2018 End Of Year Summary

2018 has just been flying by and here we are already needing to let you know all that Ryan’s Reach has been up to this year. I know everyone is busy so I’ll cut to the chase and you may want to skip reading the whole update. We would love you to remember us and trust us when you are deciding on your end of year donations.

Many of you know what we do in detail. If you don’t know, please read on. No Traumatic Brain Injury happens at a “good time”. They all come as a shock and turn lives and entire families upside down and inside out. We know unfortunately from our own experience. Pleases help Ryan “reach” others by making a donation. What we are doing is important and as we expand our reach Ryan’s life is making more and more of a difference.

If you want to know what we are doing with donations we receive, well I’m more than happy to share the following with you.

 

The beginning of the year was the beginning of our second year of operating Ryan’s Reach R & R with full time residents and occasionally a respite care guest. Many have wondered about the term “respite care”. In case you are one of the ones wondering, part of our mission is to give families some extra assistance by giving them a chance to “come up for air”. When you are taking care of a loved one with a traumatic brain injury you may become very fatigued and need a little time out. Until you get that break one might not even realize how badly they need it. That’s why I believe it feels a lot like coming up for air and remembering what it is like to take a breather, catch your breath when you are so used to holding it.

 Robbie

Robbie

We’re happy to have enabled some family members to leave their loved one for a short time (one or two weeks) at Ryan’s Reach R & R(Residence and Respite) to get some of the other kind of R & R (Rest and Relaxation). Respite care can also provide time needed for self-care when sick or to attend to other family members who often take a back seat to a TBI family member. We have had the pleasure of caring for Jamie and Robbie this year and hope to have more take advantage of our extra bed at the R & R home in Tustin for short stays.

It’s been a pleasure to provide care and residence for Daniel, Nathan, Rebecca and Wayne – our full-time residents. Their ages range from 22 – 49 and I mention that because if we hadn’t opened our group home they all would be residing in various nursing homes for the elderly. This is by far a better solution for how to care for this younger group of TBI survivors. We have benefited so much by hiring Elaine Sanchez to be our group home coordinator at R & R leaving Mike Michaelis, who filled that role for the first year in operation, more free to be president of Ryan’s Reach and figure out how we can assist more TBI survivors.

 Top Row: Elaine, Wayne, Nathan Bottom Row: Daniel and Rebecca

Top Row: Elaine, Wayne, Nathan
Bottom Row: Daniel and Rebecca

 Top Row: Elaine (group home administrator), Wayne (resident), Robbie (Respite guest), Janette (caregiver)  Second Row: Rebecca (resident), Daniel (resident)

Top Row: Elaine (group home administrator), Wayne (resident), Robbie (Respite guest), Janette (caregiver)

Second Row: Rebecca (resident), Daniel (resident)

 Daniel, Jamie (respite guest) and Nathan

Daniel, Jamie (respite guest) and Nathan

So what is coming up? I already mentioned that the Ryan’s Reach group home is going so well. We are now in the position of being able to start another one. The model is proven and now we need to duplicate what we’ve already done.

We located a wonderful home for sale about 10 minutes from the first Ryan’s Reach R & R. Mike has done the lion’s share of the work although I enjoy tagging along as often as I can. We looked and looked for just the right property and then we both agreed we found it. This is another 1 story home that is on a quiet street on the border of Santa Ana and Tustin. The family that owned it for 30 years was so happy to hear what our plans are for it. They had such pride in this home and kept it in such great condition with a lot of upgrades – lucky for us!!

new home.jpeg
new home kitchen.jpeg
new home dining.jpeg

It has 4 bedrooms but also a sun-room which we will convert to a 5th bedroom ready for our respite care guests. It’s very spacious and doors and hallways are already wide enough in most places that we didn’t have to do a lot to modify it. Of course we needed to modify a bathroom for wheelchair accessibility and we are in the process of widening the paved walkways outside to ensure we get licensed. Once we have finished with modifications we will be waiting on the state to license the home, start to identify residents and hire the caregivers. Our plan is open this new home in the spring if all goes as planned. 

