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March 30, 2012

Spaghetti Dinner/Silent Auction Fundraiser 4-28-12

Please join us on 4-28-12 for a delicious, homemade spaghetti dinner! We would love to catch up with old friends and look forward to making many new friends too! Feel free to contact with any questions or comments and to RSVP! Thank you!

April 21, 2010

Pampered Chef ~Angels 4 Taegan Fundraiser~

Become an Angel for Taegan. Pampered Chef and Angels4Taegan combine forces to help raise money for 5 year old Taegan McFarland's medical fund.

This is a Pampered Chef "Catalogue Show" Fundraiser. A percentage of the total fundraiser sales will be donated by Pampered Chef directly to Angels 4 Taegan.

May is Pampered Chef's "Help Whip Caner" month and features some special products that are not available any other time of the year! Any guest whose purchase is $60 or more (before tax and shipping) will receive two reusable "Help Whip Cancer" shopping bags for free! All guests who spend $100 or more will be entered in a drawing for a Family-Size Quick Stir Pitcher. Orders will be placed on May 7th and can be shipped to Michelle McFarland (if you are local to her), or shipped directly to you.

If you would like to support Angels 4 Taegan, you can visit and click "Our Products." Then Click “How to Purchase.” Enter “Angels 4 Taegan” as the host and you will be directed to a page where you can view the entire catalog and place your order online. You will be able to order on the website until May 7th at 9:00 a.m. You may also place a “paper” order with Taegan's family! Please note, if you use a credit card to purchase your items, your credit card will not be charged until the show closes on May 7th.

You may purchase today through 9am May 7,2010. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michelle at

Thank you for supporting Taegan!

December 16, 2009

On-line Music Benefit for Taegan

Today is Angels 4 Taegan day as part of the Music for Winter Festivals concert series in Second Life. Please come and share some live music with JaNa KYoMooN (Jan Pulsford) at Mystical One's Mystical Healing Park at 7PM Eastern Standard Time. Taegan is a beautiful 5yr old girl who is dealing with a variety of disabilities. We hope you will become an Angel for her by raising money to help Taegan receive life altering medical treatments.

So grab an avatar and head into the exciting virtual world of Second Life. Join us by copying this url into your web browser:


December 11, 2009

Another Year Comes To An End.. and What Have We Learned?

So, I haven't done the best at blogging in 2009. Perhaps not much happened that was blog-worthy... or perhaps life just left little time to blog. Ahhh, whichever the case may be, I'll make a resolution for 2010 to be a more timely blogger. :-)

Not much happened in the way of fundraising in 2009. We weren't able to have the 3rd Annual Angels Ridin'4 Taegan motorcycle ride benefit this summer. I wasn't able to get everything organized and put together by myself in the limited time I had to prepare. I scrambled to find volunteers to help, but resources were limited, and no volunteers were to be found. It was disheartening, to say the least. This year, hopefully if I begin organizing in early spring, I can get something put together by end of summer. The biggest hurdle I've encountered is finding a place for all the motorcycles to meet/register. I was turned away by countless churches due to insurance reasons. If anyone knows of a place where 100 or so motorcycles can gather for Taegan's ride, please contact me. ( )

The motorcycle ride is the event we count on most each year to bring the bulk of the funds in for Taegan's medical fund. Needless to say, we weren't able to provide her with anymore hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments in 2009. Without the HBOT, physically she has had a rough year and a half. She's had 2 rounds of botox injections followed by serial casting in the past year. Serial casting lasts between 6-8 weeks, depending on the spasticity of her leg muscles. Next Friday I will take her to the surgery center again, where she will undergo another series of botox injections. Hopefully she will not have to be sedated for this series. When she was receiving regular HBOT, she did not need botox injections to manage her muscle tone. She has had to have botox injections every 3-6 months to manage spasticity. It's frustrating to see a treatment as natural as hyperbaric oxygen not being utilized to treat cerebral palsy, when it's so blatantly obvious that it WORKS! So many things in our government are corrupt... don't even get me started.

