His mother, Jerri Gray, was charged with criminal neglect for letting him gain too much weight. Alexander was soon placed in foster care and stripped away from his mother, as she faced her looming trial (2 felonies, 15 years, $50k bond). During her trial, she claimed that she didn’t have the education to help him live a healthy lifestyle nor the finances to put him in the recommended weight loss program.
IS THIS CRIMINAL NEGLECT OR SOCIAL INJUSTICE?
Okay, so you guys know me pretty well now, where you know I stay away from all serious matters on the blog— all things political, religious, anything that might be a strong topic. Partially, because I don’t like debates and confrontation— they get me anxious and I don’t want to combat what anyone else believes…. but mostly because I don’t like to get involved in them myself. There are very few things I consider myself an activist for…. one thing I feel REALLY, REALLY strongly about is child health, nutrition (or lack of), and obesity. I think it’s an injustice to children for us to not pay more attention to the food we place in our children’s mouths. I mean, yes, there are always the cases of the picky and impossible eaters (I was one of them. and hell, I’m still a lover of junk food, but it comes second to a healthy diet), but for a majority of Americans, it’s a matter of money, lack of information, or more than likely, a combination of both. One head of cauliflower: 2.50-3.50$. Burger off the dollar menu? A buck. But…. buy a bag or rice and beans…. about 5$ and you can feed your family for a week. See where I’m going here…. cheap food seems cheaper, but little basics can be just as cheap, if not cheaper and much healthier. Also, the long term costs of a poor and cheap diet ends up costing unimaginable of amounts of money. So…. pink slime? Or real grains and protein?
We need to educate ourself and our children on the fundamentals of a healthy diet. With a healthy diet, we feel better, do more, live better, live happier, and we save ourselves A LOT of money in the long run on healthcare costs. Don’t quote me on this, but it’s something along the lines of over half of all deaths in the US are health and diet related deaths. Heart disease being number one and diabetes climbing up there. That’s kind of gross. I know, how professional do I sound calling something gross?… but it’s true. Giving an innocent child no choice, but to grow up struggling and obese, is gross. I think it’s really important that we start banning together more to make child obesity a rumored story that never was. Even if we live in a healthy home with great diets, we can still do more for others. Spreading awareness, teaching young kids why fruits and vegetables are important, breaking the bad-food cycle (children of obese parents are more likely to be obese, and have obese children), bringing healthcare costs down (we spend BILLIONS of dollars on diet-related preventablediseases each year), and well, most importantly… creating, educating, and enlightening happy healthy and thriving children.
If you have the time, please look over what Reset Wellness is offering to children of the California East Bay Area. If you can, please help donate to their campaign to help create a future children’s wellness center, and to help young kids wanting and needing to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their future generations.
Meet 555lb, 14 year old, Alexander Draper.
Reset Wellness, a San Francisco Bay Area Non-Profit, has established a program that focuses on providing obesity intervention tools and academic enrichment to underprivileged children in U.S.(www.resetwellness.org) Later this year, Reset Wellness will be opening a child wellness center to expand their community reach and they need your help. “Alexander Draper’s situation is all too common. There’s a fine line between neglect and miseducation,” states Reset Wellness founder Jamal Williams. “As a nonprofit, we’ve come up with a program that educates families on healthy lifestyles and holds them accountable.”
Currently, there are no one-stop-shops, in the East Bay Area, that tackle child wellness and academics in a practical, economically accessible way. The child wellness center will be the first of its kind and will feature hydraulic strength training circuits, vertical community gardens, technology smart academic classrooms, a childproof kitchen, and health counseling for families.
Donations to fund the $100,000 center start at $5, are tax deductible, and all donors will receive access to exclusive events, customized rewards from Nike, Specialized Bicycles, and more. Go to www.icanstopobesity.org to help make this center real, check out center renderings, and review donor rewards. Jamal concludes, “We’ve all heard the statistics, been alarmed by their severity, and know a child struggling with weight. However, our emotion is rarely combined with action. Donate and spread the word if you are able. Your help will improve the life of countless families.”
Please donate and spread the word!
DO YOUR PART: