Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Valerie Update 4/26/06

Valerie & her mother received their VISAS today! Our expected arrival date will be on Wednesday, May 3rd.

Thank you to everyone who has so generously given to help Valerie. We will continue to need funding throughout this project and appreciate everyone's efforts in continuing to share Valerie's story with others.

Donations for the welcome baskets and ongoing personal needs for Valerie and her mother, Alejandra, are still needed. Donations can dropped off at NTS Therapy Services - a huge thanks to Darlene O'Brien NTS West Director & her staff! NTS truly lives by their mission of "therapy from the heart" as demonstrated by their therapists willingness to donate their time to work with Valerie and her mother when they arrive.

West LocationNeurodevelopmental Therapy Services, Inc.430 S. Mason Road suite 101,Katy Texas 77450 Click to see map on

(281)392-4221 (281)392-4225
Monday - Thursday 8:00AM - 6:30PMFriday 8:00AM - 6:00PM

On South Mason behind the Blackeyed Pea restaurant and Blockbuster video.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Valerie Update 4/23

As many of you may already know, there was a delay in getting Valerie & her mother's VISAs this past week. Our new goal date for their arrival is Friday, April 28th. Lavonna and Rosy have been in ongoing communication with the family. Lavonna has been working directly with Alejandra helping with getting needed documentation for the VISAs and supplies ready for travel. Rosy has continued her important role of visiting and counseling with the family in the home.
I have begun receiving a number of responses from Carrie's Heart supporters who want to volunteer with and / or donate supplies for the family when they arrive. I have been very touched by the number of responses that have been from parents who themselves have children with disabilities - all reaching out to embrace Valerie and her mother. This strengthens my belief that together we can create change in the lives of Valerie and her family.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Need for Community Volunteers & Support

MANY HAVE ASKED HOW THEY CAN HELP WITH VALERIE ONCE SHE IS HERE... Please consider how you would like to help Valerie and then respond to this email letting us know what you would like to help with & your availability for volunteering.

Caring / loving volunteers to visit with Valerie and provide support to mom
Parents of children with disabilities & professionals who would like to mentor / counsel / teach mom - formally or informally (interpreters can help translate)
Donations coordinator: help to collect & arrange delivery of donations
Drivers for running errands / dropping off donations / taking to appointments
Families or individuals to host lunches / dinners / outings for Valerie & Mom once Valerie is doing better - to help model healthy family & community activities / environments
Have an idea? Let us know how you would like to help!

Donations for "Welcome Baskets" (organizer: Olivia Pelech)
Valerie: Children's books in Spanish ( appropriate for age 7), stuffed animals, relaxing music,personal care products: lotion, body wash, body powder, body spray, tearless shampoo, soft bath towels & wash cloths, wipes - anything you can think of!
Mom: Magazines / books in Spanish, personal care products, phone cards for calling family in Mexico, healthy snacks - any ideas that you can think of that can make her comfortable / help her care for herself & Valerie.

Donations for Basic Needs:
Nutritional Supplements (Pediasure, Ensure)
G-tube supplies
*Clothing - used, new, gift cards (Valerie & Mom)
Personal Care Products / Bathing Needs
Stroller / Car Seat
Adaptive Equipment: Wheelchair, positioning equipment etc.
*we will let you know specific sizes when they have arrived

Please forward to others who may want to help!



Monday, April 17, 2006

Valerie Update 4/17

Lavonna Redman of Angel Notion was in town last week working on Valerie's case. Lavonna found a local pediatrician who has a huge heart for children with disabilities and has agreed to see Valerie and guide us through her care. There is a team of doctors awaiting Valeries arrival, we will have every kind of specialist that will be needed to diagnose and treat Valerie in the most successful way.

We plan to have Valerie in Houston as early as this coming Friday - April 21st.

We have come to the decision that in order for us to truly help Valerie long term, we must also help her mother. Valerie's mother, Alexandra, will be coming to Houston with Valerie to take part in getting her the medical care that she needs. Most importantly, she will be here to learn to accept, love and care for her child. Our goal is to surround Alexandra with a community of support that will guide her in making positive changes in her life for herself and her daughter.

