Claire Wiegand's Story: 2001 - 2002 [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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The program at Westfield Intermediate School was closed, so Claire's entire class moved to Fishers Junior High, which is adjacent to Cumberland Road Elementary where she had spent three happy years. Her teacher, Heather Stephenson, and aide, Brooke, came along, too, which was great. Heather started the Hamilton County chapter of Special Olympics Indiana and encouraged all of her students to participate in the Motor Activities Training Program (MATP), designed for athletes with more significant impairments.

At Fishers Junior High, peer helpers came into the classroom each period to interact with Claire and her classmates, and this was the year she met her special friend Alisha Beard, a sweet girl who also volunteered for Special Olympics. Alisha took an interest in Claire, accompanying her on her second trip to camp, and she even came to visit her even when she moved on to high school.

Here are Tom and Claire at White River State Park. Even though Claire can walk, we use her Maclaren Major Buggy when we will be walking a lot because Claire's not a fan of walking when she's someplace she doesn't know. (July 2001)
While at a family gathering in Wisconsin, Debbie, Tom and Claire were one of several corn mazing teams. Here we are triumphantly exiting the maze after finding all six checkpoints. Claire was a good sport and walked most of the way while clutching her electronic toy, since taking her wheelchair wasn't really an option. (September 2001)
We had a great time at Claire's first Special Olympics experience with Motor Activities Training Program (MATP). Claire's entire class participated, including her teacher and aides. We volunteered as one-on-one helper and station helper, and really enjoyed ourselves. Here are Claire and Mom after the event. See our Special Olympics Challenge Day 2001 page for more photos. (October 2001)
This is probably the cutest photo ever of two sisters in front of a Christmas tree. Jill helped keep Claire in the photo by putting her arm around her. (December 2001)
For Spring Break, we spent two days at Niagara Falls in the coolest hotel room ever. It was a two-floor loft at the Marriott with the most amazing view of the Falls. It allowed Claire to pace and play with her toys, and for us to enjoy the view without hassling with Claire's wheelchair. (April 2002)
Of course, we did venture out a few times to see the falls up close. Claire has mitten clips to keep her mittens slipped to her jacket sleeves, but she likes to chew on her mittens so sometimes they come off. (April 2002)
We headed home from Niagara Falls with an overnight stop in Cleveland to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Museums are extremely boring to Claire so the wheelchair is a must. (April 2002)
Claire and Alisha on a field trip. Sadly, she and another one of Claire's peer helpers, Dale, died in a car accident two years later. (May 2002)

Next: 2002 - 2003

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