We lost our girl Mikaela Lauren Tick on July 27, 2013 at only 24 years old. Her life was tragically cut short after an unexpected turn in a routine open-heart surgery to address her rare heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
Intelligent, beautiful beyond words, gentle, genuinely kind, a little sassy at times and most of all Mikaela was so loving. She was the kind of person you always wanted to be around and went to when you really needed advice.
From a young age Mikaela was drawn to helping others in need and found ways to foster deep relationships in unexpected places. Mikaela was able to touch the lives of so many through her ability to inspire and influence individuals with special needs.
Mikaela was enrolled in graduate school at NYU Steinhardt, pursuing a degree in occupational therapy. She was following her dream of becoming an occupational therapist and dedicating her life to helping those in need.
Mikaela was able to break all social barriers and interact with special needs individuals in a way that was so comfortable and natural. She made them feel confident, accepted, free of judgment and inspired to reach their functional potential. She wanted them to feel put together, fashionable and comfortable in their own skin. These were some of her hopes as she first entered the field of occupational therapy.
The MLTfoundation was organized to carry out Mikaela's life vision: empowering individuals with special needs through occupational therapy services.
By partnering with St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children, the MLTfoundation will continue Mikaela’s work and keep her memory alive. St. Mary's is one of the nation's premier providers of intensive rehabilitation and specialized care for children with special needs and life-limiting conditions. Each day, St. Mary’s provides these services to children throughout the New York metropolitan area at its inpatient facility.
The MLTfoundation has chosen to work with St. Mary's for the many reasons listed above, but also because it is a place where Mikaela spent her time working with children at "Camp Helping Hands," an intensive summer therapy program offered at St. Mary's.
Thank you for all that you are doing to support a great cause and for keeping Mikaela's spirit and dreams alive.