The TuscBDD Blog

Swimming for Gold

By Nate Kamban   |   Fri, Jun 29th, 2018

Growing up I was definitely not the most coordinated kid in school. When playing kickball or soccer, I often ended up on my back just like Charlie Brown after yet another failed punt with Lucy. However, in the water, it was a totally different story. By the age of three, I was swimming up and down the pool at my grandparent’s house as my grandma would shout, “how can someone be so clumsy on land, but so coordinated in the water?”

Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that Tuscarawas County Special Olympics would be starting a swim team. I immediately decided that I would join the team in order to get to better know some of the individuals and families served by TuscBDD and also enjoy a sport that I love. Like all other members, I was quickly welcomed as part of the team, and I enjoyed attending practices and competitions. I was a member of the unified medley relay team as the swimmer for the breast stroke portion of the race. We did well as a relay team and we were able to compete in the state swim meet at The Ohio State University. It was truly an awesome experience.

When I reflect on this past season, my mind quickly goes back to all of the individuals and families that I was able to meet while participating on this team. The ability to build these relationship was more memorable to me than the competitions or even the gold medal! As someone who works in the administration side of Ohio’s developmental disabilities sector, a lot of my work takes place behind the scenes. It can be easy to get bogged down by deadlines and the intricacies of the Medicaid system. However, by clearing off some time to interact with individuals served by TuscBDD, I was quickly reminded why I love this field and why this work is meaningful and good.

While on the team, I was able to make many new friends one of which is a young man named Donovan. Like me, Donovan enjoys swimming and (drumroll please)…geography! While at an event, I noticed that Donovan carried around a large atlas. This definitely peeked my interest and we became fast friends. When I see Donovan, we immediately begin role playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire and ask each other a series of obscure geography questions. Donovan usually wins by the way.

These moments and these friendships serve as guideposts along the way that hopefully make me a better employee, advocate and friend. I would encourage you today to think about how you can get involved in partnering with our friends, neighbors and co-workers who happen to have a developmental disability in order to create a more inclusive future. You might look into being a unified partner on a Special Olympics team like I did or visit a provider agency to inquire about how you might help out. However you get involved, I am sure that you will also be greatly impacted.

Enjoy your summer!

Your friend,

Nate Kamban

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Swimming for Gold

Nate Kamban Fri, Jun 29th, 2018

Growing up I was definitely not the most coordinated kid in school. When playing kickball or soccer, I often ended up on my back just like Charlie Brown after yet another failed punt with Lucy. However, in the water, it was a totally different story. By the age of three, I was swimming up and down the pool at my grandparent’s house as my grandma would shout, “how can someone be so clumsy on land, but so coordinated in the water?”

Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that Tuscarawas County Special Olympics would be starting a swim team. I immediately decided that I would join the team in order to get to better know some of the individuals and families served by TuscBDD and also enjoy a sport that I love. Like all other members, I was quickly welcomed as part of the team, and I enjoyed attending practices and competitions. I was a member of the unified medley relay team as the swimmer for the breast stroke portion of the race. We did well as a relay team and we were able to compete in the state swim meet at The Ohio State University. It was truly an awesome experience.

When I reflect on this past season, my mind quickly goes back to all of the individuals and families that I was able to meet while participating on this team. The ability to build these relationship was more memorable to me than the competitions or even the gold medal! As someone who works in the administration side of Ohio’s developmental disabilities sector, a lot of my work takes place behind the scenes. It can be easy to get bogged down by deadlines and the intricacies of the Medicaid system. However, by clearing off some time to interact with individuals served by TuscBDD, I was quickly reminded why I love this field and why this work is meaningful and good.

While on the team, I was able to make many new friends one of which is a young man named Donovan. Like me, Donovan enjoys swimming and (drumroll please)…geography! While at an event, I noticed that Donovan carried around a large atlas. This definitely peeked my interest and we became fast friends. When I see Donovan, we immediately begin role playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire and ask each other a series of obscure geography questions. Donovan usually wins by the way.

These moments and these friendships serve as guideposts along the way that hopefully make me a better employee, advocate and friend. I would encourage you today to think about how you can get involved in partnering with our friends, neighbors and co-workers who happen to have a developmental disability in order to create a more inclusive future. You might look into being a unified partner on a Special Olympics team like I did or visit a provider agency to inquire about how you might help out. However you get involved, I am sure that you will also be greatly impacted.

Enjoy your summer!

Your friend,

Nate Kamban

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ACHOO! Gesundheit!

Lynn Angelozzi Tue, Jun 5th, 2018

ACHOO! Gesundheit!

May was National Asthma and Allergy Month. While May is over, it seems like everyone's allergies are not! The pollen is visible in the air and wafting from trees in the breeze, which makes many of us sneeze and sniffle. If you or your loved one has been showing signs of itchy-watery eyes, sneezing and sniffling, or scratchy throat, it could be a sign of seasonal allergies. 

Asthma and allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergy, and eczema, are common for all age groups in the United States. Asthma affects more than 24 million people in the U.S., including more than 6 million children.

Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.

Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis occur in spring, summer and/or early fall. They are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or to airborne mold spores. 

People with perennial allergic rhinitis experience symptoms year-round. Perennial allergic rhinitis is generally caused by sensitivity to house dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches and/or mold spores.