Progress has been quite slow in the last year. Often with Taegan it is two steps forward, one step back. And sometimes, it's two or three steps back, in her case. She continues to regress in gross motor skills during periods of illness. She is currently being tested for possible mitochondrial disease, which is one possible explanation for this phenomenon. Taegan had some preliminary blood work done, and all the tests came back negative, thankfully. As I understand it, the next step is for a muscle biopsy to be done. I'm not sure if I want to put her through such invasive testing or not. It's quite a large chunk of muscle they would remove from her thigh. The treatment for mitochondrial disease is management with supplementation with things such as COQ10 and carnitine. I've already got her on so many supplements, why not add in some others that are known to help with mitochondrial disease as well?

Taegan started kindergarten this year in a special needs self-contained classroom. I think she enjoys school pretty well. It's hard to know really, as she cannot communicate about her day etc. It has been quite an adjustment for her though, as they do not offer PM kindergarten to the special needs students. So, she has had a rude awakening this school year, having to wake up at 7:30am 5 days a week. She's still adjusting, but doing better with the new schedule, overall. I do know she absolutely LOVES to ride the bus.

Taegan continues to have PT, OT and Speech at school, as well as privately throughout the week. She also has hippotherapy, music therapy and cranial sacral therapy weekly as well.

In September, Taegan began music therapy with a wonderful music therapist named Christine Barton. To anyone looking for a good music therapist in the Indy area, Chris is worth her weight in gold!!! Taegan absolutely loves her and asks at least 50 times a week, if not more, "Chris? Music? Chris!! Guitar? Piano? Chris???" We have a 'countdown to Chris' just as we do for "horsey Monday." Ha ha ha! It really does fill my heart with joy to see her so excited about music and horses. It's the little things... right?

Christine Barton's website link below:

I'm still treating Taegan holistically to manage the symptoms of autism. She's been on the Yasko protocol for nearly 2 years now. It's the best decision I've made in regards to managing it and helping her to live a more functional life. The Yasko protocol focuses on the methylation pathway in the body, as it relates to your body being able to utilize nutrition properly. It's based on genetics and specific mutations in the pathway of each individual. To learn more about the Yasko program, click the link below:

This summer I took Taegan to Nashville, TN to see a highly recommended and respected homeopath named Carole Krones. She did an amazing assessment of Taegan and put her on a remedy that has helped calm and focus Taegan quite a bit. I think working with a homeopath complements the Yasko protocol immensely.

Whilst in Nashville, Taegan was able to meet up with one of her very special earth angels...Jan Pulsford. We had a nice lunch with Jan and her son. Jan is a dear friend, as well as a veteran musician. Since 2006, she has performed several live shows on Taegan's behalf, with all proceeds benefiting the Angels 4 Taegan fund.

And for those of you who'd like some cool tunes to help get you through your day, Jan has her music streaming 24/7 at the url listed below:

As Taegan celebrated her 5th birthday this year, it was difficult not to recognize the obvious gap in social development between her and her peers. I'd be lying if I said it gets easier to deal with each day, week, month, or even year. I opted out of having a traditional birthday party for her this year. Hopefully next June she'll be able to experience the joy and excitement of having friends and family gathered together for a party in her honor.

My wish for her in 2010 is that she will be able to experience the magic and joy of childhood.... that she will be able to use her imagination and dream magnificent dreams... and on a selfish note, I'd love for her to be able to share her dreams with me.

So Santa, if you're reading this - I'm pretty sure my name isn't on the naughty list. When you slide down our chimney on Christmas Eve, please leave some imagination seeds and dream dust. :-)

December 9, 2008

Winter Update

And now.. an overdue update!

