Grantee Blog 2020

When Life Gets You Down, Build Yourself (and Others) Back Up

Everybody faces their own issues, whether they be financial, emotional, mental, physical, etc. We may not all be able to relate to others’ problems if they are not the same as our own, but that is okay. If everybody faced the same challenges, the world would be a much simpler place and we would not be able to help others in their time of need. For Christian Kane, founder of the Toms River Field of Dreams, his struggle came after being involved in a motor vehicle accident with his son Gavin in the car. At the time, Gavin was only 19 months old. Immediately after the accident, Christian knew that something was seriously wrong when his young child was not crying. Gavin suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that day. Doctors had recommended finding a home for Gavin, but his parents knew he already had a home – with them. Christian and his wife care for Gavin and help him with his every special need. He is still unable to talk and walk, but they offer constant support and unconditional love to their son every step of the way.

It was because of this family’s misfortune that the Toms River Field of Dreams was born. Through their experience, they learned that life can be challenging and people may be less than willing to assist those with family members who are disabled. Christian’s wife experienced this firsthand when she was unable to lift Gavin onto a swing at a park, and was met with turned glances when she looked around for help. The accident that changed their lives helped Christian and his family strive to create a place where those with disabilities and their families can go to have fun while feeling included and supported. The transformation of what seems to be a struggle into a successful project that will help numerous others as well as their own family is an extremely impressive feat.

From this family’s hardships, they were able to find the strength to help not only their own child, but others like him who just want to be treated like typical kids and have the same opportunities such as having fun at a playground. The all-inclusive complex will be built for everyone to enjoy. The OCHD is very proud to be working with Christian to deliver programming and screening services at this complex in order to keep our community happy and healthy. We look forward to interacting with our community and being a part of better days for this population as well as others.

About the Grantee

Ocean County Health Department

In partnership with our community, we are committed to serving as a leader to promote healthy lifestyles, ensure a clean and safe environment, and provide high-quality public health services to protect our present and future generations.