Some Miracles Come in Pairs

Some Miracles Come in Pairs

Twins. Twins?! For Brittany, this revelation should have brought with it a sense of expectation and joy. Instead it was followed by an overwhelming sense of despair. Brittany was informed that while she was carrying twins, there were severe complications that would put her life, and the lives of her unborn children, at risk.

At her 10-week ultrasound, Brittany was diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), an exceedingly rare and potentially lethal condition that can occur in identical twins. Abnormal blood vessels in the shared placenta had caused their umbilical cords to fuse together. Because of these shared connections, one baby (Lukas) was getting an overabundance of nutrients while the other baby (Liam) was being deprived of what he needed to grow. Not only was this potentially fatal for the twins, but it put Brittany’s life in jeopardy as well. Doctors urged her to have an abortion. When she refused, Brittany was placed on immediate bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy.

Following Brittany’s 23-week ultrasound, doctors delivered more bad news regarding Liam. His arms were contracted, there were problems with his heart and he had Gastroschisis, a rare birth defect of the abdominal wall in which the baby’s intestines stick outside of their body. The news was devastating to Brittany. However, she never lost faith that Liam would be a fighter and could somehow overcome this.

Over the next few months, Brittany went into labor multiple times. Each time the doctors were able to stop it. However, at 31 weeks, they allowed the delivery to continue because there was concern that Lukas was receiving too much fluid and was in jeopardy of rupturing. Lukas was born not breathing with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and had to be resuscitated. Miraculously, despite being without oxygen during the delivery, Lukas did not suffer a traumatic brain injury or sustain any damage or negative repercussions from the TTTS. When Liam was born, he was immediately rushed into surgery in hopes of resolving his Gastroschisis.

Brittany spent the next three months in the NICU with both boys. Liam was ultimately diagnosed with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare neuromuscular condition that causes many joints to be stiff and crooked at birth. Doctors told Brittany that Liam would never use his arms… that they would be completely useless. He would need to learn to do everything with his legs and feet. She was told that Liam would spend his entire life enduring painful therapies that would do nothing for him and give him little to no improvement in his arms.

While in the NICU, Liam was also diagnosed with a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), an unclosed hole in his aorta. Before birth, the two major arteries—the aorta and the pulmonary artery—are connected by a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus. This vessel is an essential part of fetal blood circulation. After birth, this vessel is supposed to close as part of the normal changes occurring in the baby’s circulation. In some babies, however, it remains open allowing oxygen-rich blood from the aorta to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the pulmonary artery. This can put strain on the heart and increase blood pressure in the lung arteries.

When Liam was 4 months old doctors informed Brittany that he would need surgery to repair the hole in his heart. Liam’s lungs were not functioning properly because there was not enough oxygenated blood coming from his heart. That very night Brittany was up late watching television when she saw a commercial for Sara’s Garden that brought her to tears. Liam’s surgery was only a month away. Could this possibly help in time and prevent surgery? The next morning, she called her doctors back and told them she wanted Liam to receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Conductive Education. Even though they told her that it was a complete waste of time and money, Brittany knew in her heart this was something she needed to do for Liam.

The first 4 months of Liam’s life were a struggle for survival. He was far behind in many developmental goals and milestones. He was also very lethargic and apathetic towards any activity. His arms and shoulders hung limp at his sides and did absolutely nothing. Soon after starting HBOT and CE, Liam’s personality finally began to emerge. He was no longer sleeping all the time. He began playing… and smiling. His joint flexion in arms began improving dramatically.

Following Liam’s initial round of HBOT, Brittany took him to the doctor for his scheduled well check in preparation for surgery. What was supposed to be a simple pre-surgical meeting turned into over 4 hours of testing. Specialist after specialist was called in to test and retest Liam. Something was different and no one believed what was being seen. By the time they left, the doctors had cancelled Liam’s surgery and ordered reductions in his oxygen and heart medicines. The cardiologist that had told Brittany that HBOT would be a waste of money and that surgery was his only hope was now speechless after the echo and ultrasound showed an amazing transformation: His heart was contracting normally, the murmur was virtually undetectable and the hole in heart was closing!

Liam is continuing to make progress and is beginning to meet his developmental goals and milestones. Doctors have said that Liam’s hands and fingers are now phenomenal. While his arms are still affected by his Arthrogryposis, Liam is now able to use them. He feeds himself. He grabs things off of tables. Most importantly to Brittany, he keeps pace with his brother and other kids that he plays with at church.

Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Conductive Education services at Sara’s Garden, Liam is a happy little boy who is defeating all of the odds that had been put against him. He is completely off all of his heart medications. Brittany knows that miracles do happen… and sometimes they come in pairs. She is confident that HBOT and CE have given Liam a chance at a much higher functioning life. No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… and Sara’s Garden can help you find it.

2016 Marathon Classic Charity Ticket Program

2016 Marathon Classic Charity Ticket Program

The Marathon Classic, presented by Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois is one of the longest running events on the LPGA Tour. The event was founded in 1984 and has been played yearly, except in 1986 and 2011, in Sylvania, Ohio. The 2016 tournament will be played at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania on July 11th – 17th.

Since its inception, the Marathon Classic has donated over $9.2M to 160 local children’s charities. Through the teamwork of over 1,200 volunteers and 400 local businesses, the Marathon Classic is making a difference for children in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Sara’s Garden is very excited to announce that we have been selected as one of the charities for the 2016 Marathon Classic!

If you plan on attending this year’s event, here is another way that you can support Sara’s Garden… at absolutely no additional cost to you.

Charity Ticket Program Overview

All tickets proceeds from the event are donated back to the charities. When you purchase weekly grounds and clubhouse tickets for the Marathon Classic tournament you have the ability to designate a charity of your choice. By selecting Sara’s Garden, we will receive 100% of each ticket you purchase.

Type of Tickets

A Weekly Clubhouse ticket will allow you access to the clubhouse and grounds Monday through Sunday and provide you the opportunity to purchase food and beverages in the clubhouse. A Weekly Grounds ticket will allow you access to the grounds Monday through Sunday. There will be concession stands located throughout the course for purchase of food and beverages.

Weekly Clubhouse Ticket – $120.00
Weekly Grounds Ticket – $60.00

Tickets purchased from the event website at allows anyone purchasing tickets online the opportunity to designate a charity of choice.

Purchasers of the Weekly Grounds Exchange Tickets offered at Kroger stores at a price of Two for One can designate a charity for the total purchase price of their exchange tickets bought at Kroger. Participating Kroger store locations can be found on the tournament website. Buy one Weekly Grounds ticket at $60 and get the second Weekly Grounds ticket free (limit of four free tickets). Purchasers of the Weekly Grounds Exchange Tickets at Kroger need to exchange the ticket at the gate the week of the tournament to get their Weekly Grounds Badge (explained on the ticket). Details on the charity designation process are on the Weekly Grounds Exchange Tickets (outlined below).

Go to:

  1. Click on Charity Ticket Program for list of eligible charities
  2. Select Sara’s Garden on each Exchange Ticket
  3. Write your choice on the tear-off portion below
  4. Mail original tear-off portion (no copies or faxes) to:
    Marathon Classic
    Charity Ticket Program
    4405 Dorr St.
    Toledo, OH 43607

Note: Only Weekly Grounds Tickets are available at Kroger stores (Weekly Clubhouse Tickets are only purchased through the tournament website or the Ticket Order Sheet). We encourage everyone to visit the site at to purchase Clubhouse tickets or use the website or discounted Kroger option for Weekly Grounds Tickets.

Playground Project Dedication

Playground Project Dedication

Since the completion of our handicap accessible playground project this past fall, children and their families have been trying out the new equipment as often as the weather has permitted. Now that our cold winter weather is finally coming to an end and the rain and wet ground are (hopefully) subsiding, the project’s official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2016.

This brief program will give us an opportunity to thank everyone who donated financially or volunteered for the community build. We will serve refreshments and take some photos and videos of the community enjoying the fruits of their labor!

There are still a handful of playground amenities that will be finalized before the official ribbon cutting. Custom signs commemorating financial donors and explaining playground rules will be installed at the entrance. The paver patio made up of personalized, engraved bricks will be completed, concrete patios for picnic tables are being poured and the grass yard around the playground will be installed.

We are so excited to finally be able to have the official ribbon cutting of the site to thank the individuals and organizations who have worked so hard to make this dream a reality.

We now have a playground where children of all types of abilities can play together; one that addresses the needs of typically developing children as well as children with neurological, intellectual and physical disabilities. We are so thankful to finally have an inclusive playground that accommodates all children and challenges each of them at their own developmental levels.

