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Lithia Springs Playground Brings Joy to Area Children with Special Needs

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Family Thanks Resurgens Charitable Foundation for Providing A Place Their Daughter Can Swing and Play with Other Children 

Three-year-old Emma Brun had so much fun on the swing set during her first visit to the Lithia Springs all-abilities playground funded by the Resurgens Charitable Foundation that her parents literally had to drag her away at sundown. 

Afterwards, her mother Traci Brun contacted the Foundation to say thank you. “I can’t tell you how much the smile on her face while she was swinging meant to us. For just a few minutes, she was free and playing just like ‘normal kids.’ ” 

Emma has cerebral palsy caused by schizencephaly, an extremely rare developmental birth defect characterized by abnormal slits or clefts in the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. 

“Thanks for all you are doing for children with special needs! For families like ours, it is priceless,” Brun said. 

The family lives in Austell in Cobb County, about a 15-minute drive from the Douglas County park. “We looked online for parks with accommodations for children with special needs. There is a park near our school, but the swing doesn’t fit her as well.” 

Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick, president of Resurgens Charitable Foundation, and co-president of Resurgens Orthopaedics, was pleased to hear how much Emma loves the playground. “Seeing children smile and enjoy outdoor play motivates us to provide funding for these playgrounds. We believe playgrounds are critical so all children have a safe place to play and just be kids,” Dr. Kirkpatrick said. 

“Children—all children—no matter their physical limitations, deserve a place to play, laugh, and smile. Our main goal at the Foundation is to keep children active and healthy,” Dr. Kirkpatrick said. 

Bruin said the swing at the Lithia Springs park fits Emma perfectly and supports her. “She totally loves it. There were other children playing, and for once, she was one of the other kids.” 

Emma’s condition impacts more than her motor skills. “She literally cannot do anything by herself.” Because of that, Brun said it’s hard to find activities she can do. 

In addition to the swings, Brun finds the playground at Lithia Springs exceptional because of its many special design features. “There is a climbing apparatus that she can hold on to, and they even have tables that accommodate her wheelchair, which is very nice.” 

The Lithia Springs playground is the eighth “all-abilities” playground funded by Resurgens Charitable Foundation in the metro area since its inception in 2001. All-abilities playgrounds include special playscapes and structures where all children, regardless of their abilities, can play together. 

The Foundation has funded construction of at least one all-abilities playground each year since 2001, sponsored programs to provide bicycle helmets for children, and promoted campaigns to prevent repetitive use injuries among young baseball players. 

The mission of Resurgens Charitable Foundation is to promote active lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities. It was formed in 2001 with a fund raising effort in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Since then, it has evolved to focus on youth health and fitness, and raising funds to build specially designed “all-abilities” playgrounds for children in the metropolitan Atlanta area. A major goal of the Foundation is to support construction of at least one of these playgrounds a year. 

For more information about Resurgens Charitable Foundation, visit www.resurgensfoundation.com.

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