Golisano Center for Special Needs

at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

Landon’s story

Even superheroes like Landon need a little help!

Landon’s diagnosis of spina bifida does not define him. In fact, it is safe to say that his disability does not hold him back in any way.  That’s what makes this first grader a superhero!

According to parents David and Lindsay, Landon’s super powers include perseverance in all things, a resiliency that amazes even them, and a joy that shines through in his big, bright smile. 

“The incredible team at the Golisano Center for Special Needs has Landon’s best interests in the forefront of the care they provide. We can’t thank them enough for what they do for our little guy and the other special needs families in the community,” they praised.

Landon and his family have required a wide range of specialized services including feeding therapy, physical therapy, assistance with durable medical equipment, and more. Thankful for the support they receive at the Golisano Center for Special Needs – and wholly appreciative of the additional services, resources and capacity the center brings to the region for Landon and children like him – David and Lindsay have great hope for Landon’s future.

“Landon overcomes every obstacle thrown his way with a big smile,” Lindsay said. “He has the great ability to bring people together by making ‘being different’ okay.”

Differences aside, Landon likes the same sorts of things as any first grader, among them watching YouTube videos, holding dance parties in the kitchen with his sister, and spending time outside enjoying nature. He also cheers on his big brother, who is a race car driver.

“We hope Landon never loses his laughter, his love for life and his ability to focus on his abilities, not his disabilities,” said his Mom. More broadly, she and David “hope the world continues to move toward inclusion, so Landon and every child facing similar challenges knows they have family and a community cheering them on!”

The new Golisano Center for Special Needs at Upstate, they believe, will be an important step in that direction.


Dylan’s story

As it does with so many children with special needs, the journey of three-year-old Dylan began with many questions and a long, convoluted quest for desperately needed answers. After months of appointments and testing in the Washington, DC, area where the  her family lived, Dylan was diagnosed with a rare congenital gene mutation known as TUBA1A that is linked to lissencephaly, seizures, failure to thrive, intellectual disability and psychomotor issues.

“Once we found answers, we quickly began to understand how critical it was for Dylan to be able to receive therapy, and routine evaluations and treatment to give our daughter the best chances to adapt and live the most fulfilling life we could provide for her,” said Marcella, Dylan’s mother. 

In 2019, Dylan’s family relocated to the Syracuse area to be closer to other family members. Here, they thankfully found the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and more recently, the Golisano Center for Special Needs.

“Dylan is one of the happiest, most beautiful and strong-willed children. We couldn’t be prouder and more honored to have her as our daughter,” said Nick, Dylan’s father.

“We will never stop fighting to help Dylan reach her potential,” added Marcella. “And the Golisano Center for Special Needs is in this fight with us, providing exceptional care and inspirational support.”

Your gift to the Golisano Center for Special Needs will make a meaningful difference to Dylan’s family and so many others. Thank you.


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