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Preston

  • 17 Years Old
  • Tranverse Myelitis

Preston is a 14 year old boy who loves Spider Man, learning about the customs of foreign countries and building blanket forts. He is non-verbal, hearing impaired, medically fragile and suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Preston lives with his 4 siblings in an active household. He shares a room with his 6 year old brother, Asher. Preston cannot walk for long distances and uses a wheelchair when venturing out of the house. Preston must be supervised 100% of the time and is home schooled during the winter months. Before he was born, Preston was diagnosed with Polymicroygria, a genetic disorder, causing seizures, delayed speech and muscle weakness. Preston is a private child who loves to spend time in his room. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to partner with sponsor, Kids R Kids, to build Preston a Dream Bedroom which will give him an escape from his bustling household and his 3 year old twin sisters!

Before he was born, Preston was diagnosed with Polymicroygria, a genetic disorder, causing seizures, delayed speech and muscle weakness.

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography

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Landon

  • 9 Years Old
  • Heart Transplant

This handsome 9 year old is Landon! He had a successful heart transplant at 6 months old. Then, a year later, suffered from bacterial meningitis which left him with brain damage. Landon is non-mobile, non-verbal and communicates through laughs and smiles. Landon loves to fly in airplanes; loves music (Stevie Wonder); loves to be outside with the sunshine hitting his face and loves “shower-time.” Sunshine On A Ranney Day is excited to partner with Make A Wish Foundation to provide Landon with an accessible bathroom to make “shower-time” easier and even more fun!

He had a successful heart transplant at 6 months old. Then, a year later, suffered from bacterial meningitis which left him with brain damage.

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Sophia

  • 16 Years Old

  • Cystic Fibrosis

We are beaming with excitement to announce that Sunshine on a Ranney Day will be giving Sophia a dazzling dream bedroom makeover! This smart, beautiful and wildly spunky sixteen year old is proof that mighty power can come from within a tiny package. From the beginning, she was a ball of spit and fire. Her unwavering perseverance has served her well. Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of four, she has faced her trials with the strength and courage of a superhero. She has endured daily airway treatments, multiple lengthy hospitalizations and fought off the most dangerous bacterial infection, Burkholderia Cepacia. Despite these aggressive ailments, she exudes confidence, fierce passion and a desire to change the world for the better. Sophia loves music and singing. She has been playing the drums soulfully for over four years and learned to play the ukulele during her last hospital stay. She is a gifted writer, putting this talent to good use by writing songs that her music teacher is helping her produce. She is also writing a compelling novel that is centered around a character who lives with Cystic Fibrosis. This is just one of many opportunities she takes to educate others about CF. Sophia has been actively engaged in her treatment with medical professionals since she was old enough to ask and answer questions. Admirably, she has also chosen to participate in research studies to help further scientific advancements in CF care. We can’t wait to surprise her with the makeover of her dreams! We hope that you will support our efforts and join us at the unveiling of this completed project.

Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of four, she has faced her trials with the strength and courage of a superhero.

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Photography by Niki Murphy Photography

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Matthew

  • 7 Years Old

  • Epilepsy, Autism

Meet Matthew! Matthew is a fun-spirited 7-year old who loves watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood morning, noon and night! He can sing most of the songs and wants his mom and dad to sing with him. Matthew also loves being outside every opportunity he gets. He is a very sweet and caring young boy who cherishes life. At the age of 1, Matthew was developing on a typical schedule for a boy his age and hitting all of the expected developmental milestones. He was crawling, walking and saying his first words. It was a joy to watch him grow. One day in March of 2013, his parents received a phone call from Matthews daycare, stating that he was having a seizure and they were taking him to the hospital. There, Matthew was diagnosed with an ear infection that caused a febrile seizure. This was just the beginning of months of recurring ear infections and other illnesses that came with several more seizures. After seeing a neurologist, Matthew was diagnosed with a febrile seizure disorder. His parents were advised to put Matthew on anti-seizure medication to control the seizures. This, along with surgery to put tubes in his ears, worked wonders for Matthew. In the spring of 2018, Matthew’s family sought the assistance of a different neurologist and had another EEG that revealed he was experiencing a variety of types of seizures and he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Shortly after going through all of this, his parents started to notice changes in Matthew.