The 2nd Annual Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan motorcycle ride was another great success, despite hurricane Ike threatening to put a damper on the event. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces at this years ride. Taegan had so much fun this year!!! She was able to lead the riders to the first stop and then joined in the festivities on the last stop of her ride. Many of you commented on how much healthier she seemed this year compared to last year. HBOT is one of the therapies we have to credit for Taegan's improved health. Boosting the immune system is one of the many benefits HBOT provides. We're hopeful that Taegan can receive another 40 hours of HBOT this spring.

Hopefully, I'll be able to start planning another benefit for Taegan soon. I'm hoping to resume plans for the spaghetti dinner benefit that we'd originally planned for last spring. My grandmother, who was very ill last spring, is doing much better these days. I'm so thankful, and count my blessings every day for her miraculous turnaround.

While we are overjoyed with the improved health of my grandmother, we are deeply saddened with the recent loss of Taegan's grandmother, Shawn's beloved mother. Sadly, on November 13th 2008, she lost her 2 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. While we are grateful for the many ways she has blessed and enriched our lives, it's still difficult going through each day with the realization that she is no longer with us to share in the joys and hardships we all face. The holidays are going to be difficult, probably for a good while to come. I try to take solace in knowing that she is no longer in pain, and that she still remains with us in our hearts.

On October 24th, Taegan was formally diagnosed with Autism by Riley Children's Hospital here in Indianapolis. I've known in my heart for quite a while that she was autistic, but seeing it written on paper makes it somehow, more ... real? The official report came in the mail last week. Just reading through it made my heart ache, not only for Taegan, but for all of us. It seems that God wanted to make Taegan especially special - LOL

This is a journey of learning - Taegan is teaching everyone she comes into contact with - but perhaps I'm the most difficult student she'll encounter. Or perhaps I have the most to learn? Whichever the case, I know the road is long, and it's a path less traveled for sure, but we're walking hand in hand... and I have faith that we'll end up in the destination that was intended for us in this life.

I've come to realize recently that I've never really grieved for the challenges Taegan faces, or the ones I have faced with her. I'm not sure that 'grieved' is the accurate term, because I celebrate her life and the joy she brings every day. I haven't taken the time to reflect back on all of the things we've gone through since her premature birth. It's really been quite a whirlwind. It never stops. There's never been a time of reprieve before the next onslaught of issues/diagnoses manifest. Sometimes I find myself wondering, when will it end? How much is going to be enough? Do I really want an answer to that question? I just keep pushing ahead, trudging forward, researching and problem solving for the issues she faces in my spare minutes. If I stop to think about her challenges - my hopes and dreams for her - and how they inevitably will be altered, I'm afraid the tears might never stop.

So instead, I choose to stop and reflect on the challenges she's overcome thus far, and the remarkable progress she's made in 2 years. We began this website and the fundraising efforts 9/11/06. In that time, we've been able to provide Taegan with a life altering therapy called HBOT! Because of the kindness of our friends, family and complete strangers, Taegan has been able to receive 120 hours of hyperbaric oxygen therapy! Her tight muscle tone continued to decrease again with her last round of HBOT - she still has to undergo serial casting occasionally, especially after growth spurts, as well as Botox injections to help manage some tightness in her left hamstring and calf. Her muscle tone on her right side is so much better now, she has started to train in a smaller brace called an SMO. This is excellent news!!! The AFO's that she's always had provided support for her knee as well as her ankle and foot. An SMO provides support only for the ankle and foot. Our goal is to progress Taegan to an SMO on her left leg as well. I know we'll get there!

She continues to LOVE hippotherapy (therapy on horseback) each week. She often asks "Horsies?" or "Horsey Monday?" She knows that Monday is hippotherapy day. It fills my heart with joy to watch her smile and clap her hands while she's riding the horses.

