Sunday, April 27, 2014

ESPN's Fan of The Year-Canaan Sandy of UofA



Canaan Sandy of Cave City attended his first Arkansas Razorbacks football game when he was just 2 months old, and he has been a Hogs fan ever since.

He wears a Razorback shirt every day and goes to every Hogs game he can. The 31-year-old has been fascinated with the Razorbacks for a long time, and his mother, Ginger, said loving the Hogs runs in the family. She and her husband have always been Hogs fans.

“We took him to his first football game when he was 2 months old, and the reason that we took him, he was born with an intestinal blockage and a hole in his heart,” Ginger said. “He was too sick for us to just leave with somebody else.”

She said she decided if the game was too hard on him, they were going to leave.

“He did really well, but the next week he had open-heart surgery,” Ginger said. “I don’t ever remember him not being fascinated with the Hogs.”

His longtime dedication to the state’s beloved team has paid off. Just two weeks ago, he became a part of the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame.

The ESPN Fan Hall of Fame is an institution devoted to discovering, elevating and celebrating greatness in sports fandom, according to ESPN’s website.

Ginger said she saw an advertisement for the hall of fame and thought Canaan would be the perfect addition.

“We’d already entered him in the University of Arkansas homecoming superhero fan contest, and he won that,” she said. “That was in October, and then this came along. They were advertising that they were looking for the nation’s top-three sports fans.”

Ginger said she had to get pictures together and write an essay to submit to the contest.

“He eats, sleeps and breathes Hogs,” she said. “He would buy dirt if it said Razorbacks on it. He doesn’t think anything about us having to drive four hours each way to go to a game, and he has the ultimate [Razorbacks] collection.”

Every wall in Canaan’s room is covered in Razorback stickers, posters, pictures and fan memorabilia— his sheets even have the Hogs printed on them.

“Canaan sits and watches Sportscenter, just hoping they’ll mention the Hogs,” Ginger said. “If anyone ever trashes the Hogs, they’re on his bad list.”

Within two days of submitting the Hall of fame application, Ginger said, she found out her son was in the top 25 candidates for the Hall of Fame.

“When they notified us of that, [ESPN] told us we needed videos and photography, but they wanted professional stuff, stuff that would be worthy to make their commercials,” she said.
She found herself empty-handed when it came to professional photographs of her son. So she turned to the place where she and her son frequently visit: the University of Arkansas.

“We called the University of Arkansas, and they got right back to us. They said, ‘Can you come right now?’” Ginger said. “There was a basketball game that night, so we grabbed clothes to spend the night [in Fayetteville], and away we went.”

A four-hour drive from Cave City got them to The Hill, and officials with the university met Ginger and Canaan at the door to Bud Walton Arena.  “They had a cameraman who went with us the whole time, and we got to meet players, mascots and cheerleaders,” Ginger said. “They just took us under their wing. We just had a ball that night.”
The next day, Canaan and Ginger toured the football facilities.
“Canaan got to go into the dining room, the workout room and the locker room,” she said. “He met about a fourth of the team.”
Along with the football team, Canaan got to meet Bret Bielema, head coach for the Razorbacks football team.“Everybody was so good to us,” Ginger said.

Once the photos and videos were submitted to ESPN, the network’s sportscasters picked the top 10 candidates out of the 25 finalists.
After Canaan made it to the top 10, it was up to his fans to get him into the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame.  Ginger said that along with Facebook event pages geared toward voting, the students at Cave City High School started each day by voting for Canaan.
“We would have never won this if it weren’t for the whole state pitching in,” she said. “I even heard from a couple of different countries.”

Canaan said he is ecstatic about getting into the hall of fame.
“I’m so excited,” he said.  He already has the 2014 football schedule memorized, and he has high hopes for next year’s season.
“Our team will get 14-0 next year,” Canaan said.

