United, We Can

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Moira's Message: Meet Jacob

Kicking off our 34th year of our annual Wish List partnership is Jacob Gabbard
December 15, 2020

Dear friends,

Meet Jacob. His face—and story—will melt your heart. 

The 34th year of our annual Wish List partnership with The Cincinnati Enquirer has kicked off and the first wish comes from a 3-year-old boy whose mother hopes for a height-adjustable hammock chair stand and chair swing, along with a swimming vest.

Jacob Gabbard suffers from neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy and cortical visual impairment. His neurologist set two, lifetime goals: to laugh and to crawl. “He has laughed,” says his mother, Tatiana Soto. “We don’t hear it that often, but every couple of months in the middle of the night, he wakes up and he starts cracking up. So, we just try to hold onto those little wins.”

Jacob also frequently experiences seizures in his brain’s frontal lobes. A seizure can start on one side of his head and ricochet through the brain, increasing the risk of sudden death or epilepsy. Jacob’s favorite activity, discovered during therapy sessions, is swimming. He wears a special vest to keep him afloat.

“You put it on him and push him out into the water,” his mother says. “He wiggles his body and smiles the whole time.”  Jacob also enjoys being outside and watching -- as best he can -- his brother and other children at play. But his wheelchair is low to the ground, with an uncomfortable seat. Insurance doesn’t cover the total cost of his care, nor will it pay for the vest or chair stand and swing. 

You can learn more about Jacob at Cincinnati.com and look for more Wish List stories throughout December 2020.

I am inspired by the perseverance of these children and their families. Thank you to the Enquirer for continuing to partner with us each year on this heartwarming venture.


Moira Weir


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United, We Can

Building a strong community where all people can thrive depends on your generous support.

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