2004 Winner - Kourtenay Tharp

For 23-year-old Kourtenay Tharp of Columbia, Maryland, doing things on her own is very important to her. To help her in this regard, The Eric Fund is providing special adaptive plates and bowls to help Kourtenay feed herself more easily, whether she is at home or in the community. 

Kourtenay has a variety of disabilities, including Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, mental retardation and as well as visual, auditory, orthopedic and speech language challenges. But while Kourtenay is small for her age at less than four feet tall, she is extremely strong in mind, body and spirit. 

According to her mother Leslie Tharp, Kourtenay has a “hug that doesn’t quit” and a great smile, She enjoys music and going out. And as long as she is feeling well, eating is always a favorite activity. 
     
“Kourtenay has so many needs, the costs add up quickly,” says Leslie. “I felt elated (about the Eric Fund Grant) because I could really purchase a number of adaptive eating utensils and dishes that could make life easier for Kourtenay . . .  (and help her) live more independently.