2016 “Drive Fore Hope” Event Reminder

2016 “Drive Fore Hope” Event Reminder

Don’t forget… the 2016 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble is fast approaching. We have put together a fun-filled day at Ironwood Golf Course in Wauseon, Ohio and hope to see you there!

Event Date:Friday, May 27, 2016
Event Location:Ironwood Golf Course, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Format:4-Player Team Scramble
Event Cost:$75 per Player ($300 per Team)
Fantastic Prizes ~ Everyone Can Win:

Have you ever played in a golf scramble and felt that your team had absolutely no chance of winning? Not here… not now!

For the 2016 Drive Fore Hope every single team has a chance to win the top prizes… even if your team has no chance of finishing under par. For this year’s event we will hold a raffle at the end of the day to ultimately determine the prize winners. Here’s how it will work:

  • There will be 32 teams participating in the Drive Fore Hope.
  • The winning team with the lowest score will receive 32 raffle balls in the hopper for their team.
  • The second place team will receive 31 raffle balls in the hopper for their team… and so on.
  • Even the last place team will receive 1 raffle ball in the hopper for their team.
  • We will then draw for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place to determine who goes home with brand new clubs!

Everyone has a chance to win!


SLDR 460 Drivers (Qty. 4)


R15 Fairway Clubs (Qty. 4)


R15 Rescue Clubs (Qty. 4)

In addition to the grand prize clubs we will also be awarding prizes for the following hole contests:


XR Men’s Driver


R15 Ladies Driver


Ghost Tour Daytona Putter


Chev Stand Golf Bag

Registration Includes:

  • Scramble format (4-player teams)
  • Green and cart fees
  • Range balls
  • Goodie bag
  • Contests and prizes
  • Awards for top teams
  • Lunch Buffet
Schedule of Events
7:00 a.m.
Range Open
8:00 a.m.
Shotgun Scramble
1:00 p.m.
Lunch Buffet
2:00 p.m.
Partnership Opportunities:

Platinum Title Partner – $1,500

  • Includes one foursome, event promotion, platinum title partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 15 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 43 hours of intervention services.

Gold Event Partner – $900

  • Includes one foursome, gold event partner activity signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 9 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 25 hours of intervention services.

Silver Contest Partner – $500

  • Includes one foursome, silver contest partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 5 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 14 hours of intervention services.

Bronze Meal Partner – $350

  • Includes bronze meal partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 3.5 hours of HBOT treatments or up to 10 hours of intervention services.

O2 Tee Partner – $100

  • Includes O2 tee partner signage and program recognition.
  • This level of sponsorship will provide 1 hour of HBOT treatments or up to 3 hours of intervention services.

All proceeds from this event are being donated to Sara’s Garden’s onsite family housing project. Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

For additional information regarding partnership opportunities or team registration for the Sara’s Garden “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble please contact Jackie at 419.335.SARA or via email at

Please join us for a great day of golf filled with fun, great food, auction items, skill contests and fabulous prizes. Take a day off work for a great cause and meet some of the amazing people you are golfing to help!

Thank You for the Caps!

Thank You for the Caps!

We are so thankful for the support we received throughout our “Bench for Caps” collection process. When the project started we were trying to collect 200 lbs. of plastic bottle caps in hopes of creating a single bench for our new playground. Never did we dream that we would end up collecting over 3,000 lbs. of caps! Thank you all so much!

We plan on loading all of the caps up in the upcoming weeks and hauling them down to Evansville, Indiana to Green Tree Plastics where they will be turned in for not only benches, but picnic tables and trash cans as well.

We are now done collecting caps for the project. We will let everyone know if this is something that we need to do again for other areas at the school… but for now, we’re going to take a well deserved break from the cap collection business.

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ April 2016

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ April 2016

I hope this finds you remembering to list three things you are thankful for each day!  Maybe you remember that assignment from the last newsletter?  I find I need to remind myself of healthy, important things – in the midst of caregiving when it often feels like my time is not my own.  I am not a caregiver of children any longer…  I am a caregiver of parents.  It is different than what most of you do, but there are probably similarities.

As I mentioned, I often feel that my time is not my own.  As I consider what you might be facing, I am guessing you might feel that way sometimes too.  Caregiving; we wouldn’t consider NOT doing it, but sometimes, it is totally overwhelming.  Yet in the challenges I am surprised to find amazing gifts.

