Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Please come out and support Ava and the Lopez family for Fashiontini this coming Thursday, November 4th at Hotel Valencia. Doors open at 6:00pm. $10 at the door with a portion of the evening's proceeds benefiting Ava's Wish. For all you fashionistas, there will be a runway show by Julian Gold. Don't miss Ava's debut on the catwalk. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Ava!

Happy Birthday My Sweet Girl……September 28, 2010

Today is Ava’s 3rd birthday and it gives me chills to be able to say that. The birth of a child is one of the most amazing gifts a person can be given. The rebirth of a child and the feelings that go along with it are almost unspeakable. Time and time again I have mentioned how blessed Manny and I are as parents to have been given a second chance with Ava. The way that our community, family and friends have supported us throughout the past year and a half just goes to show that we all were given a second chance….for this I will be eternally grateful.

Take time to laugh a little longer, hug a little tighter and be thankful for what you have. Let Ava’s recovery story be a sign of hope in your life!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vote for Ava's Wish!!!

So many good causes today are in need of good graphic design. And so many designers have a heart for a good cause. Unfortunately, lack of funding often stands between them and the good that they could accomplish together.

Worth Higgins & Associates, Virginia’s largest sheet fed commercial printer, announces Worthwhile: Designers for Good, a competition to bring good design and good causes together for the good of all.

With your support, Ava’s Wish and graphic designer, Diane Hammons, could win this competition. Don’t forget to vote ONCE A DAY!

1. Visit the Worth Higgins & Associates, Inc. Facebook page and click "Like" (first time only)
2. Go to
3. Click Vote
4. Scroll down to the heading "Out of disaster, a foundation for kids rises" to vote for Ava's Wish

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ava update - September 2010

It has been quite some time since I last posted an entry on Ava’s progress. For that, I apologize. It amazes me that the summer is almost over and school is back in session. Ava restarted her vision school in mid August and will continue on at a PPCD (special needs) program when she turns 3 later this month. We spent the summer working on improving Ava’s fine motor skills with occupational therapy three times a week and gross motor skills with gymnastics once a week as directed by her physician. She also continues with vision therapy and mobility and orientation therapy. After meeting with a few specialists a few weeks ago it is being suggested that we put Ava back in physical therapy three times a week as it appears that she is starting to fall even more behind in her gross motor skills. I try to come up with a plan on how that is going to work into the schedule and it seems almost impossible. To think that the majority of time Ava is awake during the day is spent going to therapies is mind boggling. Amazing that the therapies are available, but sad that she has to endure this on a daily basis. As a Mother I feel powerless.

Ava continues to wear her helmet to protect herself from falls. She also wears her glasses which seem to help her eyes to focus. According to her doctor she has a very difficult time seeing anything without her glasses. It is still unknown as to the extent of damage to her vision. It may be quite some time until we have some definitive answers. She has become a cane walker at school and has even asked for it at home a few times. I think she finds some sort of comfort in it. An object I once looked at with fear, I now see as an amazing tool.

I wanted to briefly mention the legal side of this as many people are wondering what has taken place. The trial date was reset once again. It continues to amaze me that the victims in this are the ones that have to continue to suffer. My hope is that one day the person who did this will take responsibility for her actions. As always, I will continue to advocate for my daughter. This will never be forgotten.

A more positive side to this is our formation of a charitable organization called AVA’S WISH, INC. The purpose of the organization will be to provide support services to patients and family members affected by pediatric head trauma and related disorders. I have listed a few of our first events that will be taking place in 2010.

Ava’s Wish has an event that will take place on November 4th at the Valencia Hotel in San Antonio. The event is called Fashiontini. Part of the proceeds raised that evening will be donated back to Ava’s Wish. There will be more details to come. If you can make it out for this wonderful event we would love to see you.

The San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon is quickly approaching. It is scheduled for November 14th. We will have an Ava’s Wish team. If you are interested in joining please contact me at

Ava’s Wish, Inc. just became a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization. We are currently working on a website and will notify you when it is up and running.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and kind words…….


Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank you

Thanks to everyone who attended the "All for Ava" service. It was a magical day! Our dear friend/photographer, Lilianna Story, has the gift of capturing children's raw emotions. How she manages to get the most perfect photos with three children in the shot, I'll never know.

Enjoy this breathtaking slideshow of the Lopez children:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fiesta Week - Please Drink Responsibly!!!

Fiesta week has kicked off here in San Antonio, which means there will be more partying and celebrating than usual. Enjoy this fun San Antonio tradition with your friends and families, but remember to drink responsibly and DON’T get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Let’s keep our families safe!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"All for Ava" service - April 23, 2010

On Friday, April 23rd there will be an “All for Ava” service held at the Crosstimber (Rogers Ranch) clubhouse. As a reminder, this is where we held the rally for Ava last year. It is our way to come together as a community and celebrate Ava’s continued recovery. All are welcome to attend. It will start at 6:00 p.m. and will most likely last 30-45 minutes.

