|[January 17, 2013]
Melissa Eger to Represent The Detroit Institute for Children at the NAIAS 2013 Charity Preview
DETROIT --(Business Wire)--
A very special young woman will be on the red carpet at the North
American International Auto Show Charity Preview this Friday
evening. Nine-year-old Melissa Eger and her family are ambassadors for
The Detroit Institute for Children (DIC), on behalf of the hundreds of
children who come to the DIC for rehabilitative, physical, occupational
and speech therapy each year.
Melissa has been a patient of the DIC since 2009. Her parents, Roger and
Lory Eger, brought her to the Detroit area from Haiti when she was five.
Melissa was born with Arthrogryposis, which is abnormal shortening and
rigidity of her leg muscle and joints along with severe muscle weakness.
When she first came to the Eger's, the plan was for her to just stay for
a year for surgery and then to return to Haiti. But their plans quickly
changed when they learned that lifetime physical therapy was just as
critical as surgery in improving Melissa's mobility and development.
Due to her significant joint damage and muscle weakness, Melissa attends
physical therapy on at least a weekly basis. When she first joined came
to the DIC, she started with no muscle strength at all and couldn't even
stand up with her braces. She is now able to walk on her own with canes
and leg braces. Her next goal is to be able to move to sorter braces
(below the knee) which will make it much easier for her to navigate over
uneven ground, go up and down stairs, etc.
The DIC is dedicated to the care of children with a variety of
conditions, such as cerebral palsy, neuromuscular diseases,
developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, genetic syndromes,
spinal cord injury, and brain injury. With medical and therapy costs
easily adding up to $100,000s every year per patient, the DIC provides
hundreds of families in southeast Michigan with physical therapy,
occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy, and
On average, the DIC receives reimbursement from Medicaid sponsored
insurance plans of only 38% of the actual service cost. In some cases,
needed treatments are not reimbursed by any coverage at all. On an
annual basis, the DIC subsidizes about $1,300,000 of uncompensated care
through contributions and support of organizations and events like the
Melissa's progress is directly related to the love and determination of
her family and the therapists at the DIC. Lory notes, "The DIC is really
part of our family. When we come in the door, everyone knows us and is
there to support us. They constantly find new ways to help Melissa make
continuing progress. Melissa loves her therapists and looks forward to
coming, which is critical to her success. I can't imagine her life
without the DIC."
Along with the DIC, other charities benefiting from the Charity Preview
include Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Boys Hope Girls
Hope Detroit, The Children's Center, The Children's Hospital of Michigan
Foundation, Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund,
Judson Center, March of Dimes and Think Detroit PAL.
Since 1920, The DIC has been the leader in innovative treatment for
special needs children throughout Southeast Michigan. The DIC provides
outpatient and in-school medical and rehabilitative care through
multiple locations to special needs children through a variety of
exceptional speech, occupational and physical therapies. The DIC's
mission is to care for children with physical or developmental
disabilities, For additional information about the DIC, visit www.detroitchildren.org.
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