The Bird Family


The Bird Family


“Do you think her limbs look short?”

Those were my first words after I was wheeled into my mother-baby suite at St. Joseph’s Hospital on April 17, 2016. I was expecting the nurse to tell me I was crazy, but she took a hard look at my brand-new baby girl and looked a little concerned.

“Maybe,” she said. “Let me see if I can get a pediatrician in here.”

People move a little slow in the maternity ward. So when the on-call pediatrician showed up only minutes later, my stomach dropped.

After a quick examination, the doctor told her she thought our baby had achondroplasia. I couldn’t even pronounce it, much less know what it was. But then she spelled out that it meant dwarfism. The next few months were a blur. We went to doctor’s appointments; we read articles; we joined dwarfism groups on Facebook. And then I went back to work. We got nanny after nanny to take care of our sweet Caroline, but I never felt that comfortable with her care, even with me working out of the home. And then my sister told me about The Rise School of Denver. She did a site visit for our family foundation, the Tracy Family Foundation, based out of Illinois.

Immediately, I called Rise and got on the school’s wait list. Caroline was almost one-year-old. The countdown started. One year later, Rise’s Executive Director Meghan Klassen told me Caroline could start in the Bears class at Rise in August 2018. I had tears in my eyes because I knew this school was the answer to our prayers. And it has been. 

Caroline has some challenges with her shorter stature and with her vocabulary, but Rise’s teachers, staff, and therapists are so involved in Caroline’s care and improving her life. I finally feel comfortable sending her off to school every day. I know she is being taken care of. I know she is getting stronger and smarter every day. My husband and I have made it a priority to donate to Rise School both privately and through our family foundation. We see how this school can change lives; we just wish it could help even more people.

Please consider joining me in donating to The Rise School on this Colorado Gives Day. Together, we can grow this school and help even more families in Denver.

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