April and Dallan Moody with their four boys Joshua, Matthew, Caleb and Mitchel.
The following article by Michael Rigert was printed in the Daily Herald about my grandson Caleb on Saturday Nov 7th. It is difficult to describe in words how much true joy Caleb has brought into our family. Our whole family took part in this event on Saturday. We were so touched by all the people who came to support us.
"Caleb Moody has been selected as the focus child for three Orem schools' annual benefit run in partnership with Make A Wish Foundation. Four-years old, Caleb was born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, but his mother, April Moody said her son is an inspiration to their family.
Spend a few moments with 4-year-old Caleb Moody of Orem and it's easy to recognize there's something special about the little boy born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, said his mother, April Moody.
Despite being born with most of his brain missing and having limited physical and mental abilities, Dallan and April Moody say their third of four boys has been a blessing in their family. Because only one of his eyes formed, the family refers to Caleb as their "Wink from Heaven."
"Anyone who meets him can't deny the big spirit he has inside. It's very subtle, the way he communicates, but very real," April Moody said. "It's just a privilege that we get to take care of someone so special and pure."
When Caleb was born, doctors were very skeptical, referred the family to hospice care and guessed he wouldn't live more than a few weeks. But the Moody family took those emotional lemons about Caleb and turned them into lemonade. April Moody said the family chose to live each day they had with Caleb with joy.
"We had a birthday party for him every week," she said.
Today three Orem schools -- Mountain View High School, Lakeridge Junior High and Orem Elementary -- are joining forces as part of their Family Month activities to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that helps fulfill wishes of terminally ill children and their families. For a sixth consecutive year, the schools are holding a benefit Family Fun Run at Orem Elementary, 400 W. 400 South, to assist Make-A-Wish in ensuring that the wishes of children like Caleb and his family come true.
Carol Jean Bishop, family life commissioner for the Mountain View and Lakeridge PTAs, said the annual event has become something that students and community families rally around. In recent years, upwards of 800 participants have come out for the 1-mile or 5K fun run or walk. Last year's event raised $7,000.
"One way it has helped teenagers in high school and junior high is for them to get out of themselves for a moment," she said. "They see someone disadvantaged who they can help out."
In recent weeks, the student councils at Mountain View and Lakeridge have held Family Fun Run assemblies and rallies to get students excited about helping families like Caleb's. In concert with the Family Month theme, the event also gets families walking or jogging together, Bishop said.
The per person Family Fun Run entry fee, $7 or $5 if pre-registered, is kept purposely low so families can still afford to contribute. And the event itself is aimed at being physically inclusive so that even the very young or senior families members can get involved, she said.
The schools also make individual contributions for music and food, and there is a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses.
What's Caleb's wish? April Moody said she and her husband would like to find a way to set up a special swing, either inside or outside their home, perhaps as part of a playset, where Caleb can enjoy spending time with his family.
"He just loves to be with his brothers, to be rocked, to be outside," she said. "We wanted to find a way the kids can make memories playing together."
April Moody said her family is amazed at and grateful for the public outpouring, from friends and neighbors, to the efforts of the three Orem schools trying to make a real difference in someone's life.
"To show it in such a neat way has touched us to the core," she said. "We are forever changed. My kids are at ages where it's teaching them that wishes really come true. ... I think they're also learning that we can make wishes come true for each other."