Fighter Mom™ Friday
On Friday, May 9, 2008, The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF)
kicked off Mother’s Day weekend by sponsoring the
inaugural Fighter Mom™ Friday symposium in
partnership with Fight SMA, an organization dedicated to accelerating
the search for a treatment and cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Thanks to a $35,000 grant from TIF, the day-long workshop featured an
expert panel that discussed issues of advocacy, activism and the
lifelong benefits of play for children confined by physical and
Award-winning CNN journalist Catherine Crier was the keynote
speaker of the day, inspiring audience members to remain hopeful and
empowering them to keep fighting. Noted one attendee: "I feel encouraged
to continue to fight for my son. It will be a fight for life but I now
feel geared up for the challenges." The event provided caretakers with
the tools they need to both effectively and efficiently battle the
challenges that face the child in their lives.
Fighter Mom was created by a group of moms fighting to beat SMA, but
has since become a program for any mom (or other family members or
caregivers) fighting any disease or health condition who wants to become
an advocate and activist. Fighter Mom Friday audience members
represented Autism, Sudden Unexplained Death in Children, Spinal
Muscular Atrophy, Deafness, Developmental Issues as well as other
illnesses. The event served as a forum for attendees to share their
stories and inspire others who face similar challenges.
"It was great to meet other parents who have the same pain,
worries, and frustration you experience when you have a child with a
disability" said one guest. "When your child is diagnosed with SMA,
profound hearing loss, or any disorder, you as a parent have an urge to
do all you can to make their plight much easier."
Also at the event, TIF premiered its publication Let's Play: A Guide for
Children with Special Needs.The guide serves as one of
two educational brochures that TIF is able to produce and distribute to
parents, schools, and other childcare facilities free of charge thanks
to generous supporters.