Grace and Liz
Grace and Liz

Meet Liz: An active teenager in a wheelchair who is helped by SECC

(Sept. 9, 2005)--Many of us are not aware that more than 500 UTSA employees have utilized services from agencies supported by UTSA's State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC).

Following is a testimonial by Grace Hernandez, UTSA director of institutional diversity, about the tremendous support her granddaughter Elizabeth has received from an SECC-supported agency.

UTSA employees can donate online to SECC.



Liz has help to conquer her obstacles

My granddaughter Elizabeth, who goes by "Liz," is currently enrolled in the usual high school classes, is smart and as social as most other teenage girls. This year she was adamant about joining the pep squad, and come Friday nights, she decks out in glittery splendor for the football game. What sets Liz apart from many other teenagers is that she was born with cerebral palsy.

She is confined to a wheelchair and cannot feed or care for herself. Liz cannot speak -- however, be assured that Liz has found ways to communicate her needs. She is exceptional at tattling on her little sisters! Despite the obstacles, Liz sees herself as a typical teenage girl who has the same desires and goals as her able-bodied friends.

One of the ways Liz has been able to experience activities that she would not have enjoyed otherwise is through the SECC-eligible organization, Children's Association for Maximum Potential (CampCamp). It is a camp for children with special needs, including those on dialysis, ventilators and all those like Liz who cannot care for themselves.

Doctors, nurses and counselors volunteer their time to assist these special-needs children while at camp. Along with the expensive equipment required, the camp provides fun activities for approximately 1,000 campers. It also allows parents of special-needs children a much-needed respite.

Liz has taught me about love and hope -- and that giving is the most rewarding experience in life. During UTSA's SECC campaign, when we all become more aware of the overwhelming amount of need, Liz and I encourage you simply to give to any agency or charity of your choice so that you may also experience life's true reward.

Thank you, UTSA, for your support of my granddaughter -- and SECC.

Grace Hernandez

University Communications
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