Hello and thank you for visiting our website. Welcome to the Aaron K Foundation (AKF), established in 2015 by Senait M. Piccigallo with a profound mission to provide her son Aaron with the best resources and treatments necessary to overcome his challenge with cerebral palsy. Aaron's diagnosis at just 2 months of age marked the beginning of Senait's lifelong commitment to help him reach his full potential and instill hope in their lives (you can read their inspiring story here, link from Mercury newspaper).
Against doctors' predictions that he wouldn't live past the age of 5, Aaron lived a happy and joyful life with his family, thanks to the unwavering commitment of his mom, family, and community, until he was 19 years old. He graduated from his school and inspired many people including this nonprofit. This incredible journey inspired Senait to establish this nonprofit organization, aiming to support other parents in finding resources and treatment options in their area to create a happy and comfortable life for their special needs children.
Today, the Aaron K Foundation has connected more than 100 clients to available resources, conducted over 5 community education programs for various community centers in the Bay Area, and provided adaptive essential equipment to more than 50 families in Eritrea who wouldn't have access otherwise. Additionally, we've assisted a local hospital in Eritrea in acquiring vital equipment to support their clients with physical therapy.
Aaron was born in Africa in 2003. Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and seizure disorders in 2004. His family was told that Aaron would have little chance of surviving, and was encouraged to give up. But, determined, enthusiastic, Joyful hard working Aaron kept surviving which gave his family hope after hope. Aaron moved to USA on July 2008.
Today, Aaron attends Anne Darling special Education Elementary in San Jose, and he gets excited each morning when the school bus arrives to pick him up. Aaron loves school. At school he has his IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) goals that his IEP team made for him and every school day he works towards those goals. At home, Aaron loves spending time with his mom and grandparents, when they visit or when he visits them. He loves being spoiled by them.
Aaron enjoys playing with toys that make music, going swimming, eating desert, watching cartoon movies with mom, cuddle time, watching and listening to kids play, playing with his tablet. Aaron also loves the redwoods.
Aaron, although wheelchair bound, non-verbal, and unable to manage any of his personal care needs, is making progress. Since, he won the Mercury news wish book fund and Aaron went to Napa neurological and physical rehabilitation center for three weeks of therapy three times from 2014- early 2015 we have seen progress in one year which usually would take 5 to 6 years for his family to see.
Progress since attending Napa Center, as of 2014.
Aaron received a diploma from Napa center for the following accomplishments:
1. Aaron can hold hands and knees with only a little help to one side of his pelvis
2. Aaron is using his arms for protecting himself during bench sitting
3. Aaron is able to stand with support at this ankles for 1 minute!
4. Aaron is able to stand with assistance at his ankles for up to 1 minute without falling
5. Aaron has improved control of his body for bending his legs lower to the ground from standing
6. Aaron has stronger legs and pushed the walker for 5 feet all on his own
7. Aaron has more confidence for standing with just a little help at his ankles
8. Aaron can use his strong trunk to keep his body upright in tough positions like half keel
9. Can come up to stand via froggy and is able to stay standing with some help at his lower legs for 100 counts 2 out of 5 times
Progress noted by family members:
We have observed Aaron has started imitating sounds of Music and Animals that he listens on Video.
When at home, and Adults are communicating he would make sounds indicating to be involved and needing attention. Where before he looked absent minded
Aaron now added 2 more vocabulary to his 4 previous words. He now can say Mom and NO. To every ones delight, Aaron is noticed many times saying mom after waking up in the morning to get a happy cheer from mom.
Aaron is communicating using his PODD book. He communicates (yes/No using his head ) and using the PODD book can now communicate basic feelings to express, hunger, tiresomeness, wanting something more, mostly food or a hug.
We are thankful for Napa center for their positive and encouraging attitude helped Aaron feel more confident and less frustration in the tough road ahead. He works hard with vigor and energy.
Napa center made a home program for him to keep exercising. His progress towards independence is promising and with your help we will be able to achieve his goals of getting there with Hard work and persistence.
Thank you for reading my profile.