golf.jpeg
golf2.jpeg
golf 3.jpeg

Ryan’s Reach Charity Golf Tournament

In June we had the Annual Ryan’s Reach Charity Golf Tournament presented by Aitken, Aitken and Cohn Law Firm and sponsored by TV Ears. This year it was held at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club and we lucked out with amazing weather and a nearly full field of golfers. Ryan’s grandfather, Pat Boone, always attends and plays in the tournaments and shares our families’ deep thanks for all who participate. Ryan is there at the dinner and this year we enjoyed a hysterical comedian, Robert G. Lee who sent all home laughing and in a great mood. Happy to continue the Ryan’s Reach scholarships to High Hopes Head Injury Program we have been providing for 15 years now.

golf 4.jpeg

 

18th Annual Dove Dash 5K/10K

 Laura Lee Fekete (2nd from left)

Laura Lee Fekete (2nd from left)

Then we rolled right into planning the 18th Annual Dove Dash 5K/10K and Pancake Breakfast. Not going to lie, it’s pretty hard to put on this event in the three short months after just wrapping up the golf tournament but Laura Lee Fekete is our Eveready Energizer Bunny. She is the Dove Canyon resident who started the Dove Dash in 2001 and welcomed Ryan’s Reach to come along side the planning committee and be the recipient of all the funds raised. We have worked on this event together since 2006. She now works for Ryan’s Reach all year long but she is the inspiration and super sauce for the Dove Dash for sure. Thank you to Laura Lee for the hours and hours of work that go over and above what we ask her for, by a long shot!!

This year was much like last year’s Dove Dash with approximately 700 registered participants, 2 classes of OC sheriff’s recruits volunteering to run the 5K and bring awareness to Ryan’s Reach by being there plus they bring their own donation. Thank you once again to Vons Pavilion /Albertsons for donated the pancake breakfast. We sold out our tables to sponsors in our community and are so grateful that they come every year to participate.

The funds we raise with this event also go towards the scholarships so that TBI survivors can keep getting needed therapy when otherwise they have pretty much run out of money and options.

Every 6 months our Ryan’s Reach board meets to discuss these scholarships and based on the funds we have raised with these two annual events we have been able to give 8 – 10 people ongoing therapy at this very impressive non-profit head injury program. We’ve been doing this for around 15 years. Ryan attends High Hopes 3 days a week and we are so grateful for all the ways the staff works with him to keep the progress he’s made over the 17 years since his accident but also to encourage more progress. Even if there is no more progress to be made we know that if you stop getting therapy there will be regression, losing all the progress you worked so hard for. So you can’t imagine how meaningful it is to our scholarship recipients to have Ryan’s Reach help them attend High Hopes.

****Please note though that NONE OF THE FUNDS we raise for Ryan’s Reach goes to Ryan Corbin. He is among the few fortunate survivors who received a settlement that could really meet his needs. He has caregivers 24/7 as well as therapy every day. This frees up Mike and me to keep moving Ryan’s Reach forward.

So back to the beginning of this newsletter. This is an unembarrassed ask for an end of year donation. If you like what we’re doing and find it meaningful, I hope you will know that we will use your donation wisely and you will make it possible for us to reach a larger community of TBI survivors.

Daniel thanks you!

Nathan thanks you!

Rebecca thanks you!

Wayne thanks you!

All of their family members thank you!

All of our scholarship recipients thank you!

All of our caregivers thank you!

The members of our Ryan’s Reach board thank you!

And Ryan and our family especially thank you for all you have done to start and maintain Ryan’s Reach! We hope you have a rich and blessed holiday season.

Lindy Michaelis
on behalf of Ryan and the whole Corbin/Boone/Michaelis family