This past January, a San Luis Valley Health patient and his Physical Therapy team were featured on the television show, “The Doctors”, as part of a showcasing of the young man’s disease.
As followers may remember, Jaiden Gullickson is an eight-year old boy that suffers from Stiff Skin Syndrome, a very rare disease that causes his skin to become as hard as stone. The disease is so rare in fact that Jaiden is just the 41st person to ever be diagnosed.
Recently, San Luis Valley Health partnered with Team Impact and Adams State Athletics to enhance the day-to-day experiences of kids like Jaiden.
Team Impact is an organization that partners kids with chronic illnesses with local collegiate athletic teams. The teams make the kids a part of their team and treat them as one of their own, helping them with schoolwork, inviting them to games and practices, and serving as positive mentors to their new teammates.
A big fan of Adams State Football, Jaiden was recently “recruited” to join the Adams State Football team as part of Team Impact’s mission. If the signing ceremony video (included below) is any indication, this experience means just as much to the players and coaces participating as it does to the young patients.
“We need one guy, one guy is all we need to be a special team,” said Head Coach Marty Heaton. Jaiden was then officially introduced as the Twelfth Man of the Program and presented with the Number 12 jersey from Heaton.
“It is our pleasure to partner with both Team Impact and Adams State Athletics in such a rewarding experience,” said San Luis Valley Health CEO Konnie Martin. "It was clear from the signing ceremony video that this experience was just as rewarding for the ASU Football Team as it was for Jaiden. The emotion was inspiring for us all."
San Luis Valley Health is looking forward to the opportunity to introduce more of our young patients to Team Impact so that they can enjoy a similar experience.