Michael has endured an enormous amount of adversity throughout his life. When I first met him at age eight, he could not and would not speak. Staring at a wall, he would rock back and forth, his personality and presence hidden inside of him. He was a broken child.
Mikey had endured a very rough early childhood, suffered brain injury, and experienced seizures frequently. But today, you would never know this when you see the look on his face as he listens to a favorite song or watches a motorcycle drive by.
Despite all of the hardships that Mikey had encountered in those important early years of his life, he was such a sweet, loving child from the day he became a part of my family.
I immediately began searching for the best options I could find and was referred to Heartsong through my service coordinator. I read about the art and music therapies they said could help, but was unsure of at what price all of these services would be available. Knowing it may be a long shot, I met with Marion Anderson, the Executive Director of Heartsong.
She said she could help him. It changed Mikey’s life completely.
Through the scholarship fund offered by Heartsong, I was able to enroll Mikey in the therapeutic programs they provide. To say these programs have had an impact on Mikey is a severe understatement. They have ENTIRELY transformed his communication with the world.
Non-verbal and without the social skills needed to communicate, many organizations would have turned him away for the level of difficulty his diagnoses presented: autism, mental retardation, small brain syndrome, gait disorder, seizure disorder, and a sleep disorder, just to give you the short list.
Today, Mikey has an uncanny ability to make everyone he meets smile through his warm, engaging personality. Heartsong was instrumental in this achievement. And it his desire and mine to leave his mark by helping others who also may benefit from the services Heartsong provides.
Some children know how to speak to you through words, some through gestures, some through facial expression and some simply through a look. Michael Norris, however, has learned how to speak to us in his own incredible way. Michael may be “non-verbal” in many medical charts, but those of us who know him, know him as a TOTAL communicator. Michael has truly been blessed by the gift of music offered to him by Heartsong.
- Elizabeth Seabury, Mikey's therapist
The therapists at Heartsong are phenomenal. Dedicated and attuned to the needs of each child they are personally invested in the progress made each session. Heartsong has given so much to Mikey, it’s difficult to even put into words. You meet him once, you understand.
This past spring, Bernie Williams played with his band at the Heartsong gala. As the band filled the room with songs, Mikey took the floor. . . and the spotlight. Even the former Yankee was entranced by the joy radiating from Mikey. It was remarkable.
But, all of this wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of those who support scholarships at Heartsong and give back to families in need of a hand. I experienced this generosity first hand and it turned my son's life around in a huge way. Now, I ask you to stand by me and do the same for others. Let Mikey leave a legacy of giving back to those just like him, who need a helping hand.
Mikey was very fortunate to have received a scholarship and now I want to share the passion I have for Heartsong, what it has meant for my family, and give back for other children in need of therapy. I have helped raise funds for other scholarships as a way to share with others in need. Today, I’m asking for you to join me as well.
Your support of the Mikey Mo Gives Back fund will allow other children to participate in these transformative programs and impact the lives of children, just like Mikey. It will allow his legacy to live on and reach so many more families who are in need of crucial therapies.
Heartsong has given so much to Mikey and now he wants to give back. Give back today with Mikey and help him spread the marvelous impact of Heartsong!