I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for the support you have provided to enable my son Daniel, now 17, to receive treatment at the Child & Adolescent Center at Rogers Memorial Hospital, and I wanted to share some of his story with you. I cannot begin to describe how very ill Daniel was when he first arrived at Rogers. He suffers from severe OCD and Tourette’s syndrome, and in his case it had become so debilitating and physically and mentally impairing that he was barely able to function.

Before Daniel became so at age 14, I was among the general public who thought that OCD was all about excessive hand-washing and Tourette’s was about swearing. Jokes are often made about both disorders amongst the uneducated media, which results in widespread ignorance about how seriously debilitating and disabling these illnesses can be as well as other mental illnesses that are often misunderstood and minimized.

Prior to Daniel coming to Rogers, I had taken him to numerous doctors, psychologists, and neurologists. Various treatments and medications were tried with no success while Daniel continued to spiral downward. We live in Virginia so the thought of sending my only child so far away to Wisconsin for treatment when he was so ill was frightening to say the least.

The moment we walked up to the front door of Rogers to admit Daniel, I knew in my heart that this was the place where Daniel would finally get the help he so desperately needed. His tics had become so severe and debilitating that he weighed only 113 lbs. upon being admitted and the combination of that with the severe OCD was beyond heartbreaking to watch.

What ensured in the following months while Daniel was in treatment was nothing short of a miracle. The caring doctors and staff took Daniel in as if he were one of their own. I was continually amazed and so very grateful for their infinite patience, incredible skill and dedication, and gentle and nurturing support they provided for Daniel and all of the kids in their care.

The progress Daniel made during his 5 month stay at Rogers was nothing short of astounding and I found myself saying “thank you” more times then I think I ever have in my life to all of the amazing doctors and staff. Not only were they a tremendous support for Daniel, but they also helped to hold me up during one of the most difficult times a mother could go through. Daniel and I both shed many tears when it came time for him to leave Rogers as everyone there had become like our extended “family.”

Unfortunately, Daniel ended back at Rogers Child Adolescent Center again in April of this year when he experienced a profound relapse as a result of being in a residential treatment center that was ill-equipped to provide the specialized interventions he needed. Once again, the amazing doctors and staff at Rogers took Daniel under their wing and worked miracles. Daniel and I were both so relieved to know that he was back at the only place in the country that could provide the care he needed to get well again.

About midway through his treatment, as is unfortunately all too often the case, insurance denied coverage for Daniel. I had been successful the first time getting the denial overturned but this time around we were not so lucky. Without continued treatment at Rogers Daniel’s health and well-being was at great risk. At this point I contacted Matthias Schueth at the Roger’s Memorial Foundation for help. I cannot begin to express how grateful I was to learn that Daniel had been approved for patient care grants that enabled him to continue the treatment he so desperately needed. Without the help of the grants I shudder to think of what the outcome would have been having to pull Daniel from treatment so prematurely.

Daniel ended eventually stepped down to the intensive outpatient program at Rogers and he recently transitioned home to Virginia where he is now continuing outpatient treatment with a specialist in Maryland. Daniel and I are both forever grateful to the wonderful doctors and staff at Rogers for saving his life and without the patient care grants this would not have been possible. From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you enough for your help and support. I am part of a support group of parents of kids with severe OCD and other mental health issues and I cannot tell you how my heart constantly breaks when I hear story after story of kids like Daniel who are unable to get the treatment they desperately need because their insurance does not cover mental health or they have been denied ongoing coverage. It is comforting to know that thanks to your generous support at least some of these kids and families can get the help they need at Rogers. As Daniel’s mom, and behalf of many other parents of kids that have been helped through your kindness, and generosity, thank you for helping Daniel and others to have a “Life Worth Living.”

Warmest Wishes,