“Living and laughing with a disability – cerebral palsy; ordinary life, extraordinary circumstances.”
Jodie and Troy Wittren have each had cerebral palsy since birth. They have a positive message of disability awareness to share with the world.
“Why does he talk funny? Why does he walk so funny?”
“Why is she in a wheelchair?”
Kids who see Troy and Jodie Wittren blurt these questions out. Adults have these questions in their heads, but usually don’t say them.
Troy and Jodie have been married since 1990, but they first met when she was four and he was three, when they both attended Holladay Center. In the 60’s and 70’s, Holladay Center was a Montessori style school for physically disabled students, with an emphasis on therapy – physical, occupational and speech.
Jodie was born weighing less than two pounds. She had multiple surgeries as a child in order to maximize her mobility. She used crutches to get around up until December of 2009 when she transitioned to a power chair. A lifetime on crutches had taken it’s toll on her shoulders, and our doctor said it was time. She works as an office manager for a state child welfare office.
Troy was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. The way he walks and talks are affected. He uses a walker part of the time and a mobility scooter part of the time. He works as an eligibility specialist at a state child welfare office.
Troy and Jodie met up again at a support group that Jodie was leading at New Hope Community Church. They married in 1990, and in 1995 their son, Eric, was born.
Raising a child as a couple with disabilities was yet another challenge for Troy and Jodie. Great effort was made to assure Eric would have as normal experience as a kid as possible. Family and friends were around to help when needed, but Troy, Jodie...and Eric, worked together to find unique solutions to challenges as they came up.
Eric participated in a variety of sports, excelling as a pitcher in baseball. He is now excelling as a college student.