By Lauren Keith
SIKESON, MO (KFVS) - Donations from the Heartland could be even more important and necessary this year, says the director of the Kenny Roger's Children's Center, Michelle Fayette.
Fayette says more families are turning to the Sikeston center's free therapy services in these tight times. She says there's a waiting list of 100 local children wanting to get in to see the therapists. The center hosts its biggest fundraiser this weekend, the Kenny Rogers Telethon.
Fayette also says the January ice storm still has the Sikeston area cleaning up and recouping the costs from fueling generators and so on. Still, she's confident this year's telethon will be successful.
"Just because we have an ice storm or the economy is in a lull doesn't mean our children still don't need services," Fayette said. "We're still going to help local children, and if we all just give from the heart, I think we will be just fine."
Three year-old Bailey Brown is a direct result of success from the free therapy services. When Bailey was born, the nerves that suppy her right arm were torn and damaged during a difficult delivery. Now, she battles a Brachial Plexus injury to her arm.
"Bailey has come a long way since she started coming to the center," said her therapist, Brandy Dallas.
Part of Bailey's more recent success comes from what Dallas calls "constraint-induced therapy."
"It involves restraining the arm she normally has use in to force her to utilize the arm that she is weaker in," Brandy said.
Dallas says Bailey is a very active three year old, so she often has to "disquise" therapy with fun activities like making crafts. Dallas has Bailey use craft beads to make a writing pen, and says Bailey sometimes has a hard time with even the smallest of motor skills, like grasping the beads in her fingers.
However, Bailey's determination has turned into several pens she now gives as gifts to loving family members.
Brandy points out even a $20 donation could help the center buy more items like those pens to help children in therapy.