Nemours Children’s Health System sponsors Special Olympics Florida’s Young Athletes and Little ELITES programs. Their support allows Special Olympics Florida to offer these innovative, year-round programs for children ages 2-11 with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Recently, at the State Fall Classic, Special Olympics Florida held a Young Athletes and Little ELITES exhibition with interactive sports-play skill stations (running, jumping, striking, kicking, and obstacle course) and festival activities including face painting, a juggler/balloon artist, and games. All families who attended were able to participate, have lunch, receive a t-shirt, and learn more about Special Olympics Florida – all at no cost.
Kalis was one of the athletes attending the event. This young athlete brightens the room with her infectious smile. Her grandmother first brought Kalis to the Young Athletes program in 2015 and discovered that Special Olympics Florida is much more than just sports. There Kalis received a free health exam that helped save her hearing. The otolaryngologist found that Kalis had a 20% hearing loss in both ears. She was referred to an ENT and had surgery shortly after.
This year, Kalis was able to see a dermatologist, again at no cost, at State Fall Classic. The doctor was able to examine her chronic eczema and schedule a free follow-up visit for later in the month.
Kalis’s grandmother said, “Words can never express the gratitude and love that we have for Special Olympics Florida. The Young Athletes program has been successful in encouraging her to get and stay fit. The opportunities that are given are beyond wonderful.”
The support of individuals and organizations like Nemours helps make these kinds of experiences possible. Thank you to Nemours and all our sponsors for helping keep children like Kalis healthy and happy as we help build communities in our state and beyond where people of all abilities are respected and celebrated.