Warwick Playground Dreams will host Play for the Park SummerFest, an all-day fundraiser featuring live music, a craft beer garden, local wine, superb food, vendors, and many children’s activities on Sat., Aug. 19 at the Warwick Town Park, located at 117 Union Corners Rd. in Warwick. There is a $5 suggested donation, per adult, at the door.
Warwick Playground Dreams was created by President Hannelore Chambers, who had a dream to rebuild the aging playground equipment at Stanley-Deming Park. She quickly organized other local parents who had a similar vision for the well-loved park. Over the course of a few short months, the committee grew to 24 members. Warwick Playground Dreams has been working closely with Mayor Newhard and the Village of Warwick. They then discovered Play By Design, a group of playground architects, who visited in April to design a playground created by the children of Warwick and to be built by our community.
‘Play for All’
When Megan Cardenas, Vice President of Warwick Playground Dreams, was 28 weeks pregnant, she found out that she and her husband were carriers of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and there was a 25% chance that their unborn child would be affected. When their son Derek was just 17 days old, they discovered he did, in fact, have SMA Type 1 – the most severe form.
SMA is an autosomal, recessive, genetic condition that results in destruction of motor neuron function within the first year of life. SMA is one of the most devastating of childhood neurological diseases. It is the children’s form of ALS and the number one cause of childhood death in the United States.
Megan and her husband, Dave Cardenes, were told that they would be lucky if Derek made it to ten months, as his case was so severe. However, Derek is so strong and determined that he continues to surpass the odds. Only 10% of kids with SMA Type 1 make it to their second birthday, but Derek is now almost 26 months old.
Derek lacks the SMN1 protein needed for his muscles to work. He stopped moving his legs at two weeks and his arms at three weeks. At five months, Derek began to experience increased respiratory distress with oral feeding and was ultimately unable to tolerate feeds by mouth. He required a feeding tube to maintain adequate nutrition and the use of a trilogy ventilator to breathe. When Derek leaves the home he has to have numerous pieces of durable medical equipment connected to his wheelchair.
A discussion Megan had with one of Derek’s physical therapists and other parents kept echoing through her head. When the therapist asked what playgrounds they visited, the answer was disheartening. Many parents replied, “We have never been to a playground.”
With that in mind, Megan created the “Play for All” sub-committee within Warwick Playground Dreams, which is dedicated to making Stanley-Deming Park an inclusive park. This means it will enable all children to play there – from average to disabled – everyone can enjoy the new playground.
Warwick PD Car Seat Safety Check
During the event, the Warwick Police Department will be on hand from 12 noon to 4 p.m. to explain and demonstrate how to properly install a child’s safety car seat. Anyone who would like to have their child’s car seat checked or need help in installing the car seat, are encouraged to attend the event.