Five Questions With Jessica Spinner
Today we speak with Jessica Spinner of Citrus Park, mother of Mattingly Hope Spinner. Prior to being born nine weeks premature, tiny Mattie grew with little to no amniotic fluid. She was diagnosed with PVL and cerebral palsy. Last week the child whose chances of survival were 12 percent turned age 2. Run for Hope, the latest “Hope for Mattie” benefit, is a 5k run and Mile Fun Run/Walk at 8 a.m. on April 27 at Lake Park, 17302 N. Dale Mabry Highway, in Lutz.
Q: In layman’s terms, what is PVL?
Answer: PVL is a fancy term used to describe brain damage in the white matter of the brain.
Q: What is the most difficult aspect of being a parent of a child with special needs?
Answer: The most difficult part of being a special needs parent is trying to keep a constant focus on the positive progress Mattie makes and not let the negatives get you too low. It's easy to get discouraged when things don't go as hoped.
Q: How would you characterize public response to Mattie’s plight?
Answer: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It's been amazing to see so many of our family, friends and outright strangers willing to go out of their way to help our daughter.
Q: Many photos of the web site (http://hopeformattie.com/) show a pretty, happy little girl. How would you characterize your toddler?
Answer: Mattie is the happiest little girl! Her smile and laugh can brighten any room.
Q: How can people continue to help?
Answer: People can help by taking part in one of our many fundraiser events or by purchasing a piece of jewelry from the Hope for Mattie jewelry line on Mattie's web site.
Video: Food Network star Alton Brown tries Tampa's cuban sandwiches, says they weren't 'what I expected'