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Grace Meek Fundraiser
$1,685 raised
61% of $2.8k goal
21 contributors
4 Years running
Recently, 15-year-old quadriplegic, Grace Meek, underwent surgery in her journey for independence. Please help us raise money for the Meek family with your tax deductible donation.

Grace's entire journey:

Grace Meek Fundraiser

Please donate to  honor Grace for her strength  and determination.



Fifteen-year old, Grace Meek from Morgantown, WV, suffered a spinal stroke at age seven that left her as a quadriplegic. On October 21, Grace underwent a major surgery to help her in her battle to gain independence.  Our team is inspired by Grace’s determination and kind spirit. We are honoring Grace and her family by collecting donations to support the Meek Family. Donations will help cover expenses incurred for time off of work and travel incurred for her surgery and therapy. Our online “fundrazr” our goal is to raise $2750. Please help us to honor Grace with a tax donation of $10, $25 or $50.

This fundraiser is led by our team of technical writers including Kym Cottrell, Betty Robey, Amanda Ford, Kerrie Wisvari, Kim Hyde, Karen Rivers, Janet Wyrick, and Nicole Larson. Our team chose to organize this effort to honor Grace for the same qualities that we admire in each other. Whether you know Grace or if you are just inspired by her, please join us in supporting the Meek Family.   

Tax deductible donations are paid to the Meek family through Salem United Methodist Church. Electronic donations with your checking account, credit card, or PayPal account are accepted through Fundrazr.   

You can also mail checks payable to:

Salem United Methodist Church

      Grace Meek Fundraiser

      c/o Kym Cottrell

      531 Meteor Drive

      Morgantown , WV 26508  


A special thanks to Salem United Methodist Church for assisting us with this effort and to RCS Corporation for your generous donation of $500.   


Grace’s Story as told by her mother, Kim Meek


      On February 1, 2006, our lives changed in an instant. Grace went to school, just like every other day. After lunch and recess, Grace remembers having some upper back/neck pain.  She headed to the nurse’s office.   While she was walking through the office, Grace fell down.  She was helped into a chair.  For those who knew Grace, she ALWAYS wore a blue bandana that pulled her hair back.  While she was sitting in the chair, the bandana fell off her head and into her eyes.  Grace tried to raise her arms to fix the bandana but NOTHING.  She was unable to move her arms.  She was also in extreme pain and crying uncontrollably. The school contacted me and her father immediately. Within twenty minutes her father got to school only to find that Grace was unable to move anything from the neck down. 

      When I got to school, I knew something must be very seriously wrong.  I had NO idea what but I knew something horrific had happened.  The ambulance arrived shortly and the paramedics let me ride up front for the ride to the hospital. At first the ambulance was taking their time and getting Grace evaluated, etc.  About half way to the hospital, the paramedic in the back yelled to the driver “You had better speed it up”.  My heart and stomach just absolutely sank, I was so scared.  I could not see in the back but I knew things were not going well.  The light went on, the sirens blared and the driver sped up.  It is a sound I will NEVER forget.    

     The emergency room did numerous tests in an attempt to diagnose the problem. But everything was coming back negative. Unfortunately, Grace’s vital signs kept declining and the doctors had no idea what was wrong! Prior to the pain, Grace had not experienced any falls, accidents, slips, etc. She was a perfectly healthy seven year old little girl in the second grade. At about 8 pm, Grace was no longer able to breath on her own and the emergency room had to intubate (insert breathing tube and placed on a ventilator) Grace. At 10:30 pm, the neurologist gave us the grave news - Grace had suffered a stroke in the C4 to C5 spinal cord region which left her as a quadriplegic. Her father just broke down. I was in total shock. 

     I had never heard of such a thing especially in a 7 year old little girl and had no idea what was ahead of us. Once we were told Grace had experienced a Spinal Cord Stroke, Grace was set up in the PICU at WVU Hospital.  At the time, Bill and I had NO idea what very serious condition Grace was actually in.  Over the last 4 years, Bill and I have had our fair share of time in the PICU.  Grace’s first night in the hospital, Grace had 2 nurses that sat in her room and watched her all night.  Bill and I know now that a patient ONLY gets 2 nurses if the patient is in critical condition. Grace stayed for the next 5 weeks at the PICU at West Virginia University Hospital. During that time, a tracheotomy and g-tube were inserted. During the time at the ER, Grace had aspirated; therefore, causing some major issues with her lungs and pneumonia. We had a lot of ups and downs, and very long days and nights. But, through God’s grace, our precious daughter survived.   

      On March 8, 2006, Grace was transported to Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in Baltimore, MD, for rehabilitation as an inpatient. During our 4 month stay at KKI, she received physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, respiratory therapy, recreational therapy and school. She would begin her day around 6 am and finish about 5 pm. Grace definitely made progress at KKI but emotionally she was a wreck. Needless to say, she was mad at the world. Our little girl had not been home in about five months and she desperately needed to be in a home environment with her two sisters. On June 27, 2006, Grace was able to make the trip home to WV. She was so excited she could hardly sleep the night before. 

