Rachel Polen is a 20-year-old woman who was diagnosed as an infant with Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic mutation that effects brain development. Infants with Rett Syndrome seem to develop normally and reach the developmental milestones such as rolling over and crawling, but at about a year old, the child will start to rapidly decline, losing coordination, speech, and the ability to use their hands.
Callie Rose was born at 29 weeks, weighing just 2lbs 11oz. Before her first birthday, she was diagnosed with Spastic-Dystonic-Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects all four of her limbs, making her muscles tight and causing movement to be hard and stiff. Dianna McCord, a Pennsylvania Elks Home Service nurse, has been helping Callie and her family since Callie was about 8 months old.
When Dianna McCord, the Pennsylvania Elks Home Service nurse for Washington County, first met her client Lily Ayres, Lily was just over a year old and living in a trailer with her father Cliff Ayres, who is a single parent. Since their first meeting, the Ayres have been able to move into a house and have received assistance and funding for the resources they need.
Twenty-five thousand five hundred hours.
That's one thousand, sixty-two and a half days, twenty four hours a day.
That's thirty-five months. That's nearly three years.
That's how much time one hundred-fifty volunteers log each year at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum.
The Museum's oldest volunteer has been on earth for more than thirty-five thousand days. Its youngest has experienced a little over four thousand.
Meals on Wheels of Peters Township relies on more than 200 volunteers over the course of a year to make their program possible. Ginny Barnicoat has been a volunteer at Meals on Wheels of Peters Township for the past six years. She was inspired to begin volunteer work there after listening to touching stories from other volunteers.
After surviving her battle with uterine cancer, Ruth Crothers, 56, of Monongahela has taken control of her health with the help of the Mon Valley YMCA. Ruth was diagnosed with uterine cancer in January of 2016. She has been in remission since having a hysterectomy in April of 2016 and her recovery continues.