He stopped responding to his name, stopped making eye contact, started flapping his hands, and started babbling rather than using the words he had previously spoken on a regular basis.

He stopped responding to his name, stopped making eye contact, started flapping his hands, and started babbling rather than using the words he had previously spoken on a regular basis. Words like “mama” and “dadda” simply disappeared from his vocabulary. Matthew underwent extensive testing from a psychologist who spend a great deal of time assessing his skills and behaviors. At the conclusion of the assessment, they were told that Matthew had Autism. This diagnosis was unexpected and heartbreaking. After speaking with his pediatrician, they decided that the first step in getting Matthew the help he needed was to get him enrolled into the Babies Can’t Wait early intervention program. He was only in the program for roughly 6 months until he turned 3. He then continued services with the county public school system along with private speech, occupational and physical therapy. Now, after four years of weekly private speech, occupational, physical and ABA therapy Matthew is demonstrating significant gains. Matthew’s communication has increased tremendously. The ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy helps teach him self-help skills, such as potty training and play skills. Matthew is starting to play more with friends, make eye contact and is talking more. Every single day is a new day and every milestone is big. The small victories add together to make big changes leading to a bright future for Matthew. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to be planning a brilliant dream therapy room to help Matthew enjoy a place where he continue to thrive while in the comfort of his own home! Please join us in making this project come to fruition!

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Photography by Studio79

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Bennett & Lacey

  • 18 and 6 Years Old

  • Joubert’s Syndrome

Bennett and Lacey were born into a world of beeping monitors, probes, tubes, lots of hands – checking vitals, performing tests, surgeries and therapists skillfully manipulating their movements in hopes of training their bodies to follow suit. Bennett was born on January 27, 2000 after a relatively uneventful pregnancy. His parents, Hillary & Jeff, were extremely excited to welcome their first child into the world. However, almost immediately they knew something wasn’t “right”. Bennett’s movements were sluggish. He didn’t cry nor open his eyes; and, had significant issues breathing and keeping his oxygen intake at an acceptable level. After three weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, a geneticist finally shared the diagnosis – a very rare genetic disorder called Joubert Syndrome. Bennett’s parents were told their new baby was, at that time, one of about 200 people in the world with this diagnosis. Joubert Syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by low muscle tone, impaired coordination, developmental disability, abnormal breathing pattern, abnormal eye movements, and a distinctive brain malformation. Jeff & Hillary were told that Bennett would most likely not survive infancy and that any future pregnancies had a 1 in 4 chance of the child also being born with Joubert Syndrome. Armed with this devastating news, Hillary & Jeff took their baby boy home; determined to give him the best possible chance to prove the doctors wrong. The first few months of Bennett’s life were literally focused on keeping him alive. His parents would take turns at night, one sleeping and the other staying up making sure that Bennett was breathing.

Joubert Syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by low muscle tone, impaired coordination, developmental disability, abnormal breathing pattern, abnormal eye movements, and a distinctive brain malformation.