Please wear pink!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

The Lopez Family

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reflecting on April 23rd....

April 23rd is quickly approaching. To many, this date may seem insignificant but to our family it was the day our lives changed forever. It amazes me to think that an entire family's life can be changed in the blink of an eye but it happens. Many people have asked how I am going to spend that day and I really don’t have a response. While I view it as a very tragic day, I can’t help but to focus on the positive side to this story. The outpouring of love and compassion from family, friends, neighbors, people all over the world that I have never even met. It brings a smile to my face to know that my daughter has brought so many people together in such a positive way. Days after the accident my neighborhood was full of pink ribbons. All over houses, cars, trees…..wherever there was a place to tie a ribbon, one was found. The pink ribbons then started to travel beyond our neighborhood to schools, day care centers, churches, other states and even out of the country. Unity! What seems like such a small thing signifies so much more.

Getting back to the April 23rd question, it is my wish to see as many pink ribbons as I did in the days that followed the accident. I am not asking that they stay up for a long period of time. I am simply asking to make April 23rd an “All for Ava” day. It will serve as a reminder of the senselessness of the act that put us here but more importantly it will remind us of the unity of those near and far that have given our family the strength to live day to day.
Thank you ALL for your continued prayers and support!

Manny, Traci, Jack, Isabella and AVA

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ava Update - February 2010

Several people have asked for an update on Ava and I apologize that it has taken me a while to do so. Besides the fact that it has been a busy couple of weeks, it has been emotionally draining as well. Sometimes I think when I am having a difficult time it is just better that I not write. To others, writing is therapeutic and I am hoping today’s outcome is just that because for some reason I can’t seem to get out of this funk!

Ava started her vision school almost two weeks ago and is adjusting beautifully. To say that she is a super star is an understatement. The class provides her with a security that she will need to get her thru the next stages of her recovery. There are 5 children in the class, three legally blind and two with severe visual impairment. Our hope is to learn how “severe” Ava’s impairment is so that we can develop a plan that best fits her needs. While our hope was to be able to mainstream her next year, it looks like Ava will spend time in a PPCD program or another way of explaining it a “special needs” classroom. A family that we never thought we would be a part of but we are truly blessed.

As mentioned in a previous post, Ava started wearing glasses a few weeks ago on a full time basis. We were told that the glasses will hopefully correct the eye crossing the she is experiencing. If it does not then she will require surgery. Something we may not know for a while.

Within the next few weeks Ava will begin what is called “Orientation and Mobility” therapy. In addition to Ava’s left visual field cut and limited vision in her right eye, there is now concern that she may have a lower visual field cut as well. For those of you around her frequently you may notice that when she walks she looks straight ahead. Because of this she often runs into or over things. With the new therapy they will be able to work with Ava in training her to be aware of her surroundings. One way of doing this is with the use of a cane. The hope is that Ava will not need to use this on a continual basis but the possibility exists. I also just learned that long term there may be a possibility that Ava may never read due to the disorganization in her brain. I was then told that the teacher may start to introduce Braille. Another kick in the gut. My eyes started to tear as I listened once again to the aftermath of a careless woman out of control.
Ava saw the neurologist a few weeks ago. While he is optimistic that her stability will continue to improve he is concerned that she is at risk of injuring herself. She is now wearing a helmet to protect her head and will continue to do so until he sees enough improvement to say that it is safe to take it off.

AS for the legal side of this that unfortunately exists….the trial date was reset by the defense attorney. We have been told that we may not have a new date for several months. It truly amazes me that this is the way the legal system works. Fortunately all the time in the world can pass by but this will never be forgotten or forgiven. I maintain my confidence in our legal system and am hopeful that this case is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It would be a shame to send the message that it is okay to drive while intoxicated, plow down a family and flee the scene of an accident. Not only has our family suffered because of this but people, young and old, all over the country have also been affected. Thank you to all those people that have written letters to District Attorney Susan Reed. I ask that you send another letter and this time in addition to sending the letter to Susan Reed also send a copy of the letter to State Senator Jeff Wentworth and State Senator Leticia Van de Putte. The contact information is listed below.

