Making a difference
Special help for special kids
LEARNING THAT their son, Odin, had autism
was extremely difficult for Costco members
Jackie and Bryce Olson of Los Angeles. Even
harder was waiting to get him into an occupational therapy program.
After Odin was diagnosed with autism at
age 2, he ended up spending nearly a year on
waiting lists to see an expert. “I feel like a year
was wasted,” says Jackie.
When Odin started therapy, the change
“Within three months he started talking in
complete sentences, he started touching lots of different things, he
was able to regulate his
body,” says Jackie.
Odin and his therapist, the Olsons used their
background in producing and directing to create
a series of DVDs ( www.trpwellness.com) to
help parents with autistic and other special-needs children. The DVDs offer simple and fun
activities that families and their children can do
while waiting for therapy or between sessions
as homework. “These are things that can be
done every day,” says Jackie. “And they have
an impact on all sorts of kids.”
Today, Odin is in first grade, has made
friends and can do things, such as go to school
assemblies, that he would never attempt before.
“He still has a ways to go, but we”re
happier than we could ever
expect,” says Jackie.
parents can share that
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, artist and Costco member Tehila
Eisenstat ( www.tehila-art.com)
knows the power of art.
About a year ago, Eisenstat—
who developed an art class for
cancer patients at El Camino
Hospital seven years ago—was
Costco when at
she saw swim -
IF YOU HAVE a note, photo
or story to share (it should
be about Costco or Costco
members in some way), you
can send it to “The Member
Connection,” The Costco
Connection, P.O. Box 34088,
Seattle, WA 98124-1088, or
e-mail to connection@
costco.com with “The
Member Connection” in the
subject line. Submissions
cannot be acknowledged
taken off the
pieces of plastic on which they
are displayed. She asked for
permission to take the forms
and introduced them as a
“canvas” for her students.
According to Eisenstat, “It’s
very tough to go through
chemo. This is very positive,
telling their stories through
art. To paint is to live again,
love again, see again.
“I’ve done a lot of things, but
this is the best thing I’ve done.”
COSTCO MEMBER Jay Pacitti was a successful New York lawyer
when he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease—a chronic disorder
that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract—in 1999.
Physically incapacitating, often requiring surgery, Crohn’s and
ulcerative colitis—known as inflammatory bowel diseases
(IBDs)—affect at least 1. 4 million Americans.
A passionate cyclist, in 2003 Pacitti founded Get Your Guts in
Gear, (GYGIG, www.ibdride.org), a charitable organization that
produces the Ride for Crohn’s & Colitis, a three-day, 210-mile
cycling event held in cities across the United States, to raise aware-
ness and funds. Now nationally recognized, GYGIG
has raised more than $1 million for IBD charities.
Even more important than fundraising, says
Pacitti, is the effect that participation in one
of the rides has in encouraging individuals
to overcome the physical and emotional
turmoil brought on by IBD.—T. Foster Jones