As time passed, Bennett did grow stronger, both physically and mentally despite daily challenges and numerous surgeries and set- backs. His incredible personality began to develop as well. From early on he was loving, caring, happy and brightened whatever room he was in. Lacey was born on January 18, 2013, almost thirteen years after Bennett. Fortunately, her stay in the NICU was only a week. Lacey, also diagnosed with Joubert Syndrome, has faced many of the same struggles as Bennett including a fragile infancy full of sleepless nights; but, generally her health has been better than his was to this point. She still has similar physical challenges – requiring assistance with daily activities including walking. Unlike Bennett, she is non-verbal, causing deep frustration for her. Bennett is now 19, a rising Senior at Roswell High School. He loves to be the life of the party! Bennett is extremely active in North Fulton Young Life, sings the National Anthem at Special Olympics annually, loves music and is working towards becoming a playwright. Lacey is 6 years old and a rising First Grader at Mimosa Elementary. She is creative with an innate sense of humor. She has developed a love for entertainment, has watched “The Greatest Showman” so many times that practically the entire family knows all the lines. She gets around her iPad like a pro, making her own movies, playing music and even FaceTiming friends (without her parents’ knowledge!) Lacey especially loves dance. It’s a part of her. She is a student at Atlanta Dance Central and excels in their adaptive dance program. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is excited to build an In-Home Therapy Room for Bennett & Lacey! On average, this family attends 7 therapy sessions and 2 doctors’ appointments each week. Our hope is that through access to a therapy room in their home, Bennett and Lacey will continue to grow stronger and accomplish more each day!
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Photography by Nicole Photography

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Christian B

  • 17 Years Old
  • Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome

This dapper seventeen-year old young man with an ear to ear smile is Christian. His infectious grin can melt your heart and comfort your soul. He touches the hearts of everyone he meets and inspires others to make a difference. Christian is seventeen years old and attends Dacula High School. He lives with his Mom, Dad and two younger sisters (Cathryn 15 and Ashlyn 13). Christian was born healthy and developed as an infant should, meeting milestones as expected. He was a quiet little guy and didn’t have much to say in terms of babbling or words as he was approaching two years old. He was a late walker, as he started walking around 18 months. That was also about when he started having frequent involuntary breath holding spells. His lips and fingers went blue and he would go limp for 30 seconds or so. This was incredibly concerning and it was happening involuntarily. Christian began having grand mal seizures, drop seizures and breath holding spells on a daily basis. It was a challenge to get these seizures under control, as well as obtaining a true diagnosis. He and his family spent most of their time with neurologists or in the hospital. They were desperately looking for answers and sought the help of a geneticist. Christian was in status epilepticus meaning that his seizures were constant and wouldn’t stop. Doctors had to put Christian in a drug induced coma and he was in the PICU for almost 2 weeks. He was only 3 years old. He was in the hospital for a month and they still needed a way to manage his seizures. They tried multiple medications and a Ketogenic diet. Neither worked. He also had reflux and difficulty swallowing, so it was decided that he needed a G-Tube and a Fundoplication to help with the reflux.

Christian began having grand mal seizures, drop seizures and breath holding spells on a daily basis. It was a challenge to get these seizures under control, as well as obtaining a true diagnosis.

Christian was also diagnosed with Spastic Cerebral Palsy due to his disordered muscle tone and contractures. He endured another significant episode of epilepticus and was hospitalized in November 2013. He spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and wasn’t released until Christmas. After that, he was assessed by a new neurologist, who diagnosed him with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). LGS is a severe form of epilepsy that typically becomes apparent during infancy or early childhood and is most often diagnosed between 3-5 years of age although it took longer to determine that this was another syndrome Christian had. Since then Christian has been on a regimen of six medications and daily supplements which have minimized his seizures. He is essentially nonverbal, but can vocalize some sounds and words including Momma, Dadda, PopPop, Nana and Papa. He also uses sign language with a few consistent signs that he uses to communicate basic want and needs. He requires full assistance when walking and wears AFO braces to help support his feet and legs. He can take a few steps on his own when he’s highly motivated. If he does walk, he tires very easily and can only walk short distances. His home is currently not wheelchair accessible. When he needs help with mobility, his family carries him from room to room. He uses a wheelchair for mobility outside of the home. Christian is such a laid back kid and just goes with the flow. He can be quite the jokester. He loves to be silly and get a reaction out of you. He enjoys looking at pictures of family members and friends. He has a special memory book of photos that he looks through every day. He also loves going on family vacations to the beach and Disney World. He enjoys watching his favorite shows when he’s relaxing. Christian’s favorite place to unwind and be free is his bedroom. That is why Sunshine on a Ranney Day is thrilled to be able to give him a dream room makeover and renovate his bathroom to be accessible. This project will soon be under way and we hope that you will get a kick out of seeing the finished product. This will be a labor of love and we invite you to join us in support of this venture.
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Photography by Dinah Sutton Photography

