Joining Forces For Community!
Isabella Harrold, a 6-year-old who attends Franklin Elementary school. Isabella and her family have been coming to the YMCA since she was 3 months old. Isabella was born with Treacher Collins syndrome and no semicircular ear canals which led to deafness. Because of this doctors did not think that Isabella would be able to walk due to lack of balance. Isabella began learning sign language and her first sign was “water play.” This sign came from Isabella’s love of water and swimming at the YMCA with her family. Swimming was able to help Isabella develop balance and gain strength. Along with that benefit, it was a therapeutic experience for the whole family.
Because of her growth and strength Isabella also participates in sports of all sorts, basketball, and soccer at the Y. She loves soccer because she gets to run around and have fun with her friends. The YMCA programs have also helped her develop social skills. She went from being a shy little girl to being able to talk to anyone. Isabella’s family was able to participate in the scholarship program which helped to make the programs accessible. The YMCA is more than just a place for them to bring Isabella to play sports, it is a community. Her family stated, “The YMCA has made Isabella stronger and has enabled her to get involved and try new things. At the YMCA Isabella doesn’t have physical restrictions. The YMCA is welcoming to all.”
Isabella continues to grow and inspire those around her by continuing to break through barriers and encourage others to participate. For a child who was not supposed to be able to walk, Isabella loves exercising and is now rushing past others in races. This family has been positively impacted by our scholarship program, and we hope to continue to be able to support other families through this initiative.