Join Easter Seals Greater Houston and Chairmen Katherine and Bob Dowdell on Saturday, April 9th for the 5th Annual Family Fun Walk, Walk With Me, at the Houston Zoo. The Dowdell’s, alongside their team, Robert’s Road Warriors, are walking to support their 19 year old son Robert who struggles with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
“Robert was first diagnosed with cataracts and then cerebral palsy at the age of 14 months. Fortunately, he was able to participate in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) – physical, occupational and speech therapy. ECI offers a jump start for children with delayed developmental issues like Robert. While many of those years were mixed with hardships and challenges, Easter Seals was a constant support throughout. Easter Seals was with our family every step of the way to make Robert’s “disability” seem more like a “different ABILITY”.
Robert attended his first Easter Seals Camp when he was seven years old. He attended Camp Buckaroo, a summer day camp for kids with special needs, and Camp Smiles, a week long spend-the-night camp in Burton, Texas. Robert had never spent the night away from home, but I packed up his walker, wheelchair and orthotics for his adventure. At camp, Robert was encouraged to try new things he never dreamed he could do, as he needed assistance with many everyday tasks. He did all the normal camp things; horseback riding, zip line, fishing, shot archery, sang karaoke, and danced and – for the first time in his life, he like a “normal” kid. He was loved for who he was, just as he was. At the end of each camp session, Robert would cry when he saw we were there to pick him up…he didn’t want to leave!
At age 15, Robert attended Camp Most. Camp Most is focused less on activities and more on building socialization skills in teens. Robert learned important things like how to start a conversation, how to tell people about his disability, and how to determine his strengths to build a resume. Robert has learned how to set goals. His goals for 2016 include: to do his BEST in everything that he CAN do, to be a better brother to his sister, Katie and to be independent. Easter Seals Camps have proven to be some of the most transformative events in Robert’s life to date.
Community support of Walk With Me is a blessing to many families in the greater Houston area – one that the Dowdell Family can personally attest to. Easter Seals provides life-changing services to people of all ages with all types of disabilities. Thanks to Easter Seals, Robert is strong, happy, perseverant and optimistic about his bright future, and we are confident that Easter Seals will continue to help him become more self-reliant and prepare him for his future. Please consider supporting Walk With Me to guarantee services for Robert and other Houstonians with disabilities to help them discover their potential and hope for limitless possibilities!”
-Katherine Taylor Dowdell
Walk With Me Chair, Proud mother of Katie (22) and Robert (19) and grateful beneficiary of Easter Seals Greater Houston programs
More About Walk With Me:
Walk With Me is a 5K or shorter Family Fun Walk that helps raise awareness and resources for programs of Easter Seals, which help children and adults living with all types of disabilities. For more information contact Madison Shofner at 713-838-9050×304 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our event website, click here!
More About the Dowdell Family:
Robert lives in Briargrove Park with his family. His father, Bob, is an executive with Prosperity Bank and his mother, Katherine, is a retired banker and fundraiser. Katherine serves on the Board of Directors for Easter Seals and Bob was instrumental in gaining the support of Prosperity Bank, the Title Sponsor for this year’s Walk With Me event. Robert’s big sister, Katie, is a senior at Louisiana State University. Robert is a senior at Westside High School. He is active in Best Buddies Texas, Capernaum-a Young Life group for special needs kids, and Easter Seals Camp Most.