Can you imagine living in the conditions that she has to live in? There are no options, no assistance and no education. I personally can imagine being very tired, with out hope or really anything to look forward to. Angel Notion and Carrie's Heart, along with you and other volunteers, are going to give her mother the self esteem and all the tools to be able to handle this job that she has been given. Our vision is that Alexandra will have the experience to be able to teach others in her community what one needs to do in the case their child is born with a disability. I see that Alexandra may have the capacity to hold a job with Angel Notion in a new clinic in Cozumel dedicated to children with severe disabilities. Mothers like Alexandra will assist others in their community who are in similar circumstances. There is great need on the island of Cozumel - children are being born everyday with difficult circumstances on the Island!

The scope of the Valerie Project has broadened. Both Angel Notion and Carrie's Heart operate under the principles of love, acceptance and above all education. It is important that Valerie's mother learns to love and care for her child so that she can return home and share her knowledge with other mothers. The larger goal of the Valerie Project is one of education - educating parents and communities about the rights and needs of their children. Education combined with resources to help families in the care of their children is the way to truly making a difference in each child's life and in the local community.

Our needs are funding for the Ronald Mc Donald house, air and local transportation, medical costs (which we expect to be approx 10k), needs for Valerie include warm clothes, a stroller, nutritional supplement, personal care products, diapers. For Valeries mother - clothes, shoes, personal hygiene items, counseling / therapy costs (approx 1000.00). We have raised about 45f what we need in order to complete this mission. We expect this particular mission will cost approx 15,000.00 dollars not a lot consider we are changing an Island, a family and most importantly Valeries life!

We thank you in advance for your support of this mission.

Please note that you can receive a tax deduction in the US by contacting and tax deduction in Mexico by contacting

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Valerie Update 4/2

New pictures of Lavonna & Valerie and updates on Valerie's case:

Lavonna Redman (Angel Notion) went to see Valerie in her home on Friday - finalized the medical custody paperwork with both parents agreeing to sign over custody of Valerie so that she can hopefully get to the states for medical care. Lavonna said that Valerie's immediate reaction upon seeing her was to burst out crying - thinking she was a doctor. So Lavonna held her in her arms and whispered into her ear that we are all doing everything we can to help her. Lavonna said that Valerie is still very unkept & was alone when she arrived. But that she has been being fed Ensure on a more regular basis. Rosy Pirez (Angel Notion) visits the home on a daily basis and says she is working to gain the confidence of the family so that we will have their full cooperation during all the steps of getting Valerie's paperwork in order. The mother and grandmother are beginning to share more with her about the family dynamics and what has transpired that led to Valerie being in the state that she is in. It is a very sad and complicated situation. Our focus continues be on getting help for Valerie rather than using our energy on placing blame.

Many have asked why Valerie is still in the home. Please understand that we can not take her from the home until we have a long term plan for her care arranged. There is no where for her in Cozumel. We must first have a facility to take her to on a pro bono basis. Secondly, we have to have all of the paperwork in order to begin this process. We must have the family involved to take these legal steps in getting Valerie help. The process has been painstakingly slow for all of us - especially with the urgency of need. However, we must take care of this situation in way that Valerie is brought to the United States legally & that we have long term medical care for her when she arrives.

We hope to have a final decision made by Tuesday by a hospital that is reviewing Valerie's case. If all goes well Valerie's travel documents will be ready by Friday - we have experienced some delays but Lavonna & Rosy feel that things should go well this week. Lavonna is working on some possibilities for how we will transport Valerie once everything is lined up. Individuals and church & school groups throughout Houston & beyond have pulled together to help raise funds for Valerie. There has been media attention on Valerie's case both in Houston & in Cozumel. Channel 2 News in Houston ran a really good piece on the 10 p.m. news on Friday night. We hope to continue to get individual & community support for Valerie. We have begun tentative plans for a benefit event for Valerie & will keep you posted as plans come together.

I have added a webpage about Valerie on my site. There is a direct link from the homepage. The Valerie project page has links to the Angel Notion blog for up to date reports on Valerie. Many people have chosen to write a personl email to be sent to their circle of friends, family, church family & colleagues. They have found that making their own email for their particular group has been a great way to create a personal connection to others about Valerie.

Check out the new page at:

A huge thanks to all of the support that each of you has shown. I especially appreciate all of the kind words of support. I received a beautiful card from a friend that I have added to the Valerie page on the website it reads:

To the world
you may be one person,
but to one person
you many be the world.

I know that Valerie is blessed that so many have chosen to be the world to her.


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