The Whitcombs have tirelessly involved themselves with FASD advocacy, education, and support. They exemplify the courage, strength, and love needed while affected by FASD.
When Tyler was only 7 weeks old, Tim and Cindy Whitcomb were told by his adoption agency that he most likely had FAS. Cindy said that she and Tim felt in their hearts that Tyler had FAS, but also that he was meant to be their son. Tyler was finally diagnosed with FAS when he was 18 months old. Tyler is a bright, energetic young boy who has caught the attention of many, including former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
Cindy was asked to sit on the New York State FASD Prevention Task Force, where she gives input as a parent and caregiver of a child living with FASD. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), which leads the Task Force, has pulled together health professionals, caregivers, educators, and others in order to press forward with FASD prevention in New York State. Cindy’s input is invaluable to the Task Force since she lives with the effects of FASD everyday. Currently, the Task Force is working on a statewide initiative to increase outreach and awareness, as well as train health professionals about the negative impact of drinking while pregnant.
In the past, Tim and Cindy also organized a support group in their hometown of Victor, NY, for families living with FASD. Cindy is still part of an informal support group, in which she directs parents/caregivers to resources for diagnosis and services. She also lends individual support and encourages those who call her; “I tell them they’re not alone.”
This May, the Whitcomb family joined NOFAS staff and state delegations from across the country for NOFAS’ Second Annual FASD Hill Day. They visited Congressmen Randy Kuhl and Steve Israel’s offices; and the Office of Senator Hillary Clinton to tell their story and gain support for the FASD Caucus in The House of Representatives and to lobby for The ‘Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Support’ Bill in the Senate. The Whitcombs continue to be advocates for families and individuals living with FASD.