DANIEL BROOKSHIRE Alumni Spotlight JOURNEY TO LITTLE LIGHT HOUSE Alumni student, Daniel was born in June of 1996 to the Brookshire family and came into the world a perfectly healthy baby. However, when Daniel was two and a half years old his family caught a horrible case of E. coli. “Even after the E. coli passed I continued to have headaches.” Daniel shared, “The doctors just thought I was having continued symptoms from the bacteria, but later discovered I had a brain tumor that smashed the connection between my brain and eyes.” Daniel received two surgeries to remove the tumor, but ultimately, was left blind. When Daniel was 4 years old he began his journey at the Little Light House. He attended LLH for 2 years, learning braille and working hard on hand strengthening exercises and sensitivity training for his fingers. Daniel stated, “I definitely feel like Little Light House helped equip me for the life experiences I’ve had so far. I didn’t realize it then, but the impact of being around so many other kids with different abilities helps me do what I do now. It could have been the start of what I do now.” TO SERVE THE LEAST OF THESE Today, Daniel works as a professional para in the school system. He assists specific students as they go throughout their day, accompanying them to class and working alongside classroom teachers to adapt the lesson for the specific student he accompanies. Being a para is something that Daniel has had a vision for since high school, a vision that came about while he was volunteering with students with multiple disabilities. I was | doing that,” Daniel says, “the Lord gave me The “While Beacon 8 a verse: Matthew 25:40. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these my children, you did it for me.’ A lot of people look down on people with special needs. A lot, not everyone. But a lot would call them the least. I believe with God giving me that verse, he was giving me my mission and my purpose to be a para to those with special needs.” MEETING KIAN Little did Daniel know at the time that vision would lead him to work with another Little Light House student with a very similar story. “Last summer, Lynda Crouch, an Assistive Technology Practitioner at LLH and dear friend, said that she had a young boy she wanted me to meet named Kian.” Kian also suffered from a brain tumor that left him blind. Lynda met Daniel at Kian’s home and introduced the two. “I began going over every Friday morning to work with him on braille and finger strengthening.” Daniel said, “His mom would always make me a cup of hot tea. She was so grateful, and I became really close with his family.” When it came time to decide where Kian was going to go to school after Little Light House, his family asked Daniel for his opinion. “It was really cool that they involved me and my mom in that process. To make things even cooler, once they got Kian’s individualized plan written it was noted that he would need a para. I talked to his family about the possibility of me pursing this. They thought it was a great idea.” This fall Daniel was approved to be Kian’s para, bringing his journey with Little Light House full circle and allowing him to continue the mission he received from God to serve “the least of these”.