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Dianne Bryden

Dianne, Fisher and Jeff Bryden

It Takes a Village

The age old saying is thatIt takes a village to raise a child.” In Fisher Bryden’s case, he is thriving because of the strength of his village.  “When Fisher was born, he couldn’t move a muscle … not even his finger,” said Dianne Bryden.  “He was in the NICU the first three weeks of his life, before we got the diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome.”

We all know that getting the diagnosis of PWS can be devastating.  It can feel like you are left alone and isolated to deal with the complexity and challenges of Prader-Willi Syndrome.  “It took me 3 years after the diagnosis to come to terms with it and really become pro-active, “ responded Dianne.  “The doctors painted the worst possible picture and I felt overwhelmed.”

In Dianne’s case, it was her family, her friends and her church that got her through it.  “What has helped me the most is being around other people dealing with PWS.  Going to the FPWR conference and meeting positive people dealing with the same issues, was life changing.  Now I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and say  … my child has Prader-Willi Syndrome and I need your help to find a cure.”

… and is Dianne ever ready!  In the last year, Dianne has become President of Tennessee’s first PWS association www.pws-tn.org and is already making a difference.  To get started, she is hosting a One SMALL Step walkathon in Hixson, Tennessee on April 30th to raise money for research.  “We are planning to make it a real community event as we have had such amazing support from our family, friends and church.  We couldn’t have got though it without them”.  But this is just the start.  Dianne is also assisting Angel Sims who is running Tennessee’s annual car wash in Chattanooga on May 14th and hosting a family day at Chattanooga Zoo on June 25th which is free for all PWS families.

Jeff and Dianne Bryden live in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.  Dianne works full time as a court reporter and Jeff is a detective with the city of Chattanooga Police Department.  Fisher is now 4 years old as of Feb. 7th and lovesplaying with his older sister Ellie (7 y.o).  He is running, has no food seeking behaviours, is slim, loves being around people and attends an amazing school with a 50/50 mix of children with special needs.  “Fisher understands everything going on around him and is beginning to seek out his peers to interact and communicate.  I am so proud to see how far he has come,” mentioned Dianne.

As President of the Tennessee PWS Association, Dianne is looking to build upon that family feeling.  “We will continue to have our business meetings, but I am working on organizing local focus groups across the state and would encourage everyone to do the same.  It’s the best way to have families dealing with PWS get together, share stories and support each other,” stated Dianne.

It really does take a village … and we are lucky to have Dianne as part of our global PWS village.

You can reach Dianne to discuss membership or events in Tennessee at dbrydenrpr@comcast.net

7 Responses to "Dianne Bryden"

  1. Renay Compere Says:

    Hi Dianne. Thanks so much for sharing your story but most of all thank you for all the things you are doing to help our kids with PWS have a bright future.

    Your children are both absolutely beautiful. I hope one day we can meet at a FPWR event. They really are so inspiration and uplifting and so good for the soul!

    Best, Renay Compere

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 at 12:16 am

  2. Misty Adams Says:

    Great story, very inspiring!! Love the 50/50 school concept!

    I need a bigger village in my local area… Huge pws family on on Face Book… Love all 822 of them!!!

    warmest regards,

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 at 4:09 am

  3. cyndi olivacz Says:

    Hi Dianne,
    Bryden is such an inspiration. Thank you for all that you have done for all our beautiful children. My little boy is 3.5 years old with PWS. This will be our first year attempting to raise funds to support FPWR research. This is very much out of my comfort zone, but I know people want to help children like Bryden and David.
    Wishing you and your family continued success!
    Cyndi Olivacz

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 at 10:09 am

  4. Pam Horowitz Says:

    Hey Dianne,
    I knew you were very involved with promoting awareness of PWS and also in the efforts to find a cure. But I had no idea how involved you really are – – can’t believe you can do all that while raising two beautiful kids and working a full-time job.
    I am truly in awe of everything you do and how big a part of the “Village” you are. You are the kind of person who makes the world a better place for everyone.
    Many people spend time just talking about problems, but you take the bull by the horns and give 100% of yourself to solving them!

    Posted on February 8th, 2011 at 11:06 am

  5. Marika Carvey Says:

    Hi Dianne
    Well Done for all you efforts.
    Reading this today, through Facebook, has made me feel alot happier about my daughter Ava’s future.
    She too was born not being able to move a muscle … and we too after weeks got told she had Pradr Willi.
    She is 2 years and 9 months and today finally stood by herself… such an acheivement.
    She also sounds alot like your son, in her awareness etc.
    Im so happy i read this today.
    Here in England we dont have as much information on Prader Willi as you have in states.
    Your hard work and efforts are an inspiration to all us ‘Prader Willi’ parents to get out there and do something .
    Marika x

    Posted on February 9th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

  6. catina polege Says:

    Always remember you are a Great, Marvelous person. It takes very special to care for God’s Angels. Remember God only gives children to us on loan. My grandson Joseph passed away on Dec. 31 2006. He was 3 years old. I miss him dearly.

    Posted on March 22nd, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  7. steve asbury, nashville, tn Says:

    Hi Dianne:
    What your doing in your community, and across Tennessee for Preder-Willi and the PWS-TN chapter is awesome… especially with all the daily responsibilities you have as a working mom…
    We admire the determination, dedication and emotion you are putting into the state chapter and want all the chapter members, officers and directors to be inspired by your efforts…
    The comments of your friends, neighbors and fellow Prader-Willi families are certainly a testimony to how you have embraced Tennessee volunteerism… both you and Jeff have a lot to be proud of and to be respected for… best wishes and good luck…. and please – KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!
    steve asbury

    Posted on April 3rd, 2011 at 3:33 pm

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