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A Little Help Goes a Long Way

by Maria M.

My child, Emelly, was born with a chromosome disorder that resulted in her being mentally disabled, virtually immobile, and afflicted regularly with seizures. She was unable to sit upright and indicated little, or no, awareness of activity or people.

The nurse of the elementary school in our neighborhood, who happened to be a member of Houston East End Lions Club, became an advocate for Emelly. She directed us to SIRE, Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding and related activities ( She even brought our situation to the attention of the members of her Lions Club. The Lions responded, provided funding, and made it possible for Emelly to participate in the SIRE program in Hockley, TX.

Emelly has, since participating in the therapeutic riding program, developed sufficient strength to sit upright. She is now able to look around and is aware of happenings nearby. Her breathing has improved and the seizures are much less frequent. It really is difficult to describe the benefits of the hippo therapy, but quality of life for Emelly, and for all our family members, has improved so much. We anticipate continued improvement with this invaluable therapy.

We’re so grateful to the Houston East End Lions who helped make this program possible for our darling Emelly. I know that Lions do so much to help children. I’m willing to tell anyone, or any group, about the SIRE program and the Houston East End Lions.

Thank you, East End Lions!

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