Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meet Riley Woznicki

I am calling on all Indie Authors and the Drag Racing community for your help in this task. This story comes from our very own. When it comes to children the lines that divide us from north, south, east or west disappear. This story comes from Michael and Jennifer Woznicki who are from Illinois. Michael enjoys the Drag Racing world and Jennifer is an avid reader. I'm sure you can agree it's the best of both worlds and here is their daughter's story.

Riley is a twin and was born at 25 weeks, 1.7 lbs, and spent the first 3 months of her life in the hospital. She was behind in reaching childhood development milestones and was eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 3 yrs old. She continues to receive physical and occupational therapy to help with her disabilities. Riley does not walk and relies on her wheelchair when out of the house. We are trying to win a wheelchair accessible van to help make transportation easier. As she continues to grow, it is getting more difficult to lift her and the wheelchair into a traditional minivan. Your votes can help Riley win this much needed vehicle! To try and raise votes for Miss Riley I will give away a signed copy of Wicked Destiny. All you have to do is like, share, tag your friends, and even produce a snap shot confirming your vote. This will run until May 9th, 2014. Should we get over 200 likes with this post I will donate my whole series. (Wicked Destiny, Declan's Wicked Temptation, Wicked Bound, and Viktor's Wicked Revenge) So basically for every 50 likes I will add a book to the pot. Facebook has absolutely no affiliation with this at all.
Here is the link where you can help make a difference. No donation is required, just a simple vote.

Just read Riley's mother's message to everyone if you need just a little more convincing:
I am proud to nominate my daughter Riley who is my hero and my life! Riley is a twin and was born at 25 weeks, 1.7 lbs. Riley and her sister Reagan spent the first 3 months of their lives in the NICU struggling to survive.


I knew early on that Riley was special! While in the NICU, Riley was always just a few steps behind her sister. She took longer to get off the ventilator and was behind due to an infection that causes destruction to the intestine. Her fight was long and all we could do was be there to show how much we love her.


After their release, we were overjoyed at their homecoming but scared for the unknown that was ahead. The twins came home on oxygen, 2 monitors, and a long list of meds. Not the typical homecoming new parents imagine.


As time passed, I noticed Riley falling further behind. Riley took longer to get off the oxygen and monitors. Her meds list shortened but was still there after Reagan's had stopped. Reagan began sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking while Riley remained stagnant. We worked with Early Intervention getting her the support she needed. She worked with occupational and physical therapists and still does today.


She was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 3. Despite getting therapy, Riley still doesn't walk. As Riley grows, it has been getting more difficult to transport her. We carry her to get around our home, into the car, and lift her wheelchair in the trunk of our current vehicle (which is 10 years old, nearing 100,000 miles). We continue the struggle to accommodate her needs: equipment, AFO's and physical therapy.


Despite these obstacles, Riley remains a happy child! She is the only child in her school in a wheelchair. Her classmates know there is nothing Riley can't do, she just does it in a different way. Her friendly smile and infectious laugh help others see beyond her disability! She answers questions kids curiously have and naturally implements acceptance. Riley has advocated change for her daycare which is slowly working on handicap accessibility. She works with her inclusion aide to participate in activities. We continue moving forward making Riley a catalyst for change in our community. Her strong determination in life will one day take her a few steps ahead. A new van will make sure we get her there!