When Sarah was born, the nurses nicknamed her "Firecracker" for her vibrant personality and loud protests when they would disturb her for tests. After eight months, it was clear that Sarah still had that firecracker spirit even though she was not developing normally.
Two weeks later, Sarah was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which affects her ability to sit, stand and walk. When she was two years old, Sarah's mother, Stefani, accepted an invitation to join a playgroup at her neighborhood park. As other parents chased their children around the playground, Stefani sat quietly reading to Sarah in her wheelchair on the sidelines. While others complained about how active their kids were, Stefani imagined never having to scold Sarah from running away from her.
One day, Sarah turned to her mother asking her everything with just one look, "Mommy I can play, right?" The question was heartbreaking.
Stefani started dreaming of an inclusive playground where all children regardless of ability can experience the freedom and joy of playing together. After turning to Boundless Playgrounds for guidance, CVS Caremark offered her additional support to ensure that Freedom Playground was more than just a dream.
Stefani said, "With CVS Caremark's generous donation, I had the opportunity to build a special place where my daughter doesn't have to wonder if she can play. Freedom Playground is a place where Sarah and children of all abilities are free to be."
"My daughter has taught me something very important about living: finding and using our abilities is a lot more productive than focusing on our disabilities. What you have is much more important than what you are missing. I am learning to lose my old expectations and dream new dreams," she added.