Sometimes, when a loved one is dealt a tough break in life, the pain can be overwhelming.
However, there is a way to help overcome the sadness and it starts by becoming active.
That’s what John and Heather Buyer did when they created Counting Possibilities, to help spark awareness and interest in advancing the day when a cure will be found for cerebral palsy.
Their son, Joel, a first-grader at Cherry Hill, has the condition.
The Buyer’s created Counting Possibilities to help support a variety of local and other agencies with cerebral palsy advocacy, education and support.
Last Saturday’s fifth-annual Cerebral Palsy Co-ed 6’s volleyball tournament and 5k run/walk and roll event was held at Washington High School. “We give money to the CP clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (in Columbus),” Buyer said. “We give money to Ronald McDonald House; anything that we can do to help and give back to the people that have helped us all these years.”
A large crowd turned out to support the cause and the Buyer family, as well as to take part in the volleyball tournament.
“This got started because we wanted to give something back,” John Buyer said. “This was our way of doing that, by generating money to help people who maybe needed something and were kind of in the same boat we were.
“The only way we could find out who they were is if they came to our event,” Buyer said. “Because of HIPPA, the doctors and the agencies couldn’t tell us who they were.
“Our hope was that they would come here so we could meet them and see if we could help with anything,” Buyer said. “From something that would attach to a wheelchair, to software for an iPad, to help with educational purposes.
“We’ve helped purchase ramps that go on back of vehicles to hold wheelchairs,” Buyer said. “We’ve given money to send kids to Recreation Unlimited (a camp that serves folks with developmental disabilities and health concerns).
The entry fee for the volleyball tournament was $25 per player.
There were also raffles, a silent auction, t-shirt sales and a 5K run/walk/roll to help raise funds.
“Washington City Schools has allowed us to do this,” Buyer said. “I retired last year as the volleyball coach. One of our alumni, Ashley (Pepper) DeAtley, now is the varsity coach. She has allowed us to continue the community work that we started with Blue Lion volleyball. The players are helping with registration, keeping score of the tournament games; a majority of the team is here today.
“There are a lot of alumni here today,” Buyer said. “They come back every year.
“Kroger stepped up again and helped us with some donations,” Buyer said.
Other businesses involved include: Rusty Keg, Summer Breeze, Serene Spaces, Fayette Eye Care, AK Athletics, Larry Brickles and Second Chance (helped with clean-up).
“Joel never ceases to amaze us, day-in and day-out,” Buyer said. “He’s going to Cherry Hill Elementary and he’s getting A’s and B’s and we’re pleased as punch. We’re very happy.”
This year’s event raised $3,000, Buyer said.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1