Posts in 2004
David Robert Hagadorn

Four-year-old David Robert Hagadorn of Nokesville, Virginia, will be learning with some help from Einstein  -- Baby Einstein that is. 

David, who has numerous disabilities and developmental delays will receive a library of Baby Einstein videos and books form The Eric Fund to help him  follow 1 & 2 tier commands (i.e. – “show me the book”). 

David’s father is a U.S. Army captain and his mom is a homemaker. The family has another child and is on a fixed income and cannot afford these tools for David. The Eric Fund is happy to welcome David to its family of winners.

2004Nate Nashawardee
Shelby Tribull
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Elizabeth Tribull recalls the day her daughter’s life changed like it was yesterday. 

She remembers listening to the radio one morning and hearing callers talk about the then recent Columbine school shootings, with experts trying to allay parents’ fears about sending their children to school.

Elizabeth remembers hearing that a child was more likely to be hit by a car than be hurt in a school shooting. That very afternoon, that statistic hit home for Elizabeth when her daughter, Shelby, was hit by a car on her way home.      

Shelby spent three years in a rehabilitation hospital recovering. Now 13, Shelby is a wheelchair user and communicates using a voice output device. Shelby is a typical teenager – wanting to get out more, go to the mall, go to the movies and spend time outside of her home in Annapolis, Maryland.      

The Eric Fund is purchasing a collapsible transport wheelchair to help Shelby get out and about with ease. Her current wheelchair doesn't fit in the family car and is difficult to lift.      

“With all of Shelby’s expenses, our insurance money is usually gone by March,” said Elizabeth. “This (Eric Fund grant) is a big relief and we are looking forward to going more places and getting Shelby out more.” 

2004Nate Nashawardee
James Billian
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Thanks  to the supporters of The Eric Fund, James Billian, 14, of Rockville, Maryland, is getting some new computer equipment that will help him write and organize his thoughts.

James has Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD and learning disabilities, but is a computer wiz.  The Eric Fund is purchasing James a Co:Writer® SmartApplet keyboard, a portable computer device that allows James to write.  He will also receive Draft:Builder, a computer program that will help him better organize his thoughts and enhance his writing skills. 

James’s mother, Margie, said that he is now learning to write paragraphs and this new equipment will really help him maximize his potential. Already gifted on the computer, James enjoys creating computer movies with Flash animation.  He attended a camp last summer for computer animation and was so skilled, he was working at the college level.  

He is so computer literate that his mother would like him to start teaching her friends how to use a computer. In addition to enjoying the computer, James is an avid Star Wars and Lord of the Rings fan. Congratulations to James on his Eric Fund grant. 

2004Nate Nashawardee
John Robert May

John Robert May, 42, of Silver Spring, Maryland, will soon be writing away on a new computer with voice recognition software, both provided by The Eric Fund.

John, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and uses a wheelchair, is looking forward to using the computer to start a business and write a book.  Before he was diagnosed with MS, John had a 20-year career as a hairstylist, specializing in coloring. John’s disability has made it difficult for him to work.  

The new computer and software will help John achieve one of his life-long goals of writing a book.  John said he has had many interesting life experiences that he would like to document. The voice recognition software will be particularly helpful because he is unable to type.  John hopes the book becomes a success so he one day open his own hair salon. 

2004Nate Nashawardee
Payman Jazini
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Payman Jazini, 24, of Rockville, Maryland, will be improving his communication skills in 2005 with a library of assistive technology CDs that will help him not only communicate more effectively with his E-Talk augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, but will also help Payman to develop English as a second language to his native Persian. 
When Payman was in the 8th grade, a car accident during a visit to Iran left him with physical disabilities and a traumatic brain injury, mostly to the speech area of his brain. After 20 surgeries, Payman no longer uses a wheelchair, but it able to walk with a cane. In addition to relearning words and how to communicate, Payman is also relearning words in English. 

The new CDs provided by The Eric Fund will help Payman better master the English language so he can begin pre-vocational training that will hopefully result in job placement and allow him to study independently at home with only moderate assistance from his family. 
Payman and his family were thrilled at the news about his grant from The Eric Fund. “(This grant is) going to make a big difference,” says Mina Mahmoudieh, Payman’s mother. “He’ll be able to better communicate with others, and that will help him to get a job and be independent.” 

When Payman is not working on his language skills and speech, he enjoys playing computer games, playing basketball, swimming, or solving math problems.

2004Nate Nashawardee
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.

2004Nate Nashawardee