Brooklyn in the middle, with mother Brittany Page and father Phil Page.

Brooklyn in the middle, with mother Brittany Page and father Phil Page.

Meet Brooklyn.

That’s her in the middle with her parents Brittany and Phil. They are getting ready for breakfast, and Brooklyn is getting ready to speak to all those people behind her. She’s bursting with energy, squirming and wriggling on Mom’s lap.

“Is it time for me to talk now?”

She’s anxious to get up there, but not nervous. Mom and Dad look like they might have her share of the nerves, but it’s a happy nervous. You see the way they are with their daughter, who is up and ready to take on the world at a time when most kids are still getting ready for school, and you see some very proud parents.

They are at the 2016 Circle of Hope Breakfast benefiting the Spokane Guild’s School and Neuromuscular Center, and Brooklyn is going to give the invocation. Guild’s School Executive Director Dick Boysen welcomes the room, and introduces Brooklyn, who comes on stage with her mom and several pages of notes.

Dick Boysen give Brooklyn a helping hand.

Dick Boysen give Brooklyn a helping hand.

Boysen helps her step up to the podium, her mom sets and adjusts the microphone, and Brooklyn begins to speak.

Brooklyn and Brittany

Brooklyn and Brittany

She tells the room how she was born blind, and how her parents found the Guild’s School. What happened after that discovery is apparent to anyone witnessing Brooklyn, still so young, addressing several hundred strangers, reading her Braille notes with a little help from her mom, who might be just slightly thrilled about all of this.

Proud mommy moment.

Proud mommy moment.

Spokane Guild’s School and Neuromuscular Center “believe(s) in the worth of every individual and their right to a meaningful life. (Their) purpose is to nurture the full potential of families and their children, from birth to three, with disabilities. (They) do this through a personalized, comprehensive program of assessment, therapy, education, and support.”
After Brooklyn finishes her prayer, attendees enjoy breakfast and watch a video about the Guild’s School’s mission, the people who work to fulfill it, and the people whose lives have been touched by that work.

Here’s the video from the 2015 breakfast:

Cami Flaget and her family are some of those who have been touched. Cami steps on stage and behind the podium. Her tense hands clasped in front of her betray her nerves, and she begins by acknowledging how nervous she is, because she doesn’t usually speak to large groups about difficult subjects. But what she feels about the Guild’s School is strong enough to get her up on that stage.

Cami Flaget.

Cami Flaget.

The Guild’s School came into her and her husband’s life when they were struggling to care for their daughter Cierra. They didn’t know what the future had in store for her and for them, but she says that in their time with the school they were finally able to focus on the present. As their daughter responded to therapies, they could see each day for the goodness that it brought, and that uncertainty wasn’t such a dark cloud hanging over every moment. When Cierra passed, they hadn’t spent her life dreading what would happen. The Guild’s School helped them and Cierra live a life worth living. Which means a tremendous amount to Cami. It means enough for her to talk to a ballroom-full of people about her daughter.

Megan Abbey with Eli, Occupational Therapist Dan Fall, and Cami Flaget.

Megan Abbey with Eli, Occupational Therapist Dan Fall, and Cami Flaget.

Occupational Therapist Jo Fister, Physical Therapist Carrie Wardian, Teacher Janet Cook with Eily, Occupational Therapist Leana McCann, and Speech/Language Pathologist Taylor Western.

Occupational Therapist Jo Fister, Physical Therapist Carrie Wardian, Teacher Janet Cook with Eily, Occupational Therapist Leana McCann, and Speech/Language Pathologist Taylor Western.

Last year the Guild’s School helped over 260 children and their families. In the same year, just 30% of Spokane-area children who needed services like those provided at the Guild’s School received them. The Guild’s School is always trying to do more. If there is any way you could help them do more, please contact them.