Kara Peters Fundraiser – Co-hosted by the Elburn Leo Club & Elburn Lions Club
Doors open at 3:00pm
Attractions – Fun for the whole family!
(See above link to bags tournament form for details on the discount)
Kara Peters is a 13 year old girl that lives in the small town of Virgil with her parents John and Karol, and older sister, Marisa. Kara was born with Down syndrome. At the age of four, Kara was also diagnosed with PDD-NOS, an autism spectrum disorder. These diagnoses alone are challenging, but having both, Kara has had to work so hard to do many things that most of us take for granted.
Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder that causes global delays. As an infant, Kara had two bowel surgeries to correct a common defect in children with Down syndrome. She began therapies at six weeks of age to help her eat and build strength. Over the years with speech, occupational, physical and developmental therapy, Kara has made great progress. A child with autism may experience cognitive delays, speech delays, and social dysfunction. For Kara, all of these affect her daily life. Cognitively, Kara functions as a five year old would. For children with Down syndrome, speech can be a difficult or slow to emerge. Adding in autism has ultimately left Kara with very little intelligible speech. A communication device helps her answer questions, participate in games with friends, and show others her favorite pictures and songs. She loves to sing and is able to keep a tune, so we can usually tell which song she is singing.
Kara also struggles with anxiety and depression making socializing and being out the community difficult at times. Although Kara loves to go places and join in activities, there are times that she is unable to manage her anxiety and this prevents her from joining in. We have difficulty transitioning Kara from activities to activities and this includes places in the community. We try to arrange our outings with motivational items or places so that Kara will want to move forward. There are times when she will refuse and go to the ground making it very difficult to keep her safe. She may also run away from us. About three years ago, we began bringing a wheel chair with us for Kara to use when in a store or at the library. Because of Kara’s size, this allows us to transport Kara safely if needed.
Kara’s last area of difficulty is her inability to sleep well. Kara has had
difficulty sleeping since she was a baby, and unfortunately has not changed. The added stress of lack of sleep has taken its toll on Kara and the family. Over the years, she has been medicated to help her sleep with varying results. Currently, with medication, her sleep pattern has improved to waking only a few times each night – great for Kara!
All that said, Kara is a great kid! She is able to get through each day with many challenges that most of us could not begin to manage. She has things in life that she loves, family and friends that love her. She loves animals and seeks their attention with gently hands. Kara loves to draw and paint, especially flowers! She loves long bike and tractor rides and jumping on her trampoline. Kara loves babies and is so gentle with her touch. Kara loves her friend Max and asks for him every day. She surprises us with clarity of speech from time to time and ability that we didn’t know she had. We have great expectations for Kara as we do for Marisa. We want the same things for her that any parent wants for their child. We have had many people help Kara along the way, and we are grateful for the difference they have made. The Lion’s Club is giving a tremendous gift to Kara and our family. This is life changing for her! This can give her the opportunity to be confident and successful out in our world and the comfort and companionship of a friend.