It’s not all work for Amy Clark and Abby Wells when they visit Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center at 3701 Bellemeade Ave. The 2015 Easter Seals representatives sometimes struggle to stifle laughs as they work. Clark jokes with her physical therapist Patty Balbach and Wells has a bright smile and giggle for everyone.
Clark, who lives in Evansville, says she found her way to Easter Seals by accident. After a 2010 operation on a spinal tumor, she woke unable to move her legs. Doctors thought her paralysis would be temporary, but when her feeling did not come back, she began to seek therapy options and discovered Easter Seals.
“When I came here, I couldn’t transfer out of my wheelchair. Patty strengthened everything back up,” says Clark, who was able to go back to work at the Vision Service Corporation in Evansville thanks to Easter Seals.
Easter Seals gave hope to Wells and her family, who live in Newburgh, Indiana, says her mother Amy Wells. When Wells, now in the third grade, started to miss her first milestones as a baby, her mother says she knew something was wrong. After several evaluations, the diagnosis was cerebral palsy. Her mother says Easter Seals has helped teach the nine-year-old how to adapt and learn to care for herself.
“There is no other place like Easter Seals in our community,” she says.
The decision to be representatives for Easter Seals was not necessarily a quick one for either family. However, both looked at the opportunity as a way to give back to the organization. One of the biggest events for Easter Seals is the annual telethon aired on WEHT-TV in April. This year, with Clark’s and Wells’ help, the organization raised more than $1 million. Their other duties include visiting organizations and media outlets, attending events such as Frog Follies, and helping Santa open Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights in Garvin Park.
“(Being a representative) was my way of saying thank you,” says Clark, “and making people aware, because I didn’t know about Easter Seals and I’m sure there are other people who don’t know either. This isn’t just where kids go, it’s where adults can go too.”
“I just want everyone to have the same opportunities. I don’t like the term, ‘We have a disability.’ I like the term, ‘We have abilities,’” says Abby’s mother.
“There was never a thought that we wouldn’t do it.”
For more information on Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, call 812-479-1411 or visit EasterSealsSWIndiana.com.