Dear Editor:

I want to share with your readers why I believe in the work that Hocking County Board of DD does and why that work is vital to our community.

Overwhelming fear. That is the feeling that took over when I delivered my precious son at 25 weeks and three days gestation. Doctors told me that the prognosis was grim. He would have to be a fighter in order to make it. As I sat with him day after day, night after night for 111 days in the NICU, unsure of the future, I knew on thing for certain, we faced an uphill battle. I have a beautiful baby boy to care for who would need more than what a typical newborn needs to thrive. Questions filled my mind: Where do I go for help? Who will help me figure this out? How do I get the services that he needs?

When we came home with our little fighter, I turned to the people at the Hocking County Board of DD for help. The Help Me Grow Early intervention team stepped right in and equipped us with the tools and support needed to help my son reach developmental milestones. Today, he is a 15-year-old young man who is active in school activities, Boy Scouts and is well on his way to becoming a productive member in our community, thanks to the work of the Early Intervention staff at the Board of DD.

Without the Hocking County Board of DD, I know that we would not be where we are today. Early Intervention paved the way for me to know success was achievable. For the future, I dislike the thought of Hocking County not being able to provide Early Intervention to families in need. Without our votes, the Early Intervention Program is at risk.

On behalf of families like mine who have battles to face, I urge you to vote "Yes" for DD services. Don't let these young lives slip through the cracks. They are worth it.

Laura McCrady


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