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Little Boy With Big Plans For Universal Playground

Meet Jeffrey of Jeffrey’s Hope, Presented By The Carter Lay Charitable Fund

Donate to the cause today! 

Born with spina bifida, one kidney, no bottom, and rocker feet, Jeffrey underwent three life threatening surgeries as a newborn. His back had a gap in it due to a fault in the development of the spine and spinal cord and doctors went in to repair it. His flat bottom did not allow for discharge and an ostomy pouch was attached to his body.  His feet were shaped like rocking chairs and had to be broke to give them flat balance.  His legs were put in correction casts and metal plates drilled into both his knees.

Jeffrey is now 10 years old, undergone 15 major surgeries, depends on a wheelchair for navigation and is expected to live a full term life.

His life is filled with doctor visits, therapy, and sports.  Yes, sports.  You see, Jeffrey is a happy child full of love, a passion for reading and the outdoors, and is known to all around him to just go.  He is also very smart, charming and articulate.

“I try my best to do things my own way, “ Jeffrey reveals.  ““I say awesome a lot because I get excited.”

Jeffrey is the fifth child out of six for Lisa Lopez, a full time Mom and nurse.  “We have a large family and all are leaning the right way and helping others.” And the Lopez family looks to Jeffrey as a positive role model.

“Our Jeffery is very determined, and he is a big inspiration to us and so many people who just fall in love with this boy,” says his Mom Lisa.

Carter Lay, founder of The Carter Lay Charitable Fund, is just one of many who are under Jeffery’s spell and committed to helping him reach his goals.  “Jeffrey is one of my favorite people I have ever met, “ said Carter. “He is very intelligent and wise and his positive energy makes you want to be a better person.”

(R to L) Carter Lay with Jeffrey and his little brother, Dr. Bill Pinsky, founder of Racing For Kids at The Toyota Grand Prix Celebrity Race in Long Beach, CA April 20, 2013.

Jeffrey connects with others by playing outside: “I play baseball little leagues challengers, I play junior sled hockey with kids and adults who are in wheelchairs, I go swimming with my brother.”

And this little boy has big plans:  A Universal playground for all.

Jeffrey’s Hope, founded in 2011, is raising funds to update Beuna Vista park in Southern California so kids with or without special needs can play together. Ramps, designed like race lanes, will be installed to allow easy access to park amenities.

“I had tears in my eyes when I took Jeffrey and my youngest son to the playground and I couldn’t get them to the park,” Lisa shared.  “It was the worst feeling seeing the playground and feeling helpless not able to get my sons it.  The woodchips and the sand were impossible to navigate while holding one son and pushing Jefffrey in his wheelchair.”

And Lisa is not alone feeling this way.  Many parents with disabled kids feel frustrated about not being able to access the public park.

“We are just trying to speak for some of them and help,” says Lisa. “People need to be aware that disabled children don’t want to just sit and watch kids play in the park. They want to take part, and also be happy in the park.”  Lisa’s voice starts to get chocked up at the thought of all kids playing together.

Jeffrey’s Hope, together with The Corona Partners For Parks and Recreation Foundation, is dedicated to raising $100,000 to retrofit Beuna Vista Park.  To date, Jeffrey’s Hope has raised almost 10% of its goal with local restaurant participation, Tupperware party’s, Corona Rotary Club contribution and private donors.  An online Crowdrise fundraiser recently launched this June allows for social media supporters to give tax deductible donations.

Click here to donate. 

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Posted on: June 28, 2013