      While we were away, her father and friends remodeled our home to accommodate Grace's disability. A room was converted to a bedroom on the first floor and a lift installed from the garage so that Grace could use her wheelchair to get to her room. They painted her room purple and she just loved it. They widened all the doorways for her wheelchair, and put down hardwood floors for easy mobility. 

      Grace is now 15 years old and is the middle child of three girls. Her older sister is Tara, and her younger sister is Marissa. Grace also has a half sister named Olivia. Grace absolutely adores them. Before the stroke, I worked outside the home. But since then, I have become a PT, OT, nurse, doctor, respiratory therapist, teacher, as well as Mom.  With Grace in school, I now have a job as a school secretary so that I have the same days off as the girls. 

     Currently, Grace is a full time student in the 10th grade at University High School in Morgantown, WV. Due to her continuing medical needs, Grace has a nurse in class with her. Grace does very well academically as well as socially. Fortunately, the stroke did not impair Grace's mental capabilities. She has limited movement in both arms and no longer needs assistance in breathing. She has the ability to write, feed herself, use a computer, and of course, text and use facebook on her cell phone. She continues to gain strength in her trunk and can hold herself in a sitting position for a short period of time. 

      We make trips to Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore for intense therapy sessions as often as we can. She goes for two weeks during the summer and we also make day trips during the school year. Last year we made 15 day trips. 

      Since the first of the year, she has been going once a week for an intense day of therapy - one hour of aquatic therapy, three hours of physical therapy, and two hours of occupational therapy. During her physical therapy, she has been doing the RT 600 and Therastride. It allows her to get the best simulation of walking with the help of a machine and electrical stimulation. Also, she has started working on a new machine called the RT 200. It allows her to exercise with the arm bike and leg bike at the same time!   Making the trip to Baltimore once a week is a little difficult, but, we truly believe that this is something which must be done! 

      We continue to be very diligent with at-home therapies. Grace uses a RTI leg bike 3 times a week while riding approximately 9 miles. By using the RTI leg bike, her legs have retained their muscle tone. To gain strength and range of motion in her arms, she also uses a RTI arm bike 3 times a week. Both RTI devices use electrical stimulation to help her legs and arms to move. Grace uses a stander everyday for one hour. Standing promotes her circulation and bone density. 

      In the spring of 2007, Grace had her neck fused to correct a kyphosis (curvature of the spinal neck area). In the summer of 2008, Grace had growing rods surgery to correct severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and had two additional surgeries to lengthen the growing rods. In April of 2008, Grace suddenly became very ill and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance where she stayed for 10 days. She had to be intubated and placed on a vent for 8 days to help her breath. Grace recovered, but respiratory issues will always be a lifetime threat. 

      On July 26, 2008, thru paws4people, Grace received her very own Service Dog, COLT. COLT attends school with Grace and provides many benefits on so many levels (physically, emotionally, and socially) but more importantly she has a best friend and a constant companion. 

      In December of 2008, Grace had tendon transfer surgery to correct the positioning of her left wrist. This surgery was successful because it enables her to pinch her fingers so that she can pick up things. 

      Since Grace’s spinal stroke, Grace has tone and spasticity especially in her lower extremities. The tone and spasticity were beginning to interfere with day to day activities such as transfers and sleeping. Her doctors thought that a baclofen pump could help alleviate this condition, thus surgery was done in February of 2009. The surgery was another success. Since the baclofen pump surgery, her tone and spasticity has greatly been reduced. 

      In May of 2009, Grace had “outgrown” her growing rods. Therefore, Grace needed to have surgery to remove the growing rods and to have her spine fused together. This surgery lasted very long 13 hours. But, the surgery went very well and she has recuperated and doing great. 

      I truly believe that one day there will be a cure for spinal cord injuries.  When that time arrives, I want Grace to be “ready” – that means healthy with good muscle tone.  The entire family works very hard to keep her “in shape” and not to let atrophy (muscle deterioration) set in.  

      Because of the support that Grace has received from many and varied sources, we have been able to purchase most of the necessary items to keep her healthy. All of the items mentioned concerning the in-home therapy have been purchased with funds received from outside sources, anything but insurance. Several of the pieces of medical equipment have also been purchased from outside sources. Without these additional items, Grace would not be where she is today. Insurance considers a lot of these items as a convenience, not as a necessity.  

      I feel that it is absolutely necessary to keep Grace in therapy. We truly believe that Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD is the very best place to be treated and receive her therapies. She must be evaluated regularly so that I can be taught what she needs to work on at home and also I need to keep abreast of any new pieces of apparatus which will help us reach our goal of Grace being able to be self sufficient.  

      I thank God every day for giving us our girls.  They bring so much joy and happiness into our lives!  We cannot thank our family and friends enough for their continued support, love, and prayers.  We would NOT be where we are today without them.

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