SOURCE: Clinic for Special Children

Clinic for Special Children

September 10, 2014 07:08 ET

Amish Father "Forges" Support for the Clinic for Special Children's 25th Anniversary

Hand-Forged, Iron Japanese Maple Tree Will Be Auctioned on September 20th at the Annual Lancaster County Benefit Auction in Leola, PA

LANCASTER, PA--(Marketwired - September 10, 2014) - 10 years ago, an Amish father brought his baby, suffering from an unknown ailment, to a local medical clinic. He had heard that doctors at the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, might be able to help. 

At the clinic, pediatricians who specialize in diagnosing and treating rare, inherited genetic disorders in Amish and Mennonite children realized that severe acid reflux was making it difficult for the child to eat and sleep. The father and his wife worried that they might lose the child. The clinic's interventions and counsel helped the baby to thrive.

When a second child developed similar symptoms seven years later, the father returned to the clinic. Again, pediatricians there successfully treated the condition.

Today, both children are healthy. Their father, a skilled ironworker, is sharing his gratitude for the clinic in a unique way.

Each time he and his children entered the clinic, they passed a Japanese maple tree planted at the clinic's founding. Now, he's recreating the tree in iron: a half-sized replica with over one thousand leaves crafted with three thousand hours of labor. The Memory Tree sculpture is 8 feet tall and 7 feet in diameter.

The Memory Tree will be auctioned at the annual Lancaster County Benefit Auction on Saturday, September 20, in Leola, Pennsylvania. This auction, along with four others throughout the region, raises one third of the clinic's yearly operating budget.

"I want to help the clinic because my children received excellent care, and I am passionate about the unique medical model they have brought to my community," the patients' father said. "I now see how the clinic relieves suffering children and anxious parents not just in Lancaster, but all around the world."

The Clinic for Special Children serves over 2,500 patients with over 150 unique genetic disorders from 34 states and 17 countries.

"We're humbled by the generous, creative way in which this father has chosen to express his gratitude," said Matthew Sware, the Clinic for Special Children's Development Director. "The spectacular Memory Tree will stand as a permanent reflection of the progress made over 25 years and will support our growing service offerings for families in need," said Sware.

For more information, including a video about the Memory Tree project, please visit

About the Clinic for Special Children:

Founded in 1989, the Clinic for Special Children serves children by translating advances in genetics into timely diagnoses and accessible, comprehensive medical care, and by developing better understanding of heritable diseases. To learn more, please visit

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