The Honorable Jeff Wentworth
925 N Frost Center
1250 N.E. Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78209


P.O. Box 12068
Capitol State
Austin, TX 78711

Leticia Van de Putte
Texas Senate District 26
700 N St. Mary’s Street, Suite 1725 A
San Antonio, TX 78205


P.O. Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711

District Attorney Susan Reed’s fax number is
(210) 335-2884

Sorry if this sounds a little redundant….. it is just that when Ava continues to fight for what was taken from her on a daily basis, I feel the one thing I can do is to continue to be her advocate. Continue to be an advocate for all of my children, friends and family that believe this person needs to take responsibility for her actions. We live day to day knowing that this woman is still living right up the street, able to come and go as she pleases. It is gut wrenching when I run into her at Target and she stares at me blankly. And then to have my four year old daughter say is that the lady that hit us and Mommy why isn’t she in jail?...I have no words for her just pain and all I can do is hug her!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. Traci

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spin to Joy

At the early age of two, Ava has already taught us so much about life. She’s taught us to never take the gift of life for granted and to never give up when faced with adversity. Since the accident, Ava has had to endure countless hours of therapy to relearn the simple acts of swallowing, sitting up, seeing, walking, and talking. She continues to be challenged with her vision impairment, but through it all Ava never shows signs of defeat. There are countless children just like Ava who are struggling with deficits every day. “Ava’s Wish” Foundation has been created to support children and families facing pediatric head trauma and disorders.

Another organization that is doing amazing things for children is the Ironman for Kids Foundation. They purchase and donate special needs bikes to children that physically cannot or do not have the ability to ride a bike. Much like Ava’s KidWalk, this equipment is highly specialized to the individual and very expensive. When Ava was learning to walk again, the KidWalk was so instrumental in getting her to where she is today. These bikes will allow many children to experience a simple joy in life that so many of us take for granted. The “Ironman for Kids” foundation will be holding their annual “Spin-to-Joy Spinathon” to raise money for this great cause and we’re asking for your support. The Lopez’ dear friend and cycling guru, Didi Kolkebeck, is forming “Team All for Ava” to raise awareness and show support for this fellow foundation. The goal would be to fill all 40 stationary bikes with “Team All for Ava” during the 9:00 – 10:00am time slot. Please see below for all the details:

What: “Spin to Joy” Spin-a-thon
Where: Tri-Point YMCA (281 S. & St. Marys St.)
When: Saturday, January 30, 2010
Time: 9:00am – 6:00pm (Didi is teaching the 9-10am slot)
Who: Open to All
How much: $20 donation – gets you a t-shirt and chance for more prizes
*** Getting sponsorships and/or increasing your donation would be greatly appreciated!
Register: Go to
Click on “Spin to Joy” tab
Click on “Register Today” link
Click on “Register Now” box & begin your registration
Team: Indicate “Yes” when asked if you’re with a group & type in “Team All For Ava” in the Group box

Thank you in advance for your support! You’ll be helping some beautiful kids with special needs to experience the joy & excitement we can relish anytime: riding a bike.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy 2010!

Happy 2010……

I wanted to send a quick update on Ava’s progress. She had an ICP placed on December 30th and then monitored in the ICU for 24 hours. The doctors were able to remove the monitor on the 31st and we were able to ring in the new year with good news that Ava’s pressure in her brain was not elevated. The good news, actually the great news is that she will not require a shunt. The not so good news Is the fact that we still have no answer as to why she has an acute 6th nerve palsy. For the time being I am okay with the not knowing. Ava continues to exceed all of our expectations and she does so gracefully!

Ava continues to receive physical therapy three times a week, speech therapy twice a week and occupational therapy four times a week. Our plan was to try and put her in a school environment to help facilitate her socialization skills and independence….to give her the chance to do what most two years olds should be doing and that is enjoying the simple things in life. A week before Christmas I had a vision therapist approach me with the idea of Ava attending a VI school. Basically a school that specializes in children with severe visual impairment/blindness. I had to fight back tears as I had to be reminded once again of the carelessness that caused this visual impairment in my daughter. I was able to visit the school last week and was overly impressed with the teacher, her qualifications and her drive to help these children. Although a little hesitant with the idea at first, we have decided to start Ava in the class within the next few weeks. I am certain they will be able to foster her continued development.

As promised I wanted to give you all an update on the court case. I was notified Friday that it has been reset to February 1, 2010. Many people have offered to show their support and we are truly appreciative of that. I will continue to keep you all updated as the case evolves. People are welcome to attend the first hearing however I wanted to let people know that there is a chance that it may be reset a second time. Also, I feel that the time for people to attend should be after jury selection. This way the court is able to accomplish what they need to in a timely mannerJ It may take several days, months or even years to prosecute BUT please know that I will be my daughter’s advocate forever. Time will not change that fact. Time will also not change the fact that our family will continue to need the support of each and every last one of you so that this case is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Someone said to me just last night and I have heard this over and over again…. there are consequences for peoples actions……this case is the perfect example!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support!

Please send your letters to District Attorney Susan Reed:
300 Dolorosa
Suite 5072
San Antonio, TX 78205

Reference case numbers: 2009CR994 and 2009CR993


The Lopez Family