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Photography by Sweet Life Photography by Kim
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Joseph

  • 19 Years Old

  • Spina Bifida

We’d like to announce that this handsome man, Joseph, will be the lucky recipient of a dream room makeover and bathroom renovation from Sunshine on a Ranney Day. He is not only charming, but also a victorious warrior who has won many battles throughout his lifetime. During pregnancy, Joseph’s parents were given the news that Joseph was going to be born with Spina Bifida as well as a Chiari malformation, which is s structural defect in the brain, and hydrocephalus. Joseph was born three weeks early and was immediately rushed over to Children’s Hospital for surgery. He spent the first several months in and out of the hospital and has endured seventeen surgeries over his nineteen years of life.

During pregnancy, Joseph’s parents were given the news that Joseph was going to be born with Spina Bifida as well as a Chiari malformation, which is s structural defect in the brain, and hydrocephalus.

His disabilities do not define who he is and he never lets them slow him down. Joseph always has a smile on his face, loves to laugh and make jokes. He has a deep love for sports and has played Baseball, Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Football. His incredible passion for sports is unwavering and he loves not only to play, but also to watch or help coaching younger teams. He currently helps manage his old 8th grade Middle School team at Vickery Creek Middle. Joseph aspires to work for a professional sports team one day. He is always willing to try new adventures and works diligently to reach his goals. He is encouraged to dream big and he will surely succeed as he never gives up. Sunshine on a Ranney Day is overjoyed to be working on a special renovation project designed especially for Joseph. This project will not only provide him with a fabulous new room, but also an accessible bathroom. Join us in spreading cheer throughout his home so he can enjoy his bright future in style.

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Photography by Dinah Sutton Photography

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Photography by Dinah Sutton Photography
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Jonah

  • 6 Years Old

  • Heart Defect

Our next recipient of a dream therapy room makeover is sweet Jonah. This blonde haired, blue eyed surfer boy is a six-year-old who is full of life and an absolute joy to be around. He loves watching the Braves play, dancing to songs at Vacation Bible School and reading books. He can often be found playing hide and go seek, making crafts or being silly with his sister. Jonah’s life started differently than expected. After birth, he was found to have a cleft palate. The pediatrician also referred him to cardiology as he thought he heard an inconsequential heart murmur. Following the cardiology examination, Jonah was hospitalized immediately and they gave his parents life changing news. They told them that Jonah had a series of four major heart defects and they couldn’t believe that he was alive. Jonah was hospitalized for twenty-eight days. They were able to monitor him and discovered that he had Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), pulmonary stenosis, subaortic stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve and an atrioventricular septal defect. After closing his Patent Ductus Arteriosus, they then put in a g-tube and closed two hernias. His significant medical procedures did not stop there. Months after these surgeries, he endured the Glenn bidirectional surgery. Jonah was also in and out of the hospital several times due to colds and viruses. He had his cleft palate repaired when he was approximately a year and a half old.

Jonah was hospitalized for twenty-eight days. They were able to monitor him and discovered that he had Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), pulmonary stenosis, subaortic stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve and an atrioventricular septal defect.

