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Special care for special children


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MADISON (WKOW) -- Gio's Garden Launch Party raised more than $25,000 with donations still coming in Friday.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Special care for some special children: a new non-profit is helping families of children with special needs.

It's called Gio's Garden: an organization that aims to provide some much-needed breathers for parents of kids with disabilities.

Gio's Garden held its launch party Thursday night, where organizers saw more than 500 people walk through the doors to support them.

They're hoping to raise $200,000 before October 10, which is Gio's birthday. Gio is a very special four year old.

He has a rare childhood seizure disorder, a disorder that needs special care 24 hours a day.

Ron Giordan, Gio's dad, says he and his wife were looking for respite care for a breather, and had trouble finding something without a waiting list.

Giordan says, "We've discovered the services are out there, there's just a lot of families waiting, there are a lot of waiting lists."

Thus came, Gio's Garden. Board members are hoping to create a respite care facility for parents of special needs children between the ages of zero and six.

Aaron Hying is a board member, and knows what it's like to need some help at times. Hying says, "Even scheduling appointments, one day I spent three hours on the phone scheduling appointments."

Hying's son Ethan also has seizures, and cerebral palsy. Aaron also has other children.

Hying says, "It's so overwhelming for a parent: I'm a single dad, so it's very hard."

Kjell and Nancy Kaashagen's son Torleif is now 13, they wish they would have had a place like Gio's Garden to turn when he was younger.

Kaashagen says, "You really don't know where to turn, you just feel alone. We just had regular babysitters, and then one day he almost died on us. Then we got nursing services, which saved our lives. "

Jennifer Schmidt would also benefit from the non-profit. Her son Rylan is just 14 months old.

Schmidt says, "Having people that know what to do, how to old him, how to help him, that's what we're looking for.... Just to go to the grocery store, or run errands, that would be huge."

Special care for some special children.

Hying says, "Without my son, I don't know where I'd be, having a child with special needs: it's been an awesome journey."

For more information on Gio's Garden, click on the link to the left of this story.

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