Piggott's Grayden Dalton UCP Telethon Poster Child
Piggott Elementary first grader Grayden Dalton was the United Cerebral Palsy telethon's poster child Sunday on Channel 8 television in Jonesboro.
"It was amazing, and the most wonderful experience; we were really in shock the whole day," Graydon's mother Christina said. The number of people who really cared about the cause and volunteered their time genuinely touched her heart. "I was a little nervous when I realized how big of a media thing it was and about being on the news," Christina said. "But putting the good word out about UCP was important because they help so many families."
According to www.kait8.com, a grand total of $107,527 was raised in the telethon.
Seven-year-old Graydon was born with cerebral palsy, but his mother said a seizure suffered as a baby made Graydon's condition much more severe. Graydon cannot walk or talk. "He's non-verbal, but he can still express his feelings," Christina said.
The Daltons were honored Graydon was the face of UCP as they have been helped by the organization in times when other services would not cover therapeutic items needed for his care. Christina said Graydon was happy and content the day of the telethon. "I was worried about it at first, because with his condition loud noises and crowds can make him fussy, but the acoustics were low-toned and good for him," she said.
Christina stays at home with Graydon, as everything must be done for him. The pair go back and forth between Piggott Elementary and home schooling depending on how Graydon is doing physically, which can change frequently. He spends much of his time in different kinds of therapies.
Christina said while "it can be challenging, it is most definitely worthwhile," and she is not alone in the care-giving. Graydon's father Brian works as a contractor and the couple has a daughter, Nicky, a sixth grader at PES. When the whole family is home, everyone helps out.