Jones Co. woman aims to raise $250,000 toward special needs playground
GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – For Tammy Clark and her 13 year-old son Jayden, a trip to the playground is no walk in the park.
“Jayden has cerebral palsy and Lennox Gastaut syndrome. Lennox Gastaut syndrome is a childhood epilepsy. He has three to four seizures a day,” Clark told 41NBC.
Bound to his wheelchair, Jayden is unable to carry out many of the day to day activities of a 13 year-old on his own.
“Just the simplest things like taking a breath, eating, drinking, walking, talking–stuff like that he’s not able to do,” she said.
Even though the process isn’t as easy for Jayden, like any other kid, his mom says he enjoys playing outside.
“He likes to get up and be able to slide on a slide. But the slides that are on a traditional playground–he can’t do that,” she said.
Clark says when she saw there weren’t any playgrounds with equipment inclusive of special needs kids, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I decided at that point when he started crying that it was something that I needed to do,” she said.
She started an initiative called Jayden’s Dream with the goal of raising $250,000 toward an inclusive playground for kids in Jones County.
“His dream is to be able to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, be able to enjoy and communicate with the peers around him, and be able to have that interaction with others rather than staying at home, going to his doctors appointments, his therapy appointments,” she said.
After bringing the issue to the attention of Jones County Commissioners, Jayden’s Dream could soon be a reality.
“I’ve actually spoken to Commissioner Jonathan Pitts about this and he’s on board and right now we’re raising funds to do so,” Clark said. “In our community for them to be able to enjoy even if its just for them to forget about their challenges for maybe ten or fifteen minute,” she continued.
Clark says those few minutes of play will go a long way in the life of a child with so many disadvantages.
This Saturday at Christ Chapel in Warner Robins Jayden’s Dream is partnering with the special needs community there to hold its first fundraiser toward that $250,000 for inclusive park upgrades.
The event starts at 4:00 PM and ends at 8:00 PM. The entire community is invited to come out.
If you’re interested in attending here’s the link to the Facebook event page.
For inquiries on donating to Jayden’s Dream you can contact Clark by email at email@example.com.