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2024-25 Honored Child of the Year

Elyse Brown

We are excited to introduce our Pa Elks Home Service Program Child of the Year, Elyse Brown. Elyse is 8 years old, the youngest child of Amanda and Matt Brown, with two older brothers, Sam (13) and Max (11). We believe in the beautiful uniqueness of all the children that we work with, and Elyse is no exception. She has been diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease, with such a unique genetic mutation that she is in a class of her own. Due to her uniqueness, she has been invited by the Mitochondrial Team at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation in Pittsburgh to meet with researchers and share her medical information to help further the research in the field of Mitochondrial Disease. Elyse’s mom, Amanda, has accepted the challenge that comes with a rare diagnosis, believing that anything is possible for Elyse, refusing to be limited by the lack of information available for her condition. Amanda, with a Master’s degree in Education and 15 years’ experience as an elementary school teacher, became a certified Home Health Aide to serve as a paid caregiver for her daughter. Amanda’s role as Home Health Aide has allowed her the opportunity to actively participate in all of Elyse’s therapies and doctors’ appointments, support Elyse in classes during preschool, and now in Middlesex Elementary School in Cumberland Valley School District to make sure she receives the therapies, services, and inclusion that she needs in order to continue to make progress and thrive. Elyse uses a picture card system as her main mode of communication, and receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision, hearing, speech and music therapies. She walks with adult assistance or with a gait trainer, and uses an adaptive trike to travel longer distances around school and the community. She has enjoyed playing adaptive field hockey, too, using

one of her gait trainers and adaptive field hockey sticks. Elyse loves music of all kinds, and usually can be seen with headphones, enjoying her music as she accompanies her parents to her brothers’ sports events. Amanda is a great advocate for her daughter, and she appreciates the input and support that Mary Olley, Elks Nurse for Cumberland, Dauphin and

Perry Counties, has been able to offer over the past 5 years.

Brown Family


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