The Tennessee Justice Center is happy to honor Shannon Grimes as a 2019 Mother of the Year for her determination to get her son, Carson, the care that he needs, as well as her drive to advocate for kids with disabilities across Tennessee.
Carson, who is now almost 3 years old, struggles with a variety of medical concerns, including seizures, visual impairment, and breathing difficulties. It was a long journey to figure out what was going on, but he was eventually diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation called GRIN1.
With all of Carson’s hospitalizations, therapies, and medical equipment, the costs really began to add up. He had insurance through his mom’s work, but this did not cover everything, and his parents were paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Shannon applied to TennCare multiple times and was denied each time. However, she continued to fight to get the health coverage he needed, and after contacting her senator, she was finally able to get Carson on TennCare. She said, “What kept me motivated was just Carson. He deserves the best and what every other kid deserves.”
Although Carson now has TennCare, Shannon understands he could lose it in the future, and she knows that there are many other kids like Carson who are not able to get the coverage that he has. To advocate for these kids, she has spoken with her state legislators about the hardships her family has been through.
Although Shannon has had to jump through many hurdles just to get Carson the care he needs, she loves being a mom to Carson and his 8-year-old brother, Tanner. “Carson makes life a little easier just because he smiles any time you’re having a bad day. Just the fact that he smiles makes things better every time.”