Lanny, like many teens his age, enjoys hanging out with his friends, playing video games and bemoaning school. He loves to ride his bike and play baseball and pick on his little sister. At the ripe old age of 15, he’s full of wisdom and corny jokes and describes himself as “a character.” Lanny was born with spina bifida and benefits from several Boone County Family Resources support services since 1999.
Lanny also participates in the Missouri Children’s Developmental Disabilities (MOCDD) waiver which assists with providing medical supplies, personal care attendant services, and behavior therapy that Medicaid and private insurance do not cover. “I greatly enjoy working with Lanny and his family,” says Sherry Nemeth, Lanny’s Support Coordinator at Boone County Family Resources. “Lanny’s parents, Jackie and Lyle, work hard to evaluate all potential support services and programs that may benefit Lanny and aide him in skill development.”
A freshman at Rock Bridge High School, Lanny says the best thing about school is seeing his friends and going to dances. He says he hasn’t given much thought about what he wants to do when he grows up, but he is “crazy for dogs, so maybe something with animals, like a law-enforcement canine unit.” He recently has been reading any book about dogs he can get his hands on – which Lanny’s dad says is a big development. “He didn’t always enjoy reading.”
Lanny says his hero in the Columbia community is Mark Ohrenberg, who serves as the youth advocate and coordinator of youth-related programming at Services for Independent Living. “He is an inspiration and someone I have looked up to for a long time.” Lanny got to know Mark through the “Kids in the Kitchen” program as well as through the “Wii Excellerate” program offered at Services for Independent Living where kids with and without disabilities get together to play games and hang out for a couple of hours twice a month.
When asked about summer plans, Lanny was excited to talk about participating in Challenger Baseball through Daniel Boone Little League again this year. “Baseball is my favorite sport. At Challenger, I can play whatever position I want, so I like them all.” Lyle also volunteers his time as the league coordinator for Challenger Baseball. “Lanny’s been playing for years and really enjoys it.”
Lanny is also anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new adapted bicycle purchased through BCFR. He outgrew his old bike a couple of years ago and has been missing it. “We just put the order in last week after Lanny got measured,” says Sherry. “Hopefully it will be here soon for Lanny to get back on the trails.” However Lanny says he’s staying off the trails this time. “This one is going to strictly be a road bike. I don’t want the new one to get dusty,” he says with a grin.
“Lanny is a delightful young man who works hard to overcome his challenges,” says Sherry. “He is also quite social and eager to learn more about others. This interest will serve Lanny well as he becomes older and works to pursue new relationships with friends, colleagues, and others.”
“Boone County Family Resources has enhanced our lives in so many ways,” says Jackie Barton, Lanny’s mom. “From horseback riding to medical supplies and informational resources, we are given the opportunity to lead normal lives due to the services our family receives from BCFR. The help we have received from our case manager, Sherry, during my transition back into the work place has proven to be invaluable. She helped us set up nursing care for my son so that his medical needs would not go unmet while I was at work. The financial and functional support provided to us by our team at BCFR has most definitely improved our quality of life.”