D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation of Acadiana was the furthest thing from Donielle and Brian’s mind when they were pregnant with their first child – it was not even a thought.
Donielle and Brian Watkins had a normal pregnancy for their son Logan. During the pregnancy, they didn’t think it was necessary to find out if Logan was going to have a disability or birth defects. Donielle had been taking the right vitamins and doing everything a mother should do when pregnant, so what could go wrong?
Finally came…time to have a baby!
Everything was going as planned, until they didn’t hear the first cry… Logan wasn’t breathing. The nurses and doctors took him to the ICU for further treatment. At that time, Donielle and Brian weren’t told anything. It was scary for them not to know what was wrong. But from Donielle’s perspective now, that was better for her in the long run. Donielle says, “God knows what I can handle, and he knew that me not knowing during the pregnancy was they only way for me to take the news and handle the situation at the same time.”
Logan was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, a birth defect in which a developing baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. The family had to accept a lot and did but Logan was not so accepting. He wanted to do anything and everything which made the family realize they needed to do more with him. Anything Logan wanted to do, they tried to help him achieve it.
Logan wanted to be involved, just like any other child. Brian went to a Boy Scout leader and told him about Logan. The scout leader told him that anyone was welcome, and that they would accommodate him, it was that easy! Well… it was harder than they thought. He couldn’t go ice skating, or hiking, or walk up 3 flights of stairs to get to the meetings. He joined a Cub Scouts program for kids like Logan. Brian took over and he would spend hours a day accommodating to every child’s needs. It turned out to be a great program! And at the same time, Logan wanted to play sports, so he also got involved in special needs TOPPS soccer.
One day, Logan asked to play baseball. So Donielle and Brian made it happen. They contacted the coordinator at Lafayette Little League and asked them to start a league then Logan started to play challenger ball! “And not even half way through the season, Logan asked me, ‘When does basketball start’?” Donielle says.
D.R.E.A.M.S. came about because Donielle and Brian found that many kids wanted to play different sports and do different activities. They wanted to find a way to accept donations, run the activities and educate the public so before they knew it, D.R.E.A.M.S. was born! The acronym was a long and hard decision. They decided that Disability, Resources, Education, Activities, Management, and Services were the perfect words to describe the organization they were starting. Now, not only was this a program for special needs kids like their son, Logan, but it was also for the parents to get the resources that they may not know about and to communicate with each other.
Finally, The D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation of Acadiana, a special needs non-profit organization, was incorporated in 2007 to help individuals with special needs, their families and to educate the public of their needs and wants. Since it’s establishment, the foundation has been growing into something really special! We now have over 15 activities that you can find on our sports and activities page, have opened the D.R.E.A.M.S. Manufacturing Company to create jobs for individuals with special needs in the Lafayette community, and we are proud to act as a voice for individuals with special needs.
Please feel free to stay a while and check out all the fun things we have to offer!
We hope you can join us in our adventure!