NOMINATIONS FOR TJC’S COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE HEROES
Do you want to nominate your mom, dad, neighbor, friend, or other caretakers you know?
· Kids aged 3-9 can submit a drawing or photo that shows why their nominee is their health care hero.
· Kids aged 10 and up can submit a short essay (300 words or less) saying why their nominee is their special health care hero.
· Adults can help! Friends and family can, of course, send in a nomination as well.
Submissions should include a photo of the child and their nominee with the nominee’s name, the child’s name, phone number, and address. (We apologize, but photos cannot be returned). Parents must send an entry release form with their child’s drawing, photo, or essay. Submissions should be mailed to Tennessee Justice Center, 211 7th Ave N. #100, Nashville, TN 37219, or you can email your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a digital picture of the child and the nominee. Submissions for 2020 Community Mothers of the Year will open in January 2020. Tune in then to submit someone you think deserves to be nominated!
PREVIOUS COMMUNITY MOTHERS OF THE YEAR
Latricia Thomas Millburn
Latricia is a Managing Editor and Evening Anchor for WTVC Channel 9 in Chattanooga. She and her husband, Charlie, have three children: Lila (6), Lawson (3), and Avett (infant). Their daughter, Lila, and son, Avett, have Down Syndrome (DS). Latricia works tirelessly to advocate for her children’s healthcare needs, balancing her family, career, and involvement in the DS community.
Since her daughter’s diagnosis, Latricia has advocated for better opportunities for other children through her leadership with the Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society. Shannen Sharpe, Latricia’s coworker and friend, said that she nominated her for Community Mother of the year because, “Latricia is an inspiration to people who know her and people who don’t. She has become a strong advocate for children with special needs—not just to benefit her own family but to benefit families across the state and country.” Last year, Latricia traveled to Washington D.C. to speak with members of an Appropriations subcommittee to advocate for more funding for medical research linking Down syndrome to medical conditions like Alzheimer’s and cancer, which could one day affect the treatment of all patients.
Ms. Tonya Bowman is a wife to Jeff and mother to Jasmine, Jeffrey, and Jacob. Jasmine and Jacob have special healthcare needs. They are at the heart of her personal and professional endeavors. Tonya never imagined she’d embark on a mission to advocate for the equal participation of people with disabilities until she had to. She then encountered firsthand with her own children the challenges and barriers for children with special healthcare needs and their families. Her family experienced economic barriers while raising their children. The resources weren’t affordable and their incomes were slightly over the criteria for financial assistance. She faced what seemed insurmountable, navigating processes. However, perseverance led to the successes of her children.
Cayla is an IT Tech Systems Operator. She and her husband, Matt, have been married for 10 years. They have three children: Ethan (12), Eligh (9), and Enzley (4). Cayla describes her youngest daughter as a curious girl who enjoys playing baseball and attending dance class. Enzley was diagnosed with autism when she was 2 years old and is enrolled in the state’s Medicaid insurance program (TennCare), which helps Enzley’s family pay for her therapies.
Since her daughter’s diagnosis, Cayla has worked around the clock—sometimes driving 30 miles each day—to ensure that her daughter receives the best care in Murfreesboro. Although Cayla works full-time on weekends, often working 12-hour shifts, she has been a tireless advocate for her daughter and loving caregiver to her family. Rose Adgent, Cayla’s mother, said that she nominated her daughter for Community Mother of the Year because, “[Cayla] is Super Girl, Wonder Woman, and a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her children’s healthcare and wellbeing.”
Though Barbara has taken care of and provided for her grandsons– Justin, Andrew, and Nathan– their whole lives, she became their legal guardian in January 2012. The kids say that without their grandmother, whom they call “Nanna,” they would have been separated and placed in foster homes.
Barbara is learning that caring for three boys is not easy, especially when they have special needs and she has disabilities herself. Barbara says, “I am trying to make up for all the bad things they have gone through.” Barbara’s courage and love for her grandchildren is making a positive difference in their lives. She says, “All they need is love and understanding, and they have already responded and are doing better.”
Angie Quinn-Clark is many things: an active duty soldier stationed in Fort Campbell, KY, a dedicated wife, an amazing mother, and a tireless advocate. Angie lives in Clarksville with her husband, Curtis Clark, a retired soldier with more than twenty years of experience, and their four children- Cathy, Brianna, Curtis Jr., and Tamorra. Unlike many other children Tamorra’s age, her history is marked by a long list of medical needs. Tamorra is a quadriplegic with severe Cerebral Palsy, which is exacerbated by epileptic seizures. Most importantly, Tamorra needs someone to be her voice at all times to ensure she receives the physical, emotional, and medical attention needed to stay healthy, happy, and thriving. Angie has literally devoted her life to Alisha’s care, saying, “Keeping her at home, keeping her alive has been my primary focus.”
In July of 2014 Callie Briley gave birth to her third child, a baby girl, Lizzie Kay. Callie and her husband Justin also had a 5-year-old named Hunter and a 2-year-old named Taylor. They left the hospital with a 5-year-old about to start Kindergarten, a newborn, and a newly diagnosed 2-year-old type one diabetic. 3 months after Taylor’s diagnosis, Hunter began showing the same symptoms. They were headed to the hospital once again. There Hunter was diagnosed type one diabetic as well. There is almost no help from the government with the average healthcare cost of treating a child with type 1 diabetes – an average of $9,300 a year. Now multiply that by 2 for the Briley family. Callie says, “The government does not see this disease as a disability and therefore they do not offer help. Even if you have multiple children. However we serve an amazing God and somehow every month we have been able to get their supplies. Even if that means digging in the couch for pennies.”
Justice Holly Kirby
Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby, the first woman to serve as a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals, is also a dedicated and inspiring mother of two. Justice Holly Kirby’s tremendous devotion to her son Scott and to her daughter Brooke Lillard has created ripple effects that reach wider communities. She is not only an extraordinary mother but also a true public servant. She says, “In my 20 years on Tennessee’s appellate courts, I’ve seen many cases involving families who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in terrible circumstances. Fine people facing incredible challenges. I may be a judge, but I’m a mom too, and it is heartbreaking to see the struggle these families go through. We need to connect Tennessee’s families with the resources that are available to help them.”
Photo credit: John St. Clair