DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – “He’s just a bundle of joy. Never did I think that we would have such a great experience with Blake,” said Angie Hoffman, Blake’s mom.

At four years old, Blake’s joy goes hand in hand with hardship. Blake has Down Syndrome and has faced a number of health issues. “He’s been through two open-heart surgeries, one at four months one at two years– a lot of other little things in between. But every time he’s bounced back.”

Blake started coming to URS in 2019, even serving as this year’s ambassador at the annual Rubber Duck Regatta. In a short time, his family has seen immense growth. Through daily therapies he receives on-site, he’s learned to walk and start eating on his own.

“Out of nowhere, we totally forgot a sippy cup and he was using a straw and I had never seen that. Of course, I reached out to the therapist like ‘Did you know he could do this?’ she was like ‘Yeah.'”

As Angie thinks about Blake’s future, she hopes to grow his ability to communicate. He will go to kindergarten once he turns six years old. Until then, Angie finds comfort in the care he receives at URS.

“I know that if something happens to Blake, he’s going to be taken care of.”

WDTN will host a telethon to benefit URS from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. For more information, click here.