2017 LifePath Family of the Year - The Christopher Limpar Family

Glynnis Procter  Rea and Alice E. Mudge - Warm and Gentle Spirits

Glynnis Procter Rea and Alice E. Mudge are two women with warm and gentle spirits who have dedicated their daily lives to caring for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

It all started back in 1979 when at the age of 3 ½ months Glynnis’ son Christopher began to manifest seizures. Christopher was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where he was diagnosed as having Infantile Spasms. He was prescribed ACTH, a steroid, which was given twice daily for six weeks by injection into his thigh muscle.  The medication made his body swell up and he was covered with pimples.  He showed signs that the seizures were stopping while the medication was at its highest dosage, but when the decrease of medication began, the seizures returned.  It became obvious that he was not meeting developmental milestones.  His pediatric neurologist said that Chris would never develop past infancy.  Christopher was 6 months old.  

As Christopher grew, Glynnis and godmother Alice knew the day would come when Christopher would need round-the-clock care due to his multiple disabilities and as they began considering options they were happy to learn that a LifePath group home for young children was scheduled to open in Coplay. The plan was that the children placed in the Coplay Home would grow to adulthood together.  Glynnis and Alice liked that philosophy, believing that stability of a home life would be most beneficial to Christopher. 

Christopher was 8 years, 9 months and 8 days old when he left his family home in Germansville to live at the LifePath Home in Coplay.  

Over the years, Glynnis and Alice stayed very much a part of Christopher’s life and didn’t allow Christopher’s disabilities or cumbersome ambulation supports inhibit him from having a full and satisfying life. Glynnis and Alice worked with the Coplay family and opened doors for Christopher to experience all that life has to offer. Christopher has been to Disney World, driven a race car, been to the beach on family vacations, plays on a Miracle League baseball team and even attends community activities such as Tim Tebow Night and Shine Prom Event!

"Christopher has been our greatest teacher," Chris's moms said. "He has inspired us with his persevering and loving spirit which has enabled him to enjoy life to the fullest in every way possible," they said.

"He is our sunshine."

But Glynnis and Alice are not only inspired by their son but by the other residents and staff at Coplay as well. Over the years they watched over and cared for the others as if they were their own, becoming “second moms”  and opening doors to activities, events and even places of worship. 

As members of LifePath’s Parents’ Group and Dignity Committee, the moms hear about the needs of LifePath and brainstorm to find solutions. Last year when the Dignity Committee was planning activities for a picnic, Glynnis and Alice suggested "sand art." The two then quietly bought enough kits for 100 residents and showed up at the picnic ready to help the residents create sand-art masterpieces. Just call Glynnis and Alice the smile makers, because of the number of people beaming by the end of that special day.

The past 10 years, Glynnis and Alice have formed their own walk team in support of LifePath at the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community. Together they solicit donations and support from the community, family members and friends. Their steady efforts raised more than $1,000 the past three years, which has helped the Coplay house offset costs of community outings and special equipment.

For nine years, Chris's moms have been a part of the Rejoicing Spirits team at their church. Rejoicing Spirits is an innovative ministry that works to enrich the faith lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While most religious services can be difficult to comprehend for people with special needs, Rejoicing Spirits allows individuals to express themselves however they see fit and to feel comfortable and welcome in doing so. Because of Glynnis, Alice and their church, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities now attend church services monthly and have the opportunity to explore and deepen their faith.

Glynnis and Alice have been instrumental in the lives of so many for so long and for so much good. Their dedication to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities is quiet, devoted and done with little fanfare.

This year, PNC Bank is proud to honor The Christopher Limpar family with LifePath’s 2017 Family of the Year Award at the 2017 LifePath/PICPA Thanksgiving Benefit and Awards luncheon.

To purchase tickets or sponsorships to the event, please click here or email akaiser@lifepath.org.

written by Annette Kaiser