Recently I was reminded of a precious story in my life.  I offer it to you – because it just may strike a treasure in you as well, and because we all need to be reminded  – that in everyday life, which often looks mundane and far from thrilling… in that place where you find yourself often overwhelmed – you are heroes.  True heroes – the ones who fix things as best as possible…  who don’t go away, even when the moment may be so far past “ugly” you can’t even see “ugly” from there.

I journal sometimes; write “the important stuff” down, so as not to forget.  The other day I was going through an old journal and I found one of my favorite “mom stories”. … It seems like yesterday, but it was actually years ago, when my son was playing little league.  He hit the ball toward short, and ran to first…  The first baseman ran to the base to catch the throw for the out. They collided; HARD.   He was laid out, horizontal, high in the air before he landed – even HARDER ….  And he didn’t move.  I was on my way to him before he hit the ground. Someone asked him –if he was okay and he told her…“No.  But my Mom will come.”

“My mom will come.”  How I have treasured those words he spoke that day from the dirt; such an honor to be the trusted one… the one that no matter what – would be there. “My Mom will come.”

As I sat with my old journal and paused to go over that precious memory one more time, it hit me… My Mom used to come too.

Just recently, I recognize that I have grown wiser – You all, caregivers of children, know this wisdom well… gained in the joys and sorrows of caregiving- the losses and the gifts. I look in the mirror and someone who has laughed much, and lately cried too often, looks back at me. I am “old” now, and Mom doesn’t come fix things anymore.  Hard lesson this is.  Tears roll down my checks yet again in this caregiving life I lead.  My Dad, my siblings and I, we go to Mom….. but the days when — “My Mom will come” …. Have now passed.

There were many times mom came …  to school when I forgot something, to meetings, to piano recitals, and then to take care of my own children when I went off to coach.  She came to fix things that were broken and mend things that were torn….  when the sink clogged and the house smelled, and whenever my son took apart appliances and had pieces left!  I called her when I couldn’t get a stain out, and when the freezer died.   She was even “wildlife patrol” the day I found a baby possum in our garage!  She came when I needed money, and when the car died along the road.  She came when she could help us – always to fix things for her children. She taught me that one went to church even when one didn’t feel like going! And that there comes a time when one just does the hard thing  – because it needs doing. She taught me that loving people is helping people – and feeding them.

My Mom doesn’t fix anything anymore…  and she can no longer remember most of the times she did. But every once in awhile, my mom is still here – I see her in the eyes that too often lately seem vacant…. And she says something dry and laughs like she used to…   and for a short moment… my mom is my Mom…. The one who came.

Not too long ago, I toured New Horizons and had the opportunity to see your beautiful children.  I not only saw the wonderful things New Horizons staff does, but I had to think of each of you.  You are this dependable parent for the ones you care for…You are the ones that no matter what – your children know – you will be there.

Absolutely and completely EXHAUSTING – YES!  But one of the greatest treasures of our lives!!

Thank you for being heroes for your children and always coming.  Now in this moment do not make less of your heroism.  I didn’t say you were perfect…  I said you are heroes because you are dependable.  And that – in all the challenges – is truly a gift that you give over and over.  Thank you for always coming for your children.  It is amazing what you do.

Janet Miller  MA LPCC



2016 Purse Bingo Update

2016 Purse Bingo Update

Wow. We’re both excited (and sad) to announce that this event is completely SOLD OUT! We are so thankful to everyone for the amazing support for this event. Your swift response in purchasing tickets was unbelievable. We’re sorry that we were not able to provide seating to everyone who contacted us. 

Be sure to check out our Facebook event page where we will be posting photos of the purses and giving you chances to vote for your favorites and earn extra tickets to the raffle and door prizes!

If you were unable to get a ticket in time but still want to be a part of the event, we are still in need of volunteers to help us with the evening’s activities and would love to have you help!

All proceeds from this event are being donated to Sara’s Garden’s onsite family housing project. Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

We look forward to seeing everyone in June!

Wine Sponsor – $100

  • Includes wine sponsor signage and program recognition.

Purse Sponsor – $200

  • Includes purse sponsor signage and program recognition.

For information regarding volunteer and event sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jackie at 419.335.SARA or via email at