“Simply put Maggie has lots of people who love her, but no true friends of her own.” – Maggie’s mom Robin
Let’s show Maggie she does have friends! You are cordially invited to celebrate Maggie’s 16th birthday party with her.
Saturday, February 25th 12 PM – 2 PM EST
Healing Strides Of Virginia 672 Naff Road Boones Mill, VA 24065
RSVP here and wish Maggie a Happy Birthday as she will be checking her wall
Early word of the party touched Franklin County Sergeant Joshua Mason of the K9 Patrol Division so much that he and his trusted buddy, a Shepard/Mali mix named Spike, have offered to stop by for a visit. As a combat veteran, Sergeant Mason knows the wonderful potential of therapeutic animals. “It really means a lot to me to see the joy my dog brings to people so I love to do it,” he said.
Maggie was born with two holes in her heart. Whereas one has closed, the other is filled with so much love it spills out into her daily life. However, despite her close relationship with family and caretakers, Maggie, who turns 16 in February, has never had a real birthday party with friends. Too many immunity issues keeps her indoors during the cold and flu season says her mom Robin, and away from large crowds and comradery. Simply put Maggie has lots of people who love her, but no true friends of her own.
Birth brought a lot of medical discoveries for Maggie’s parents and her older brother Matthew, seven years her senior. Born with Down syndrome, it was also revealed at birth, that in addition to her heart issues, Maggie had hearing loss in both ears, thyroiditis and chronic insomnia, and at age four, came the additional diagnosis of autism. Due to her compromised immune system she is home schooled. “Our goal is make her as independent as possible,” says her mom, but at the same time she requires 24/7 care. As she came of age, it also became apparent that Maggie is mostly nonverbal.
Nonverbal, however, does not mean non-communicative. When not speaking with her eyes and her heart, a Dynavox (an alternative communication device) serves as her voice.
When people learn about Maggie, they start apologizing that she has it so rough. Robin’s modus operandi is to turn that around and help educate people on special needs. “I even find myself educating the educators,” she added. “Very few times do people come up to Maggie and engage her. Often people will just stand and stare at her. They know something is different, but they are not exactly sure what’s going on and they refrain from engaging with her.” As a result, Maggie spends much of her life as an observer, watching other people live theirs.
We are looking to raise 275 towards basic party supplies and to contribute to the non-profit 501 (c) 3 Healing Strides of Virginia which is both hosting her birthday party, and has given Maggie so much therapy and fun over the years. Every dollar helps and any money over our goal can also go to help others in need of support. Please contribute here.
At almost 16, Maggie has a childlike disposition, maintaining a strong interest in Barney and Blue’s Clues, Elmo and My Little Pony. Her Chihuahua, Cookie, serves as her constant companion and when not out on her VW dune buggy, a creation of her dad’s interest and imagination, she spends time at Healing Strides of Virginia, a therapeutic horse-riding facility where Robin works as a behavior therapist. Professional photographer Teresa Bernard, of Studio Bellevisage will be there to capture the festivities.
Robin’s hope for Maggie’s crowdFunnit birthday party is to open the hearts of community members and bring together like-minded individuals to share in a day of activities and comradery. Everyone is welcome to share in the festivities wishing Maggie a 16th birthday to remember. Please RSVP here
For those that are not able to attend, Maggie loves receiving and opening mail. If you would like to send a card or a gift, Maggie’s favorite colors are pink, light pink, and purple. You can find her Amazon “wish list here” If you want to send Maggie a card or a gift for her sweet 16 birthday party, mail to:
Maggie Mays Birthday
C/O Virginia Office Supply
160 Franklin St # C, Rocky Mount, VA 24151