Her weekly cranialsacral sessions with Mary are going wonderfully. She's having some great releases and is more calm and able to relax afterwards. It seems to be carrying over for longer periods of time. Sometimes I think it works too well, as often times it's a struggle to keep her awake on the car ride back home! Sleep for Taegan continues to be one of her biggest nemeses. It's hit or miss with her as far as a consistent sleep schedule. Some weeks she is sleeping 3 hours a night, and others she'll sleep up to 6. She saw a developmental pediatrician at Riley during the Autism evaluation. He wished me "good luck" with the sleep issues, as he said it appeared I had tried everything he would recommend to achieve a more consistent pattern. The Dr. explained that with PVL as well as with Autism, the sleep centers of the brain are often affected. I should be so lucky! :-)

Taegan is doing very well with her occupational therapy sessions. They've really been working hard on her sensory and oral motor issues. The OT utilizes the horse for treatment with Taegan, which is awesome for sensory integration.

Speech is coming along well for the most part. It seems she has consistent set-backs. We take 2 steps forward and 1 step back pretty regularly. I'm amazed at what she knows, and is just not able to consistently express. For example, the speech therapist will show her two picture choices and will ask her to identify "Which picture shows an item that is crunchy?" (i.e. potato chips and pancakes for the two cards). Taegan answers abstract questions like that pretty consistently. There is so much locked inside her head, I just wish I could find the right key to unlock my daughter. One day, I will find it.

Physical therapy is going great! She still receives private PT two times a week. We're focusing on strengthening her knee control and hamstrings in order for her to be able to wear the SMO brace on her right foot consistently. She has another physiatry appointment this month - the Dr. will evaluate her progress and decide whether more Botox injections are needed at this time.

Taegan tries to see our chiropractor on a monthly basis. We've gotten a bit off our routine, as over the summer I had a surgery which has needed a lengthy healing time. She just loves Dr. Combs and his staff. He gives out suckers after all! :-)

School is going well for Taegan this year. It's hard to believe the year is half over at this point! Taegan loves to ride the bus, and often sings to the drivers I am told. She really enjoys her teachers and comes home saying the funniest things some days. Frequently I'll hear "Be quiet!" or "Sit down." and "Get your backpacks!" from the next room. It really does make me smile.

As this year comes to a close, I'd like to say thank you again, to all of Taegan's special angels here on earth. I know I've said it before, but it simply cannot be stated enough; without you, she couldn't have accomplished all that she has in the past two years. Thank you for supporting her at her ride each year and for all of your kind donations throughout the year that make HBOT possible for Taegan. Thank you for taking this journey with us... Until next time ~ Brightest Blessings to all of you, and may 2009 bring you happiness and good health.

July 25, 2008

2nd Annual Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan Motorcycle Ride

Taegan's 1st Annual "Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan" motorcycle ride raised enough money for Taegan to receive 60 HBOT treatments in 2007. Taegan's physical therapists were very pleased with how well the treatments helped decrease the muscle tone in her legs! We're counting on God's magnificent earth angels (YOU!) to help us continue to provide this life altering therapy for Taegan in 2008. *~Thank You!!!~*

Our 2nd Annual Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan Motorcycle Ride to benefit Taegan will be on September 13, 2008 from 11am-4pm.

~Poker Run~ *50/50* ~Door Prizes~

Registration begins @ 10am

Poker Run begins @ 11am

Registration is $25 per bike (T-shirt & wrist band included. Xtra T-shirts are $10 each)

The Ride Goes To: That Place, Bugsy's, Fat Daddy's,and Somewhere

Burgers & Dogs @ Somewhere in Bargersville after the run.

Registration on 9-13-08 is at:
Century 21 Realty Group Ruch-Hicks
1680 W Main Street
Greenwood, IN 46142

Please make checks payable to: Angels4Taegan

For questions contact Tammie Lee Hall @ 317-627-7900 or email
Angels4Taegan can be reached via email at

July 23, 2008

Summer Update

Hello everyone - It's been a few months since I've updated Taegan's blog.
Time seems to be scurrying by as of late. Taegan finished her first year of special needs preschool at the end of May. She really enjoys school and is excited about starting back up in a couple of weeks. She often says "playground friends" which I interpret as meaning she is asking when she will be returning to school to see her teachers and classmates.

