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Hanna’s Hope Fair to Aid Stricken Portage Child

Written by Larry Bretts. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on November 02, 2011 with No Comments

Usually, when one talks about being afflicted with a stroke, the consensus is of a person in middle- or later years of life.

But what happens, however, when that person has not even been born?

Such is the fate of Hannah Martinez, 2, of Portage, says her mother, Mary.

Hannah suffered severe brain damage in-utero during her pregnancy, said Mary Martinez. Doctors termed the situation a prenatal stroke.

Friends and others of the Martinez family will hold a Hannah’s Hope vendor and craft fair from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Ambassador Banquet Hall, 1967 E. 37 Ave., Hobart.

Backers say “please join us for a fun-filled day of shopping, lunch and door prizes. Bring your spare change to donate at the door.”

All proceeds will go to First Steps of Northwest Indiana and the Children’s Neurobiological Solutions Foundation.

Hannah’s condition shows as development delays for the child, who can’t sit up or roll over, normal physical development for a three- or four-year old tot.

A neurologist initially told the Martinez family that Hannah would never walk or talk – “We dismissed him and got another. We wanted a more positive outlook.”

Through the aid of First Steps, an early intervention program through the state Family and Social Services Administration, Hannah has progressed and is now able to turn her head.

She recognizes voices, favorite toys. “She also relaxes when we hold her,” Martinez says.

“She was about three months old when we recognized things were not right,” Martinez said.

For more information about the Nov. 5 program, call Mary Martinez at 219-805-0228 or Kathy at 219-805-1327.

Indiana’s First Steps System is a family-centered, locally-based, coordinated system that provides early intervention services to infants and young children with disabilities or who are developmentally vulnerable.

First Steps brings together families and professionals from education, health and social service agencies. By coordinating locally available services, First Steps is working to give Indiana’s children and their families the widest possible array of early intervention resources.

Families who are eligible to participate in Indiana’s First Steps System include children ages birth to three years, who are experiencing developmental delays and/or have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.

For information on First Steps, contact: Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) at 800-545-7763 or e-mail FirstStepsWeb@fssa.in.gov.

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