My name is Lauren Clawson, I was the mother of Callen. Due to complications before birth, Callen was diagnosed with Porencephaly; a neurological disorder that could leave those with the disease unable to eat, walk, speak and have sight and hearing issues. Callen’s chances of surviving birth were very dismal, yet, still he blessed us on December 28, 2012 with his presence. He taught everyone who came across his path faith and hope through his resilience to fight the odds.
When he was told he would never eat using his mouth, his determination and hard work made drinking from a bottle and eating baby food a reality. He was holding his head up and starting to turn over and grab things with his hands. He was the shining miracle in my world that kept me wanting the world to be a better place. Callen fought until October 17th, 2013 but his spirit continues to fight on in others with the inspiration and motivation to overcome the odds.
This became more apparent to me when, shortly after his funeral in Austin, Texas, my husband and I took our, then, 4 year old son Caleb, to the Play for All Abilities Park in Round Rock, Texas. He had found a friend to play with who had down syndrome and they were being superheroes and saving the world! The vision brought tears to my eyes and opened my heart to a place of hope. My husband and I thought it would be wonderful for places like this to occur everywhere. We soon started the Callen Hughs Foundation to help raise funds to build parks like this for children and families to come together, learn, hope, and dream. A dream that others, with the right mix of love, support, and resources, can overcome any obstacle.
We have started working with the City of New Braunfels to build Callen’s Castle. Callen’s Castle, unlike surrounding all abilities parks, will be free of charge and ran by the City of New Braunfels. The park will mirror its policies to those of existing parks and will be open to any patron interested in utilizing the unique public space. In December 2014, the New Braunfels City Council voted to approve reserving 4.016 acres of city property on FM 1044 for the future use of an All Abilities Park. Since that time, the City of New Braunfels has hired Luck Design Team to facilitate public input and development of a Master Plan for the park, which was ultimately approved by the New Braunfels City Council on January 11th, 2016.
This All Abilities Park is currently a potential project for the 2019 Bond Election. However, to continue to be on the ballet, the community needs to show support and let the City Officials know how important a project like this is for the community. Monday, October 15, 2018 at 6 pm located at 550 Landa St, New Braunfels, TX. 78130, the city’s Bond Committee meets to further discuss the costs of potential projects to be on the Election Ballet. I hope you can come to show support and advise them of what something like this can do for the community.