He had kidney surgery at two and a half years old. In June of 2017, Jonah had his third stage heart surgery called the Fontan. Jonah will more than likely undergo another heart intervention in the future. Jonah had his tonsils and adenoids removed in June 2018 and will undergo another palate surgery in August 2018 to correct velopharyngeal incompetence. He is ready to take on all of these procedures with the spirit of a true warrior. Currently, Jonah is considered nonverbal, but is gaining momentum daily in speech. Jonah has a device to communicate, however most often he chooses to use words and sign language to make his needs known. Jonah loves going to school, doing hippotherapy at McKenna Farms, visiting the library and hanging out at Barnes & Nobles. He is a bright child that is willing to help with any chore whether it is yardwork, laundry or unloading the dishwasher washer. Jonah has been a fighter from day one. When doctors tell us that Jonah will not be able to do something, he defies the odds and proves them wrong. They told us that Jonah wouldn’t crawl or walk, but he did! He was tube-fed for years, but after participating in an intensive therapeutic feeding program at Marcus Feeding Clinic, he can now eat any food he wants and drink from cups. Jonah proves that where there is a will, there is a way! He is full of heart and vigor. Despite the challenges he has faced, Jonah’s radiant smile and infectious laughter have both remained constant. Sunshine on a Ranney Day wants to see more of his brilliant smiles and that’s why we can’t wait to finish his dream therapy room makeover! We’d love to have you join us at the unveiling of his newly redesigned therapy room!
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Photography by Nicole Photography

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Photography by Pear Tree Photography
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Devon

  • 20 Years Old

  • Spinal Injury

You may have heard the story. You may think you understand the challenges Devon Gales and his family have faced over the last 2 years since Devon suffered a traumatic spinal injury during a football game between the University of Georgia and Southern University. There’s always more to the story, however, and for Devon and the Gales family, there’s a lot more life to live. Starting the next chapter is where we can help. If you do a Google search for “Devon Gales”, chances are you’ll find pictures of a smiling young man, probably wearing a cross around his neck, and possibly with his Mom, Tish, close by his side. Those are just a couple of the things that have helped Devon through many of the adversities he’s faced in his life. Devon has been dealing with challenges since the day he was born. He was born with a birth defect and almost didn’t make it through his first few days. He persevered from the outset, however, and the world has gained a shining, happy smile, with a spirit to match, as a result. Through the adversity in his life, Devon’s parents, Tish and Donny, have always pointed to God’s plan. It’s been through this profound faith instilled in the entire Gales family that they have pressed forward, confident that God has a plan and a place for us all. Perhaps the biggest challenge to that long-instilled faith was first realized on September 26th, 2015. Devon had only received a few chances to play in the first half of the game. He was committed to do his part on a kickoff return at the beginning of the 2nd half. He saw that opportunity present itself as Georgia’s kicker, Marshall Morgan, charged down the field. Devon put his all into a block, trying to slow Marshall down and, moments later, he was lying on his back, staring at the clear blue September sky, unable to move his legs.

Devon put his all into a block, trying to slow Marshall down and, moments later, he was lying on his back, staring at the clear blue September sky, unable to move his legs.

Tish and Donny had been unable to make the trip to Athens for the game. As they watched from the family’s home in Baton Rouge, The report was that a “Southern player was down on the field.” Tish’s motherly instinct kicked in and she knew Devon was hurt. Getting information about Devon’s status was difficult at first. When a nurse from Athens Regional Hospital finally called, Tish’s only question was “Do I need to be on the next flight to Georgia?” The nurse’s quick response was “Yes, I think so.” As the Gales have continued down this path which God has placed them on, adversities have continued, as well. Their home in Baton Rouge was in an area which flooded only a few months ago. They had previously been struggling with the idea of moving the family to Atlanta. Moving to Georgia would put Devon closer to the care of The Shepherd Spinal Center and the expert care there. The flood, they decided, was another way of God telling them “it was time.” The time has come and this family is being blessed. The community has pulled together to build Devon and his family a new home. Currahee Homes, Paran Homes, WSB Radio took the lead on making this happen. There are some amazing people working on this project. Go over to  to learn more about these amazing people. Sunshine on a Ranney Day, along with our designers at Crosby Design Group, are doing the interior design of Devon’s new home and completing his wheelchair accessible bathroom, bedroom, and in-home therapy room. We are blessed to be just a small part of this very large and heart-felt project!

