More than half of the team members at Mitchell Subaru are parents, so it’s not surprising Connecticut Children’s was front of mind when selecting a hometown charity to support during the annual Subaru Share the Love Event. “Anything we can do to help the children is what we are all about here. We look forward to this campaign all year, and this is by far my favorite,” said Craig Christenson, a Mitchell Subaru sales associate who is a father of two. And for that support, patients like Eli couldn’t be more grateful.
Eli O’Mara has a larger than life personality and was eager to thank Mitchell Subaru for their support of the Greatest Need Children’s Fund. The care he received at Connecticut Children’s was life-changing, for him and his family. He first came through the Emergency Department when he was a baby experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction. “He was a pretty normal baby at first,” his mother, Allison says. “And then at 8 months old, he had his first anaphylactic reaction to food, his first ambulance ride.”
But other issues were looming, including severe weight loss due to a virus at age 1. “By that point, he really stopped hitting milestones,” his mother says.
A special formula addressed Eli’s nutritional needs, but he did not begin walking until he was 18 months of age and didn’t speak until he was 3½ years old. When Allison and her husband, Joshua, met with the Developmental Pediatrics team at Connecticut Children’s they found out why: Eli has a developmental coordination disorder known as dyspraxia, which affects physical motor skills and speech. He continues to be seen in Occupational Therapy and is followed in Developmental Pediatrics.
More recently, Eli was diagnosed with autism and is being treated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). His family has also learned that there is a genetic component to his condition.
Now in the first grade, Eli—an articulate little scholar, who can rattle off all 50 states and their capitals—has come a long way since his diagnosis. “It was a big turning point for us,” Allison says. “He is such a success story.”
Thanks to community partners like Mitchell Subaru, Connecticut Children’s is able to help more than 100,000 patients each year, and no one is turned away. Caring for the community is what this family-owned business is all about. Having contributed more than $143,000 over the last four years, with more than $51,000 last year alone, Joe Ferreira, General Manager, hopes that 2020 will be the best year yet!
“Mitchell Subaru is thrilled to partner with Connecticut Children’s as our hometown charity for the fifth year in a row. The Mitchell Auto Group takes pride in giving back to the communities where we work and live. We are grateful and proud to support Connecticut Children’s and their mission to improve access to health care for all children,” says Joe Ferreira.
Subaru Share the Love Event is on! Now through January 4, 2021, with every new Subaru purchased or leased, Subaru of America, Inc. will donate $250 to the customer’s choice of charities, and Connecticut Children’s is honored to have been selected as a beneficiary by Mitchell Subaru of Canton.
To view other community partners and see how your next purchase can help improve access to care for all children, click here.