Monday, March 23, 2009
Meet Our Movie Critic and Movie Deal Writer
For those who don't know us, Becca is my daughter who is 19 and she has Noonan Syndrome and my sidekick and movie buff deal maker and critic. I thought this picture spoke "Hollywood and the Movies" as I introduce her new weekly post.
She is our gift, our miracle. From the time she was a tiny baby she was never expected to survive. For the first 6 months of her tiny life she was stuck in the Newborn Intensive Care unit and every system in her tiny body was somehow affected. She spent much of that first year in heart failure, ruled out for a heart transplant because of her immune deficiency and high white blood count, she had something very similar to JMML Leukemia. After one of her many surgeries she had a hypoxic event, and was left without oxygen for nearly 10 minutes. The doctors told us that she would probably have severe brain damage if she were to survive.
Bringing Becca home from the hospital meant that I had to learn to turn her room into a Pediatric Intensive are unit, RN nurses and all for what little time she had left. With six children ll and under I could not do everything and I had to share my little one.
Becca's days were spent hooked up to technology and doing the many medical cares, to occupy her mind, we read book after book, and watched Disney movie after Disney movie. We could not afford to buy them, but the nurses began Becca's obsession with Disney by always bringing her latest "want". Her first signs... "Little Fishy"( Little Mermaid), "Want Movie", "More Book".
With the newest movie meant her feeding pump backpack would change. The ugly gray carrying case replaced by Ariel, Simba, or Pocahontas and hung on her little pink wheelchair. She would always "want" the latest Disney stuffed animal to love and comfort while she went through living with medical needs and all the pain.
When Jim's sister got married we took a cross country trip stopping at Disneyland for Becca to meet her favorite characters which we had saved and worked hard to do while Jim was in medical school. We took on extra paper routes to make it happen.
When Becca was 8, the Children's Wish Foundation Granted Becca's wish to swim with the Dolphons in the Florida Keys and our whole family which now included 5 siblings adopted from the foster care system to DisneyWorld. The trip to Disney, Becca's wish gave our "new" family an adventure into the world of Disney and cemented the Yurcek Tribe as one.
The years have continued, Becca is an avid fan of the Disney Adventure Magazine. She struggles with reading and her learning disabilities and I use her favorites to help her learn. When Disney announced that they were asking kids to share their volunteer activities. Our family gives back and the kids and I created a Backpacks for Kids Program in Kalamazoo Michigan and over the year handed out nearly 5,000 backpacks stocked with school supplies to kids in the area homeless shelter, foster care and needy children throughout the area. Becca told Delonzo and I that we had to "tell Disney about it" and showed me that article in the Disney Adventure Magazine. He and I put together a booklet about our project and spliced together a tape of the news articles about the kids endeavor. We were surprised when Becca, Deangelo, Delonzo and Detamara won the Disney All Star Award for their volunteer team project out of thousands of entries and Disney flew them to Disneyland to Meet up with the Cast and Crew of the "That's So Raven" show to do a volunteer project at a Burbank Nursing Home and of course tickets to Disneyland and huge gift baskets filled with Disney items and of course a selection of Disney Movies.
As I write this introduction, it strikes me that Disney is a common thread in our lives with Becca. Movies and Disney Channel helps take her mind away from all the chronic pain, fatigue and illness. It is the place to go in her mind where life is full of sunshine and adventure. At 19 Becca proves that Disney is for all ages, but for her it is a companion.
Speaking of Companion, Becca is an animal lover, and those much loved stuffed animals over the years have turned into her now furry companions who are always at her sides. Milo is named of course for Milo and Otis. Milo is her five year old a bischion friase sidekick who snuggles and protects anyone from waking her up. Pumpkin is her orange furry two year old, her nickname "Trouble" coined by Dad is the source of comic relief. The newest addition to Becca's family is her tiny service dog Morgan, a four pound "Morky" half Yorkshire Terrior and half Maltese. She is with Becca as we travel out into doctors appointments, therapy (yes even the hospital therapy pool with a fearful Becca), stores, and our shopping adventures. She loves horses, and rode them despite her bleeding disorders for 9 years at a therapeutic riding stables in Michigan.
Becca spends her days caring for her animals, doing schoolwork, and those down days and hours, watching TV and movies. Animal Planet, Disney, Jon and Kate Plus 8, l8 Kids and Counting are her some of her now favorites along with any CSI type crimesolving mystery.
Becca has been introduced to Hollywood and movie making when her sister Marissa went on to school and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood and Marissa's fiance Jordan has gone into screenwriting and production. Becca keeps tabs on the going ons in Hollywood and we together read the stars on the Walk of Fame.
Last year Becca had a promised honored by Oprah, to visit the show and see her favorite singer Celine Dion and I of course got to witness this amazing miracle.
She has spent her life as my sidekick and through watching she has become quite a deal finder.
She is number oriented and memorizes not only my schedule, but she is my price book. She can uses the internet to find the best deal for anything I ask her to research. She is my personal and research assistant.
My Tiny Titan, is living up to her name, small and mighty, my miracle is now practicing her writing skills and sharing her love for movies on my bargain hunting blog. Lately, the movies that are released are all animal loving movies, Becca's forte.
I hope that you will stop by at the beginning of each week to see what she has discovered in Movie land and learn more about Becca at Keeping Up with the Tiny Titan. To see Becca's Story stop by the Tiny Titan website.