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Photography by Nicole Photography

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Noah

  • 19 Years Old

  • Spinal Injury

This handsome and adventurous young man is Noah. Exploration of the great outdoors and exhilarating activities fuel Noah’s passion. He lives for adventure and spending almost every waking moment outdoors. While some teens enjoy playing video games for hours on end, Noah prefers to keep his eyes on the sky and feet off the ground. As a young teenager, he spent most of his time pedaling his bike over mountain trails, flipping off boulders into a lake, diving, snowboarding or wakeboarding. He and his friends shared many escapades at skate parks and trampoline parks where he excelled at skilled tricks and flips. His favorite organized sport is baseball and he played in several levels throughout the years, including recreational ball, All-Stars and Travel ball. He even achieved his ultimate goal: playing at Dreams Park in Cooperstown, NY. On July 26 of 2017, everything changed within a split second. Noah was in an accident that altered his future tremendously. He had gone with two of his friends to their favorite trampoline park. They were jumping for most of the afternoon, doing their usual flips and tricks. Noah was working on perfecting a flip when he under-rotated and landed on his neck. This harsh landing ended up compressing his spinal cord and fracturing three vertebrae. Instantly, he lost all feeling from his chest down. His arms and hands went limp and he felt the sensation of being outside of his body. He was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and endured a significant live saving surgery. In this invasive procedure, two rods were inserted to re-align his spinal cord and eleven screws attached the vertebrae to those rods.

Upon his homecoming, Noah faced a new set of challenges as his home was not adequately designed for living with a wheelchair.

Fortunately, the spinal cord was not severed, but he sustained spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. He spent two weeks in ICU and then transferred to an intensive inpatient therapy program for nine weeks. He worked diligently in physical therapy several hours per day to regain motor skills and relearn how to do everyday tasks that previously happened automatically. After inpatient rehab, he spent six weeks in a specialized outpatient therapy program where they continued to target skills that seem so simple. The skills we all take for granted, like rolling over. Through determination and hard work, Noah found himself becoming stronger, regaining sensation and learning how to live life after his injury. He and his therapists worked on getting dressed, bathing and completing school work. He also learned to mobilize via a wheelchair. This was quite different than what he was used to. Upon his homecoming, Noah faced a new set of challenges as his home was not adequately designed for living with a wheelchair. The home’s floor plan included narrow doorways and neither a bathroom nor a bedroom on the ground floor. He only had access to two rooms in the house and the formal living room had to become his bedroom. In addition, he was forced to take showers at the local YMCA since there was an accessible shower there. After four months of the day program with outpatient therapy, it was time for Noah to return to school. Since Noah was injured right before his senior year of high school, he missed the entire first semester while he was working to recover. In order to graduate with the rest of his classmates, he doubled up on work and completed the entire year’s curriculum in one semester. To top that off, he graduated with all A’s and B’s. Noah’s hard work and never give-up attitude has paid dividends in academics and rehabilitation. He has regained so much movement that as he has regained substantial movement and feeling below the point of injury that his condition is no longer classified as a complete injury. Noah continues today to work toward reaching his goals. This year, Noah’s sights are set on college. His ambition is to study audio and video technology. Although he previously biked down mountains, he is currently learning to maneuver his wheelchair on the rugby court as a member of the Shepherd Smash team at Shepherd Rehabilitation Center. Noah is determined to enjoy many more adventures despite his injury and refuses to allow the challenges he faces to get in the way of his dreams. He faces life with gratefulness and a reverence for those who have shown him an outpouring of love. He is especially thankful that Sunshine on a Ranney Day will be renovating his bathroom and bedroom to allow his greater independence and mobility. Please join us in bringing a little sunshine to Noah’s life by supporting this project and coming to the great reveal party!

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Photography by Nicole Photography

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