Easterseals team members are delighted to have Lilianna “Lily” Hernandez-Diaz of Millsboro as one of this year’s ambassadors for their 7th annual Walk With Me & 5K Fun Run Delmarva event, set for 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13, at Baywood Greens in Long Neck.
Lily is a happy 2-year-old who enjoys playing with her four older siblings and cruising the house, sometimes backward, in her walker.
When she was born 13 weeks early, these moments were not promised to her parents Tiffany and Jose. After four months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Lily was able to come home, and that’s when the real work began. Tiffany was thankful to have a team of therapists from Easterseals Children’s Therapy program on her side.
“I felt completely helpless. It was emotionally hard,” said Tiffany. “Now thanks to Easterseals, Lily is progressing every day. Every day she does something new. She is very inspiring.”
Lily survived several surgeries, her first at just one week old. When Lily first came home, Tiffany was very nervous to take her out in public, fearing that she would get sick and have to spend more time in the hospital. She was thankful that all of Lily’s therapies, including speech, physical and occupational, are provided in her home.
“I am really appreciative of these services to help our little ones in need. I feel like babies are not afraid since therapies are in the home. Lily loves her therapists. She lights up when she sees her physical therapists or even if we just mention her therapist’s name. They make workouts seem like play,” said Tiffany.
Easterseals has also helped Tiffany and Jose get the medical equipment Lily needs for her daily activities, like her feeding chair. Thanks to Easterseals Children’s Therapy, Lily mastered many of her goals, like pulling objects to her and rolling. She is now working on eating more solid foods, crawling and using her right hand.
“I would like all of the mothers in my situation to know that it might seem like a long journey, but it is all worth it,” said Tiffany. “If we guide our little ones and give them all of the support that they need, our little ones will grow, achieve new goals, and learn something new every day. Never give up!”
For 100 years nationally, Easterseals has served as an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families.
Funds raised through Walk With Me help Easterseals provide critically needed services to families living with disabilities in the local community. To register, go to www.walkwithme.org/delmarva or contact Linda Forte at 302-253-1100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers a range of services including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers.
To learn more, call 1-800-677-3800 or go to www.de.easterseals.com.