TRAK is a specialized ranch that helps connect people with animals and their community. They are located in Tucson Arizona and have been operating for 15 years. Jill and Scott, the founders of TRAK shared their inspiration for starting TRAK. Gerald also was able to talk to a few employees as well as a few parents of kids who have benefited from TRAK’s unique program.
Rocky admits that at first he had worries and concerns about raising a child with special needs, but these concerns quickly dissolved. He tells us “The joy that comes when you sacrifice for other people and other things…It helps you to focus on the things that really matter in this life and to take joy in the simple things that we often take for granted.”
Stacy said that her daughters have been a blessing from the beginning but that she had to adjust her thinking to a different path than what she had expected. Now they are just “Sydney and Logan. Stacy tells us, “They are actually easier to raise than my other two daughters who are non-delayed.” Despite the challenges they know it is worth it. “Everyone has problems, you just have to adjust…They are worth it. I wouldn’t give up anything. I love coming home…,” said Terry. He loves that his twin daughters still live at home and he gets about 20 hugs a day from them.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers and her husband Brian Rodgers found out their son Cole had Down syndrome at his birth. “It was tough. The doctors laid out a lot of things and it was very difficult. The fear of the unknown is what is overwhelming in that moment. Go talk to other people, don’t make an isolated decision. Educate yourself, I remember when we go the news about Cole, that so much of it was focused on the negative. It was focused on what health issues he may have or other challenges. Rather than really being told what the potential was.”
Jessica is a single mom and the parent of two boys, Britton and Chewy. Britton was born at 28 weeks gestation weighing only two pounds and 14 ounces. He is 13 years old now and has had many health challenges, including a stroke and brain bleed which has resulted in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
They told us they thought he had a form of dwarfism based on his femur length. His femurs are shortened and curved, which is a marker for other conditions. At 32 weeks we got the results back that it was Osteogenesis Imperfecta- also known as brittle bones.
“I held her and I cried and the nurse held me and from that moment on I said “I don’t care about anything else other than protecting her and doing whatever it takes to keep her happy and safe and loved.”
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Both of their daughters were diagnosed in utero with a fatal form of Dwarfism. They chose to continue with the pregnancy, and doctors couldn’t give them statistics, because everyone else they knew that received the same diagnosis chose to abort.