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A Story for Mother’s Day

Photo of Luciana and Ariana embracing each other
Submitted by ahaight on Sun, 05/12/2019 - 15:29

Luciana McGuire with her daughter, Ariana, who sustained a TBI when she was seven years old.Happy Mother's Day! At Kessler Foundation, we recognize how important moms can be for people with disabilities—and how important our donors are for advancing life-changing rehabilitation research. Today, I share a story to demonstrate how a mother’s love, optimism, and support make all the difference, and how you make a difference with your support.

About ten years ago, Luciana McGuire received the call every mother dreads: "There's been an accident. Come quickly." Her 7-year-old daughter, Ariana, was playing at a friend's house. A little boy had found a bow and arrow and was playing with it. Not realizing anyone was nearby, he accidently shot Ariana in the forehead. The arrow pierced her skull, causing a debilitating traumatic brain injury.

After doctors saved Ariana’s life, she still could not speak or control the right side of her body. When they doubted Ariana would ever have a conversation again, Luciana remained fiercely optimistic. To help her daughter achieve the best recovery possible, Luciana learned all she could about traumatic brain injury, known as TBI. Encouraged by her mother’s love, optimism, and support, Ariana, after years of hard work and rehabilitation, proved doctors wrong. She regained her mobility and her speech, and she joined several Kessler Foundation studies, made possible by donors like you.

The studies Ariana joined were aimed at helping children with TBI improve learning and memory, interact with others, and use mindfulness to manage emotions and behavior. Like her mother’s encouragement, these studies made all the difference. Thanks to your support, Ariana gained skills that have helped her achieve more than ever imagined. Today, she continues her recovery, gaining independence every day. Ariana will soon walk in her high school graduation ceremony and dreams of working in a school.
 

Because of your support, Ariana’s story—and the lives of many others with disabilities—can continue to unfold. Contact me to learn more. I’d love to talk to you.

In gratitude for all you make possible,

Michele Pignatello
Vice President and Chief Development Officer
mpignatello@kesslerfoundation.org
Phone 973.324.8363