Through their involvement with Waves Inc., the 47-year-old nonprofit that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Bobby and Anna Brinker have a much easier family life.
Their daughter, Fisher, was born in July 2018 with a rare condition called 2q37 deletion syndrome, which is known to occur in as few as 100-150 infants worldwide and no more than 300. It can result in several different complications, including autism, intellectual disability, development delay, low muscle tone, seizures and severe sleep apnea, among others.
This is something the Brinkers learned within the first few weeks of Fisher’s life, seeing specialist after specialist. It got to be overwhelming for the couple, who also have a healthy 4-year-old son, Wells.
“We’re just kind of freaking out,” Bobby Brinker said Tuesday morning at the Waves Inc. annual breakfast fundraiser at the Williamson County Enrichment Center. “The doctor is just telling us ‘this is going to be a time continuum thing because we don’t know what’s going to happen.’ We’re just taking this day by day.”
The Brinkers did what they could for Fisher, handling issues as they surfaced and eventually beginning therapy for their infant daughter. Soon, however, when Fisher was 4½ months old, the Brinkers were introduced to Jen Choate. An interventionist with Waves’ Early Learning program, which serves children from birth to age 3 who have been diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability, Choate was able to bring some stability to the Brinkers’ everyday lives while helping Fisher progress in a variety of ways.
“We just focus on being a family in our house and not systematically worrying about what we do next,” Bobby Brinker told the breakfast audience. “We just live our lives. Jen has made such an impact on our lives, [and Waves has] made such a difference. We couldn’t be happier.”
For those who want to learn more about Fisher’s journey, Anna started a blog about the time her daughter was born.
Also at Tuesday’s fundraiser, Misty Bowker, a residential and day services program manager at the Fairview location, was named Waves Employee of the Year. Eric Wilson and Eli Philips, who are both employed at Publix Super Markets, received the Mary Ann Sugg Community Enhancement Award.
Click here to learn ways to donate to Waves Inc.