family van provided through United Way funds. "I hurt my back and the chair weighs 200 pounds," Jodi Glavin said. "There is no way I could take him places and transport him without the lift." United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas, the agency that assisted Josh, is among the 18 agencies designated to receive United Way funds raised in the 1996 campaign. As of Tuesday, pledges totaled $493,434, representing 48.4 percent of the $1,019,000 goal. If the goal is reached, United Cerebral Palsy will receive $17,328 to serve Salina area residents. The allocation includes $12,000 earmarked for equipment purchases such as Josh's computer and chair lift and $3,018 for family support services in the Timbers, anindepen- dent living Josh's motorized chair, equipped with a joy stick ma ining $2,310 for steering, is rented is for area resi- from the state through his dents who live medical card. But Josh may lose the chair because his dad made too much money working overtime. in Wichita. Dave Jones, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas, said the organization outspends its allocation in the Salina area serving about 30 to 40 individuals a year. Cerebral palsy is a medical condition, not a disease or illness. It results from brain damage, usually occurring during fetal development, shortly after birth or during infancy that affects body movement and muscle coordination. Jodi Glavin said she isn't sure how Josh developed 'cerebral palsy. "Everything was normal when he was born," she said. But when he was 6 or 8 months old, she and her husband, Chris, noticed he was having problems with muscle control. Josh has two brothers. Jeremy is 5 and Jacob is 1. Jodi Glavin said she appreciated United Cerebral Palsy's quick response to her inquiries. "We got an answer within one or two days," she said of equipment requests. "With everyone else it takes a month or two." Josh played often on his computer when it was new. Now, he is on it less frequently. "Perhaps the newness has worn off," Jodi Glavin said. She hopes to get a "joy stick" for Josh's computer to make it easier for him to operate. His new, electronic wheelchair operates with a stick control. "No one thought he'd be able to run one, but he showed us all," she said of the new chair. The wheelchair costs about $13,000. The Glavins were able to receive it by qualifying for a state medical card, allowing them to rent the chair. But overtime pay her husband earned at Tony's Pizza Service could jeopardize eligibility for the medical card. "We are on the border of losing the chair," she said. "We're not poor, but we're not high on the ladder either." That means the family often doesn't qualify for special assistance, but can't afford expensive equipment to help Josh. "Everything for Josh seems to cost a couple thousand dollars," she said. "That's what's so neat about the United Way." The organization provides assistance to families, even those with steady income like the Glavins who need help. I Josh joins a link of hands with school mates Robert Shelly, 3, and Kristopher Brundldge, 4, as the class makes its way to a new playground near Kennedy School in west Salina. Field trips are adapted as much as possible so as not to ostracize Josh from his peers. Photos by DAVIS TURNER The Salina Journal Although Josh fits into the class like any other preschooler, many people at the school hold a special place in their heart for Josh. Homer Arnold, the building operator at Kennedy Early Learning Center for seven years, leans In to give Josh a hello at the end of a snack period. "I may give Josh a little more attention than some of the other kids," Homer admits. Nicole Zeedyk, 4, peers out the window of a bus specially equipped with a wheelchair lift, as paraprofes- slonal Heather Whelchel (right) and teacher Charyl Zler (left) assist Josh during a field trip. "The kids are still a little bit In awe of him, but I hope that will wear off," Zler said.
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