The National Family Association for Deafblind (NFADB) is so pleased to spotlight Tammy Kitterman from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, who is one of 13 scholarship winners who attended the Deafblind International (DbI) Network of the Americas Conference on behalf of NFADB in April 2018. Tammy described the experience as follows:
I am so grateful for both the scholarship from NFADB and travel assistance from the Pennsylvania Partnership for the Deafblind. It was truly amazing to be part of such an event and an honor to have been chosen to receive this scholarship and to have an opportunity to attend an event that encompassed the biggest of the biggest names in the deafblind community. I was lucky to have met so many great people – people whose names I knew from conference calls or webinars or heard mentioned regarding different specialties. I got to hear firsthand the knowledge they have to share and had an opportunity to speak to them about things that related directly to my son. Additionally, I spent an evening with fellow NFADB members at a very nice cocktail hour, which was a bit more intimate. In our downtime (as little as there was) the conversations continued. I feel fortunate to have been part of something so important. Thank you NFADB for sponsoring me and allowing me to be part of such a wonderful event!
Tammy and her husband Grant are lifetime members of NFADB and the proud parents of Brock, 13 years of age. When asked why the Kitterman family joined NFADB, Tammy replied:
It is important to our family to be a part of a group that is specifically about the people and families with deafblindness. Our family knew the crucial piece of having stronger connections and becoming more involved in this community as we travel this journey.
Brock’s deafblindness is a result of bilateral retinoblastoma and chemotherapy. He lives with his mom and dad and two deafblind Great Dane pups, Bodie and Daxx. Brock was diagnosed at twelve weeks of age with bilateral retinoblastoma. The chemotherapy he underwent to treat the eye cancer damaged his hearing.
Brock finished 7th grade this year and received a Distinguished Honors Award for having an overall GPA of 3.75 or higher. He is very active in sports. He plays blind ice hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins Blind Ice Hockey Team. He also participates in triathlons, usually placing on the podium for his age group. As of October 2017, he completed his 50th triathlon. He also enjoys camping, skiing, paddle boarding, and amusement parks. He is a thrill seeker, who loves roller coasters and recently discovered indoor skydiving.