Once diagnosed, allergic rhinitis treatment options are: avoidance, eliminating or decreasing your exposure to the irritants or allergens that trigger your symptoms, medication and immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Myth: We Outgrow Allergies over Time

The real deal: Not necessarily. Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to the presence of “invaders” such as pollen, mold, and dust mites. Your system releases compounds that can cause inflammation, excess mucus, and itchiness in your eyes, ears, and throat.

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Let's Play a Game!

Thu, May 24th, 2018

The FANS Network has a brand new summer activity called Game Time. This summer activity is fun for all ages with or without disabilities and encourages people to socialize within the community all while spreading awareness and playing games. The event is to be held every second Saturday in May through August from 6-8 pm.


The first ever Game Time was held on May 12th and was a big hit. We had a large selection of games to choose from, which included everything from Monopoly and Sorry to Peanuts Bowling and a GIANT Jenga game that stands at 4-foot tall fully constructed! The people who participated had a great time, and the excitement was evident on their faces as the Jenga tower toppled to the ground to be rebuilt. There are plans to have outside activities in the near future, but it is dependent on the weather.


The next Game Time is on Saturday, June 9th. You may bring your own games to play. Game donations are also being accepted at Charmed: Gifts with Meaning consignment store, which is located at 117 West High Avenue in New Philadelphia, Ohio.


If you are interested in partnering with us to host an event or want to join us for our next Game Time, you may contact the FANS Administrative Assistant, Nicole Donant-Moore, by phone at 330.339.3199 or by email at fans@tuscbdd.org.

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Giving Others a Voice

Wed, Apr 4th, 2018

The FANS Network Monthly Blog

Hello. My name is Nicole Donant-Moore, and I have been interning for the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities for about 3 months as the FANS Network Administrative Assistant Intern. I assist in helping oversee the FANS Network, and I am very pleased at the progress we have been able to make thus far. One of our initiatives that we have started is called the Novel Adventures Book Club that will meet on the first Wednesday of each month. We will aim to discuss a different genre each month and April's book is a mystery that is pictured above called, The Amazing Adventures of Abby McQuade: The Ghosts of Largo Bay by Evan Jacobs.

We have received donations like the books for the book club to help individuals that we serve, and it has been a huge blessing. As a person with Cerebral Palsy, it warms my heart to see the community come together to help others like me.

I have struggled all my life. The doctors told my parents that I would never be able to walk or talk. So, for me to be able to prove everyone wrong and go to college and major in English has helped me communicate and share my story with others. Working for TuscBDD had been a dream of mine ever since they took an interest in my story.

I want to show the community that people with disabilities can do different and great things! Personally, I don't like that term, and I am sure others don't either. People with disabilities all have barriers to face, and for some it's a daily struggle. I feel privileged to work for TuscBDD because I feel like I can give others a voice and give them hope that they aren't "broken" or "handicapped." We are simply special individuals that face challenges, and in the words of Helen Keller, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." To be able to socialize with this particular community through working at Charmed and now the FANS Network has led me to believe that my work will help society view people with disabilities in a new light. It will help others to see that we can do whatever we set our minds to.

Society might think that people with disabilities aren't "normal" and while that may be true, everyone has their own definition of "normal." What is normal really? Being born with Cerebral Palsy is "normal" to me, and I wouldn't change it for the world because I get to bring hope, joy, and inspiration to others. I know several individuals that light up when I speak with them and some carry on conversations with me. People with disabilities open up to me because I can relate to them. I wouldn't have it any other way because it sparks a desire in me to fight for their rights, and I am blessed to have that opportunity with TuscBDD.

Email Nicole at FANS@tuscbdd.org, to find out how you can get involved and participate in the FANS Network.

Help us kick off the FANS Network initiatives at our launch party on April 26th from 12 until 2 pm at the Charmed: Gifts With Meaning store in Downtown New Philadelphia.

~Nicole Donant-Moore

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Leaders Like You

Kerri Silverthorn Thu, Mar 29th, 2018

Over the past few months, TuscBDD planned many activities and events for National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. It has been an honor to advocate and participate in so many activities and events that were designed to celebrate the abilities of the people that we serve. As the month comes to a close, I am left impacted by not only the entire month but firmly from one of our last events. 

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Our Community is #BetterTogether

Mon, Jan 22nd, 2018

TuscBDD welcomes Nicole Donant-Moore to the team that is launching a new program called FANS, which stands for Friends Allies & Neighbors. Nicole is the FANS Network Administrative Assistant. Her job is to assist the Community Relations Department with the development and launch of this new program. 

What is the FANS Network? A FANS Network is a group of people who have committed to helping the lives of others with developmental disabilities. The Network helps in a variety of ways, both big and small, and its members believe that the journey of life is better when the community works together to help and support each other.

How does the FANS Network work? It's easy! There is no official commitment, no formal membership, and no standard protocol. All you have to do is say, "I want to be a part of the FANS Network" and share your contact information. We then send you a service opportunity form. Next, you simply send the completed form back to FANS Headquarters. A FANS coordinator will get in touch with you and share available opportunities. If you are not interested at the time, just hit delete! If you know of someone who might want to help, feel free to forward the email.

Please stay tuned for updates. If you have any questions and want more information, please contact Nicole by email at fans@tuscbdd.org or call FANS Headquarters at Charmed: Gifts with Meaning at (330) 339-3199.

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