Recently I married my beautiful wife Melissa. She and my wonderful mother, Peggy have been by my side through my most challenging and difficult times. Without them and power from above, I would not be who I am today. Thank you both for believing in me.
Fiona and Onyxia are my service dogs. Fiona helps my special needs kids with walking, building leadership skills, responsibility, and safety awareness. It was her love for them that inspired me to use her name for the camp. The joy and excitement Fiona brings each day in knowing she is part of changing a child’s life makes her a special dog!
Diagnosed with my own disability, I realized why there was a connection with special needs children. In support of this realization, I modified my college degree plan with the University of Tennessee from “Sports Management” to “Therapeutic Recreation”. The deciding factor was when I enrolled in my first class with Therapeutic Recreation and was given the opportunity to attend “Camp Koinonia”, a camp that works with ages 7-21 where 150 kids attend. Working with the camp reignited my dream as a kid, it confirmed what I needed to fulfill and work on building a camp in Texas.
Currently I am employed with one of Texas Health and Human Service Commissions’ programs called Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS) which works with special needs children and adults within the community by assisting in building life and independent skills. As a “Recreational Therapist”, I work with other professional therapists such as (Occupational Therapy (OT),Physical Therapy (PT), Speech, Behavioral, Music, Massage) where I incorporate their goals into mine while trying to allow them to build an independent life style.
Now, it is time to work on my dream on building “Camp Fiona” a needed Texas service that will provide hands on learning for higher education students. We look forward to raising the money each year to put all proceeds for the purchase of land in the next 3-5 years. It is my hope to work with Texas State in the near future allowing the students of all fields the opportunity to have hands on experiences. There is a need to build awareness that many state programs have a 8-9 year waiting period for kids because of few therapists in the programs. Camp Fiona will be a tool used to help bring more therapist, special ed teachers and many more fields in contact with special needs for hands on as well as awareness to the needed programs. Please support “Camp Fiona” in participation of calendar events on raising money, donations or volunteering.
Christopher Griffin, CTRS