His mother said that when Canaan found out about his new “star status,” he couldn’t go to sleep that night.  “Someone asked me that night if he had come down off of his high, and I said, well he went off to bed chanting, ‘I’m famous, I’m famous!’” she said.

He’s made public appearances to thank everyone who voted him into the ESPN Fan Hall of Fame.  “We got to do a meet and greet at [Arkansas] Children’s Hospital,” Ginger said. “Canaan [has] spent most of his life in and out of Children’s Hospital.”

In spring 2014, Canaan will be formally inducted into the 2013 Fan Hall of Fame. His name will be engraved on a stadium chair on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus.



While attending our yearly Razorback basketball game we had the pleasure of sitting and visiting with Canaan and his mom Ginger.  Canaan and Emma immediately took to each other.  Thanks ESPN for bringing attention to one amazing man.  I can not think of more deserving fan. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014


Feeling like you are covered in snot all day really gets you motivated to find a solution.  It has been a long road but (knock on wood) hopefully we have found what works for us.

As you all know we try to stay as natural as possible.  We are not big fans of treating symptoms long term, we are much more interested in correcting the problem.  Rashes, runny noses, diarrhea, vomiting and allergies are ways for the body to detox.  We do not want to suppress the bodies process of eliminating toxins.  Taking care of congestion is a day to day job, as is supporting the entire body.

Now why is the elimination of congestion so important.  For me it always comes back to something very close to my heart-SPEECH.  If your child is congested, they will have fluid on the ears.  If they have fluid on the ears, they will not hear.  If they do not hear, they will not speak or will not speak with good articulation.  Oral Motor Therapy is very important but if your child does not hear every syllable they will not repeat every syllable.  Fluid on the ears causes a multitude of problems and has absolutely no benefit.  Also, remember when your child can not breath through their nose they will open their mouth and become a mouth breather.  Typical Down syndrome mouth posture is usually due to congestion.  Low tone and congestion would make anyone a mouth breather.

Here is what has worked for us.

1.  Evaluate diet.  Start with getting rid of dairy.  Getting rid of mucus is hard enough, you do not need the help of dairy.  You can search the internet high and low.  Some of the "experts" will say there is no connection but all the experts that I know agree-GET RID OF IT!  If you are not sold, eliminate it just to test the theory and see if you agree.  We drink raw goat milk but there are many options.  Goat milk tastes exactly like regular milk.  When tested Emma did not test positive for Celiac, but her belly is very sensitive to it.  In order for the body to have its immune system on its toes, you must have a healthy belly.  Gluten is vary hard for our little ones to digest, I always recommend gluten and casein free.  Your child's belly will thank you for it and their brain will thank you for eliminating the "brain fog".  Eliminating sugar and starchy foods will also be beneficial.

2.  Suction and saline every day.  Help the nose eliminate the allergen.  You do not have to purchase, you can make your own by simply mixing 1/4 tsp of salt into 1/2 cup lukewarm water.  Use bulb to spray into nose.  This mixture does need to be made fresh daily. 

3.  Local honey every day.  Taking a high-quality raw local honey before and during allergy season can actually lessen your allergies. Bees carry the pollen that aggravates seasonal allergies, and some of that pollen becomes part of the honey. Consuming honey daily can help your body grow accustomed to the pollen and immunize your body against it.  I put it in Emma's AIR tea every day...which brings me to my next item.

4.  AIR Tea.  I learned about this from Andi Durkin.  We started using it with Emma when she was 6 months old.  It worked wonders.  For some reason when Emma got a little bigger I stopped it.  I ran out and just did not reorder.  Within a month the snot returned.  It takes a couple of weeks to see the benefits but ahhhh the benefits.  I only give to Emma in the morning because it seems to make her a little spunky.  We start every day with AIR Tea, honey and lemon essential oil.  You can order from Si Jin Bao Herbs at  Click on the order now tab in the upper left hand screen then scroll down and choose AIR Tea, they will then prompt you set up an account.


