Friday, November 9, 2007

"Benefiting Brooklyn" (a class project)

I mentioned to some of you that one of the PR classes here at Tri-State University (where I work) has to do a fundraiser and take care of the publicity and everything that goes along with the enormus undertaking of a fundraising project. They have chosen Brooklyn! Below you will find the article that was published today in the student newspaper!

Benefiting Brooklyn
By: Jamie Hiser

There are so many diseases in this world that people are often not aware of them until someone they know is affected. This is a terrifying realization, especially when you or a loved one becomes unexplainably ill. What could it be? Why would it happen to me? What does it do?
Those are the questions Kelly Butler, a Tri-State admissions counselor, was asking herself when she realized something was wrong with her young daughter Brooklyn. “We started having some concerns about her development because she was slow in learning to crawl but for the most part she developed ‘normally’ until about 18 months. She seemed to start losing skills. She stopped saying words she knew how to say and showed no sign in wanting to walk or cruise around furniture. She also started ‘clapping’ her hands constantly,” said Butler.

On May 21, only one week after her second birthday and after multiple tests and blood work, Brooklyn was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Rett syndrome is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder that affects females almost exclusively. As the syndrome progresses, a child will lose purposeful use of her hands and the ability to speak. Compulsive hand movements such as wringing and washing follow the loss of functional use of the hands. The inability to perform motor functions is perhaps the most severely disabling feature of Rett syndrome, interfering with every body movement, including eye gaze and speech.

A diagnosis such as Rett Syndrome can be crippling to parents. Butler, however, has thrown herself into promoting awareness and raising funds. She keeps a blog,, which has become a type of journal that allows family and friends to stay informed about Brooklyn and her journey. It has also allowed Butler to make contact with other families affected by Rett Syndrome nationwide. “Other moms with daughters of Rett Syndrome are my source of strength and encouragement,” Butler commented.

Now a class is giving Tri-State and the Angola community the opportunity to help Brooklyn out. There is an active campaign on campus to raise money for Brooklyn and her family. Keep an eye out for donation stations around campus. Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated. Brooklyn is on multiple medications, needs her first of many wheelchairs, has therapy, and multiple other expenses that add up to a small fortune.

Tri-State is a small university and prides itself on our family-like atmosphere. Kelly Butler is an active part of the admission process, and her father, Mike McNamara, is the Communication department head. These people work to make our college experience the best it can be, it is time we give back. Flyers will be posted around campus to direct you where to go to donate.

“Life is turning out different than we had once planned. Not better. Not worse. Just different, but with the great friends and family we have and with God in complete control we will be just fine.” – Kelly Butler.


Samson James said...

What a great article Kel. We are so proud of you guys for putting Brooklyn's story out there to help others.

Casdok said...

Yes great article!
Well done!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic news. We are so glad that the college community will pitch in and help with the enormous expenses involved in caring for Brooklyn.

I'm getting ready for our Rett Fundraiser tonight. When you drive down the four lane road in East Cobb County there is a big sign in front of the Methodist church telling everyone about the benefit concert tonight! I'm going to play the Julia Roberts video and then the video of the Silent Angels. If you haven't seen it, they are both located on this blog.

Love to you all,

Margie & Grandpa George

Kristin said...

This is great! Another wonderful way to spread the word about Rett Syndrome. I love you guys!!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Kelly and Brooklyn, How wonderful that you have found a way to spread the word about Rett's. We live in a wonderful community. We will take care of our own!!!!!!

Mike and Terri

Scott said...

This is absolutely awesome Kelly!!! oh yeah, you too "Chuck"...i'm really excited for the three of you and i am glad to see TSU coming to your know that i am always here for you and "Brookie" we will have to find a way to get daddy to root for a better football team!!!