Giving Back to Help Others on Their Journey

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Anthony Cales is sharing is family's eJourney about why they are committed to giving back

By Anthony Cales

Our daughter Alex seemed normal at birth up until she began to crawl. That is when we noticed she wasn’t using her right arm or hand. We later found out she had suffered a stroke while in the womb. It was something no one knew about. The MRI results showed massive brain damage in her left hemisphere.

During additional testing, it was discovered that Alex was having over 100 seizures a day. In turn, the stroke caused epilepsy. We received the epilepsy diagnosis in 2007 after some additional testing. When several medications failed to prevent her seizure activity, she underwent left hemispherectomy surgery.

She was seizure free for almost three years, but then the seizure activity unfortunately returned.

Alex will be 16 years old in November and although she will not medically be able to drive, which is something she looked forward to, she is healthy and is now taking well to the medications to control the seizures. She will always have no mobility in her right hand and right-side weakness, yet life continues. She is strong, she is courageous, and she overcomes. When the doctors once told us she may never walk, talk or be normal, our faith said otherwise, and now Alex is truly a walking miracle!

My wife, Veronica, and I started A&V Treasures to help bring smiles to others through the products we sell while giving Alex a project of her own. We sell all sorts of toys, dolls, games, action figures, and collectibles within our online store.

Alex is an integral part of the store. She helps pack orders, which not only fulfills a dream to feel important and needed but is also something she can be proud of. Our goal is to teach her how to operate multiple areas of the business and one day this could even be fully operated by her.

Giving back is important to us. We decided to donate a portion of our proceeds to the Epilepsy Foundation because we have lived right alongside Alex, and epilepsy, for almost 16 years. We understand the struggles families and adults face when living with epilepsy and disabilities. It only made sense for us to give back a portion of what we earn to help others on their journey in honor of Alex.

It is our sincere hope that the funds we raise will help spread awareness. One life changed or one person trained in seizure first aid is more than enough reason for us to give back.

Reviewed By: Sara Wyen

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