I add a couple of drops of lemon to Emma's tea every morning.  It is a refreshing pick me up and the aroma that she inhales as she drinks is wonderful for opening sinus.
I combine these three and rub on the pads of the feet and toes, in front of her ears and high across forehead to keep passages clear.  First I put 1 drop of Idaho Blue Spruce into the palm of my hand, I then rub my fingers from my other hand in the oil and apply a small amount to the lip under Emma's nose.  I then add the Peppermint and Wintergreen and apply to feet and sinus area.  Peppermint is strong so avoid eye area and under nose.
This too is an option for allergies.  Apply to the bottoms of the feet for little ones, or adults can ingest 5 drops of each in a capsule to replace allergy medicine (please only ingest pure, unadulterated essential oils)
EO Suppository
I did not put this with the original post but I am now adding it.  If congestion does come on here is a great remedy.  In less than 2 days Emma's congestion was gone.  A bout of congestion came on when everything started blooming this year.  Because of this I knew she needed a little extra help.  I made an Essential Oil suppository using coconut oil and Lavender.  I took a piece of aluminum foil and wrapped it around the eraser end of a pencil and slid it off of pencil to create the mold.  I melted 1 Tsp. coconut oil and added 8 drops of Lavender.  With a very small funnel I poured the mixture into the mold.  I then placed the mold in the freezer and it was ready in 10-15 minutes.  With Emma I broke off about a 1/2 inch piece and used it once in the AM and once in the PM.  I gave her another one around lunch the first day.  Make sure that you remove all foil before use.  The coconut oil will melt very fast so do not hold in hand until ready to insert.  I would have added the oil RC but I did not have any at this time.  Will add to any following suppositories that are needed for even more benefit.
Make sure that you only use pure oil.  There are only a few that are truly pure.  It is nearly impossible to walk into a store and purchase a true pure oil.  Emma is an oily baby, we have used oils with her for a while.  They are very powerful so be careful.  I can put oils directly on Emma but we started out by mixing with carrier oil such as coconut oil.
We only use Young Living.  You can order all the oils by going to the following link:
6.  Cool Mist Humidifier every night.  Humidifiers recommend using only distilled water, which I fully agree.  We use the Crane for cost and effectiveness.  There are many other great choices and you can spend a lot of money on some really nice ones or little less on a basic one.  Do your research and choose what works best for you and your budget. 
7.  Lugol's Solution of Iodine 5%.  I add this to the humidifier water to help purify the air in Emma's room.
8.  Eucalyptus in our Young Living Home Diffuser.  We use a diffuser that we got from Young Living.  It is a small amount of water and about ten drops of Eucalyptus or Balsam Fir.
9.     Push the liquids.  Emma drinks a vegetable broth that we make with added pineapple juice and 5 ml of apple cider vinegar organic.  Both help eliminate congestion and promotes good digestion.
10.   Be aware of allergens.  Know your childs triggers.  Some stuff is controllable but some is just simply environmental and is temporary and we just have to push through.  This is when honey helps.  Avoid people that smoke.  The theory of "I do not smoke in the house or around my child" is not an argument.  If you smoke or if anyone who is in close quarters with your children smoke it is causing problems for your child.  It is in their clothes and hair and this will effect your child's sinuses.  You also need to eliminate what you can, like indoor pets, too when possible. Wash hands and change clothes to remove irritants after playing outside or going to store.  
11.   Support the immune system with vitamins.  Emma's supplements are based on her lab results.  We have Emma on a TNI (Targeted Nutritional Intervention) program so we know her specific needs.  Figure out what vitamins your child needs but do not skip the following:  Multivitamin, DHA Omega 3 and Probiotic.
12.   Alternative therapy with chiropractic and cranial sacral therapy.
13.   Simplify your cleaning supplies, Thieves is a wonderful alternative.  If the body isn't busy fighting off toxins/chemicals it will be more prepared to fight off germs, especially kids with the MTHFR defect.
Now I realize this seems overwhelming and it looks like a lot of work but I assure you it is not.  Snot is so harmful to our kids.  If you can control the congestion you will save yourself a ton of work in other areas.

