Meet Bridget: 2017 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero

Bridget was born eight weeks premature with many birth defects. She had her first of over 25 surgeries at 3-days-old and soon after was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome — an extremely complicated set of genetic abnormalities. Bridget remained in the NICU for almost six months before coming home in October of 2006.

According to Josh, Bridget’s father, “the first couple of years were a blur where most of our focus was on Bridget becoming medically stable.”

rsz_cleveland_clinic_childrens_benson_bridget_v2.pngSince then, Bridget has thrived. She is followed closely by doctors including seven different specialists at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. Now 11 years old, Bridget receives many weekly therapy sessions both in school and at an outpatient clinic. Her favorite is hippotherapy where she gets to ride horses to help improve her core strength and balance.

“CHARGE Syndrome is an incredibly complex and moving set of challenges, even among other special needs diagnoses,” said Josh. “On the other hand, parenting a child like Bridget can be incredibly rewarding. When milestones are few and far between, we celebrate them even more when she reaches them.”

Bridget is an extremely happy and loveable fifth grader. She spends time with her friends at school and loves singing and dancing. Her remarkable talents are many, but include reading at an extremely high level since the age of 3. Bridget also has an amazing memory and can recite the birthdays and anniversaries of hundreds of people.

The best of Bridget, however, can be seen in what she brings out of those around her. Her strength, perseverance and love seem to bring out those same qualities from everyone who knows Bridget.

The name “Bridget” means “strong” and that is exactly what she is.

Help us welcome Bridget to Washington, D.C.!

Showing 4 reactions

commented 2017-06-26 01:33:36 -0400 · Flag
I’m a high school classmate of Josh’s. Bridget couldn’t have asked for a better father! She looks so sweet-I hope to meet her someday! :)
commented 2017-06-24 20:43:43 -0400 · Flag
I am Bridget’s Grandfather, I have to say that Josh and Kim are terrific parents, but I also have to give credit to Bridget’s nurse, Margaret McRae-Gibson. She has been there for Bridget for many years and is also responsible for a lot of the progress Bridget has made.
commented 2017-06-24 20:14:50 -0400 · Flag
Once you meet Bridget you will never forget her, she is one special young lady.
commented 2017-06-24 18:55:02 -0400 · Flag
She has the most loving and supportive family! I’m sure Bridget will achieve way beyond expections because of this love and support and her very own tenacity! Go get em Bridget!