One miracle after another. The Redmond family’s story serves up so much of what Forward Stride has to offer: inclusive programming that supports participants through many strides, over time, to foster continued growth.

Evan came to Forward Stride at age three after being diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease and recovering from emergency open heart surgery. He was facing multiple medical, physical and developmental challenges and in urgent need of help with both fine and gross motor skills. His family says they were desperate for guidance in an alternative therapeutic setting because “Evan repeatedly struggled and ultimately failed in traditional occupational and physical therapy settings.”

“When we learned about Forward Stride and all they had to offer, we suspected it could be a great fit for our animal-loving son. We signed up, leaned in, and promptly witnessed Evan achieve multiple developmental goals at Forward Stride, with truly measurable results. We were handed one miracle after another!”

“Evan’s self confidence and pure joy absolutely soared among the ponies and their passionate people.”

Baby Evan on Pippin

In his almost eleven years here, Evan graduated from the Rehabilitation Services program and transitioned into the Riding Program. “The life skills and values he has gained on his journey are countless,” say the Redmonds.

“Evan is now an active and stellar student and recognized as a committed service leader in his various school and community circles. We have no doubt Forward Stride has directly contributed to his successes.” 

The Redmonds are quick to credit the professional and volunteer staff.  “We continue to marvel at the commitment of the volunteer team at Forward Stride; it is truly unmatched. From the very beginning, Evan’s very own volunteer buddy Jan has driven all the way from the coast to Forward Stride to help out at most of his lessons.”

“We must share that we are indeed proud of our Evan and our entire Forward Stride community — and just so very, very thankful.”

“Our family would dearly love to see Forward Stride continue to grow and thrive and meet the diverse needs of many. We find it easy to share our own story and champion all that is Forward Stride. More importantly, we believe in making the continual and concerted effort to actively support this wonderfully effective and inspiring community of dedicated volunteers and supremely skilled professionals.

“So many years ago our team at Forward Stride handed us HOPE. It can be such a rare and elusive gift.”

Want to read more of Evan’s inspiring story? Read the full version, written by his mom, Sonia, here.

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