Tacy, 13 years old, on the first day of school this past September
I know that many of you have followed by blog for many years and have heard Tacy's story. But maybe you are new, you have seen pictures of my girls either here, on Facebook, or on Instagram. You have seen pictures of my Tacy and wondered and could tell that she is something just a little bit more special. And she is.
Tacy has significant special needs. She is diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy and autism along with a laundry list of other issues and problems. She may be 13, but cognitively she functions at about a 2-3 year old level. She is considered nonverbal, but communicates is other ways to let us know her wants, needs, and feelings. Our days are filled with medication, therapy appointments, special education, communication devices, leg braces, diapers, and so much more.
When you have a child with issues and needs like Tacy, you do everything you can for them. So many people ask us how we do it. The answer is simple. You do whatever you need to do for your child.
Tacy is a joy and a gift. We have our days where everything feels like such a challenge. You wonder how you are going to fit in yet one more doctor, or therapy, or how are you going to pay for the special equipment that insurance won't cover. But when she smiles that special smile, or snuggles in just right to let you know her love for you is there, I wouldn't change anything for the world and I would do anything for her.
We have a huge network of support that surrounds us. When you have a child with special needs, you have to. One of my favorite things is when we are approached out in public by someone who has worked with Tacy in school or otherwise and they make such a fuss about what a sweetheart she is. She has touched many lives and made an impact in her sweet, silly way.
For the past 8 years, we have had a team for Tacy to raise money for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota in the Stuck-in-Motion bike race. United Cerebral Palsy is a national organization that support people with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities too. They have helped us pay for equipment/therapy that Tacy has needed that insurance won't cover, like headphones for her therapeutic listening program and horseback riding therapy. They sponsor community events that our family has attended like a bowling league and Halloween parties. UCP of Central Minnesota is sponsoring an arts program for people with disabilities that I personally have been helping plan and run. This organization is near and dear to me and they have been a support to us as long as we have known that Tacy has special needs.
Team Tacy will ride again this year - our ninth year! Our family and friends come together to raise money and have lots of fun and it's all for Tacy. We can't change her special needs, but we can support her to be the best that she can be. I am so grateful to all of my family and friends for the support that they have given our family through out the years.
Here's a video from last years race:
I can't wait for this year's race, we have a new theme this year that I will share as race day gets closer!
If you would like to make a donation to Team Tacy, you can go to our team page here and then choose me, Heather Nichols, from the team roster. We race on Saturday, January 25th! Last year, our team raised over $7000 and we would like to meet or beat that amount!
Whether you send a donation, or cheer us on for the race (and everyday!) I just want to say thank you so much. Thank you for letting me share about this piece of my family and heart.
We love our Tacy so, so much.