Denver Poore is a young man who is struggling with Autism and Neurofibromatosis 1. He will be having a birthday on February 7, and turning 11. For the last two years, he has been collecting birthday cards from around the world, wishing him health and happiness. His mother, Betsy, has been his biggest supporter, even starting a Facebook page for this “Third Annual Card Extravaganza,” giving out the address for supporters to send young Mr. Poore a card. She has been collecting them together to hand to him in a big wrapped box on his birthday. As of Thursday, he had nearly 100 cards.
There is a movement afoot to help him receive 100 times that and more. A group of supporters from Massachusetts have been sharing the page and working to coordinate a nationwide effort to send cards. The goal is to help Denver spread awareness about Autism and Neurofibromatosis, the conditions that dominate his daily experience, while showering him with support and Birthday wishes. This last year has been a difficult one for Denver, but he has faced it with smiles and good spirits. He has not been defeated by the testing and treatment.
He has a huge support system, with older brothers Austin and Dakota always there by his side, and his mother, Betsy, an unshakable rock. She communicates daily via Facebook, giving updates on Denver’s testing and progress. You can tell from hearing her speak of him that he is as much a support for her as she is for him. Betsy Poore champions his cause, and works to increase awareness of Denver’s affliction. His spirits are boosted every year by the cards he receives, and the extravaganza provides an opportunity to bring attention to the condition.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder. It is reported to appear in one out of every 2,500 births. It causes a number of problems, including the development of brain tumors, vision problems, and learning disabilities. Some patients see other physical difficulties including complications from heart insufficiency and bone defects. The symptoms vary in each patient, though most develop the vision problems. Complete blindness happens frequently. According to a study conducted at Washington University of St. Louis, blindness actually occurs three times more often in girls as it does in boys. The same study indicates that boys may be more at risk for developing learning disabilities. It is a debilitating disease, but Denver Poore has not been daunted.
Parents of children with Autism are aware of the challenges associated with the condition. Coupled with a serious genetic disorder like Neurofibromatosis, the stresses would crush many, even most. Instead Denver Poore battles with his smiles for his family for the people worldwide who send him birthday wishes. This group of supporters in Massachusetts is hoping to make Denver a household name. They see no reason that he shouldn’t be receiving 100 cards a day. With that much attention, the conditions that challenge him might receive the attention that Denver and his family are hoping for. Birthday wishes might bring happiness to more than just this special young man.
For those interested in sending a card or package, the address is :Denver Poore 3101 SE 73rd St Lot 872 Ocala, FL 34480.
The goal is 100 per day.
By Jim Malone