Impact Story July 2018

aerianaAn Unstoppable Inspiration: Nothing can slow her down

Despite being born with cerebral palsy, Aeriana Quinteros is just like any other eight-year-old girl with a undeniable love of her two dogs and her guinea pig and a hunch that Bigfoot is lurking in the woods. With a brilliant light and joyful spirit about her, she is motivated to do whatever she puts her mind to. She loves to read tons of books and paint in her classes, but by far, pool time is her favorite. Having been working on being able to fully close her lips, she is not only able to go underwater, but also better her ability to drink. In her classes she also likes to dance and do forward and backward rolls on the gym mats with assistance. She says that her teachers stand out to her because of how they assist her during their daily activities and come to her aid when she, herself, is not well.

Aeriana has been motivated to keep coming back to the YMCA’s summer camps and Before and After School program for four years through the help of the great friends she has made and of course - her newfound love of swimming. The Y has helped her a lot to lessen the effects of her physical disabilities with her latest goals including standing, taking steps, and reading improvement. When asked how the Y helps kids here in the program, she responded with, “swimming, reading, and making friends.” The Y has been a positive impact in her life through the friends that she has made here and getting to know more people who realize she is just like any other kid. Even though her speech is impaired, she understands both English and Spanish and when it comes to helping her communicate what she wants to say she uses her communication tablet. By pressing individual images she is able to formulate a sentence that the tablet will read out loud.

That said, it’s no wonder that Aeriana is an inspiration to anyone who has the opportunity to meet her. She has the ability to light up a room with her bright smile and delightful attitude despite all that which she has gone through. And with every turn of a page comes a new surprise about what she’ll do next. I think we could learn a lot from this bright young girl who is going to do some very great things.
Tell everyone who is discouraged,
Be strong and don’t be afraid!
God is coming to your rescue!
Isaiah 35:4
By Emma Stefanick
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