It's hard to imagine, but Taegan turned four in June! She is growing up entirely too fast for my liking. She's really gotten tall in the last few months. Unfortunately, her growth spurts cause her more muscle tightness in her legs, and even her back as well. These things are to be expected because of the cerebral palsy. She's on the 'priority list' to receive more botox injections and again will be serial casted for several weeks. Not fun, but it's necessary for her to be mobile. Her braces are rubbing her heels (especially the left) due to the increased muscle tightness that came with this growth spurt. She'll need a new pair of those again as well when casting is completed. It's too bad we don't have a hyperbaric oxygen center close-by so we can get a few hours of HBOT during these growth spurs of hers. :-( I always wonder if she'd even need botox injections at all if we had regular HBOT treatments. (The whole botox issue is one I wrestle with constantly - it's quite scary to me if I'm being honest.)

We've been on the biomedical path for a few months now. In April, Taegan was seen by a DAN practitioner (DAN=Defeat Autism Now) who arranged for a battery of tests, including blood tests and urine analysis etc. The results showed she has metal toxicity, a common finding in children with autism. She's been on a regimen of vitamin and mineral supplements for about 2 years now, but we've recently made alterations to the regimen. We've added B12 shots, which she receives every 3 days. Also, we're doing chelation treatments with her to help pull the metals out of her body. She's on a prescription to help kill the high yeast overgrowth in her gut (another commonality in the ASD population as well.) It really is like a puzzle, finding what works and what needs supplemented etc. We've seen a lot of improvements in Taegan just from the B12 injections, which she's been taking since April.

We've had to put HBOT on hold for a few months while pursuing the biomedical approach. Biomedical treatments are quite expensive, and with ASD will likely be lifelong in order to manage the symptoms of ASD. As I've learned more and more about this disorder and the biomedical approach, it really comes down to an individuals genetic make-up and what the body is lacking or cannot produce enough of to function 'normally.'So you constantly need to be supplementing the body with what it needs, which can be quite a bit in fact!

Once chelation has done its job and pulled out metals that shouldn't be in the body, I'll continue with HBOT treatments. I'm hoping this can all happen in 2008-09. We're planning several fundraisers in order to help us provide this for Taegan.

Our 2nd Annual Angels Ridin' 4 Taegan motorcycle ride to benefit Taegan will be on September 13, 2008 from 11am-4pm. I will include further details in a future blog.

Taegan is continuing with her therapies weekly as well. She now has speech therapy 2x's a week (she also receives 60 min/week of speech at school during the school year.) She's receiving physical therapy 3x's a week (plus 30 min/week @ school.) She sees an occupational therapist 1x/week who has been focusing on Taegan's sensory needs as well as her visual deficits. She's been doing very well with her OT this summer. (She also receives 20 min of OT/week @ school). She's doing hippotherapy (therapy on horses) 2 hours a week. It's hard to believe she's been riding horses since she was 2 years old! Hippotherapy is her favorite! She says "horse, horses, and horsies" several times a week, which is her way of asking me when is 'horsie day.' It's really cute to hear her say it! She had 2 miniature horses at her 4th birthday party this year! She thought that was pretty cool. :-)

She's continuing to receive weekly craniosacral therapy treatments as well from our dear friend Mary VanNoy. Taegan enjoys Mary and always stops to play her piano after her session. :-) Taegan's monthly chiropractic appointments are also going well and have been especially important for her during this growth spurt phase. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of therapists/doctors/teachers/friends in Taegan's life.

Thank you to all of Taegan's special earth angels for helping us to have the financial resources to provide the HBOT and biomedical treatments that have helped her thrive in 2007-08.