Once again all oils can be ordered at Mothering with Essential Oils


Saturday, April 5, 2014

First-Of-Its-Kind Hotel Will Train, Employ People With Disabilities

Jeff Huffman could no longer sit by and watch his son with Down syndrome get repeatedly denied employment opportunities. So, he decided to develop a job that had never before existed.

Huffman volunteers with the Arc of Indiana, an organization that empowers people with developmental disabilities. When the concerned dad proposed that the organization start a program that trains its clients to work in the hospitality industry, it enthusiastically accepted the challenge, according to the nonprofit’s blog.

The organization decided to build a Courtyard by Marriott unlike any other hotel in the hospitality industry, the Star Press reported. The Muncie, Ind., hotel -- which is slated to open in the summer of 2015 -- will train people with disabilities, and will then give them a chance to apply those skills by working at the hotel.

The venue expects that at least 20 percent of the jobs will be filled by people with a range of disabilities, according to the Disability Scoop. The unemployment rate in the U.S. for people with disabilities in February was 16.8 percent -- more than double the rate for people without disabilities, according to the Department of Labor.

Considering that the hospitality industry added 80,000 jobs last year, and demands a wide range of skills, the Arc of Indiana thought this would be the ideal area to try and create work opportunities for its clients. "As far as the typical guest experience, this Courtyard will be no different," Sally Morris of the Arc of Indiana told the Disability Scoop. "That said, this hotel will not just meet ADA standards, it will exceed them. Every decision we are making is meant to enhance the guest experience for all of our guests."

Please support this hotel when visiting the area.
4011 W Bethal
Muncie IN 47304

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Doctors For "Our" Kiddos

One of the best things that you can do for your child is find someone that knows what you are dealing with.  Chances are that person is not at your local pediatricians office.  We have an amazing pediatrician and we are very blessed with her support, but even she admits that she is not a specialist on Down syndrome-and I do not expect her too be.  As my children's mother it is my job to be their expert.  When I need guidance I research what I can and present my findings to the professionals.

You will hear a lot of people say...."don't worry just treat them like the rest of your children".  This statement is partially true in my opinion.  We most certainly treat Emma like the rest of our kids. She enjoys all the same things our other kids do.  She plays dress up, she sings and dances, she climbs and slides, she has fits and gets in trouble like the rest of our kids do.  She goes to Mother's Day Out just like the other kids did, and she does all the other countless things our other kids do or did.  She also has 8 therapy sessions a week, hypothyroidism, cardiologist visits once a year, orthodontist appointments at the age of 2, labs drawn every 3 months, has a restricted diet and is on a  neurodevelopmental program unlike the rest of our kids. With that said...Emma's life will always be a little different than theirs.  Because of the 21st chromosome it is very important that Emma gets bio medical support.  We believe that we have to have someone that understands exactly what Down syndrome is and how we can help Emma's body function at it best.

There are not a lot of physicians that truly understand this about our kids, so I have decided to compile a list of ones that I feel are good choices.  Because we use Erica Peirson I will start with her.  Our appointments with Dr. Peirson are done via Skype.

Erica Peirson, ND
2161 NE Broadway St.
Portland, OR 97232

Norm Schwartz, MD
Ph: 414 351 5772
Fax: 414 351 5760
4200 W. Good Hope Road
Milwaukee, WI 53209 USA

David Berger, MD, FAAP
3405 W. Fletcher Ave
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-3415

The Franz Center
3160 Southgate Commerce Bld. #64
Orlando FL 32806
Phone 407-857-8860
Fax 407-857-7099

(for thyroid)
Raphel Kellman, MD
150 East 55th Street, 6th floor
New York, NY 10022

(212) 717-1118

Recognize the value of biomedical treatment of children and adults with Down syndrome Please sign.