United States

Meet RSM Pursue Your Passion Winner: Lindsay Zimmerman

ARTICLE  | 

PCS Financial Intermediaries Manager | Houston, Texas

When I think about my passion, it can be a little hard to come up with what I think that is. My personal life revolves around my husband and kids and the time I get to spend with them. This year, due to COVID-19, that has changed so much from any other year. Looking back at the last few months, I, maybe unlike others, have relished in this time. I have been so fortunate to teach my kids at home. My oldest, a five year old, does kindergarten at my feet. My youngest, a three year old, has been learning to count, spell her name and often watches Elmo, plays with Play-Doh, and reads books from across the room.

These kids are my passion, but when we really get down to it, our three year old is why I decided to write this entry. We spend a good deal of time driving to and participating in therapy for her. She was born with a rare genetic condition that has lifelong effects to her physical, emotional, and developmental wellbeing. As it stands now, insurance limits us to relatively few appointments in a year. We are forced to make decisions between therapy disciplines (speech, occupational, physical therapy) based on what will make the most impact on her development that year.

I spend countless hours researching and learning about the condition. I study the learning styles that work best for these kids and we participate in scholarly research with the leading experts in development and her diagnosis. It feels like no matter where we turn we run into a roadblock for her. I could know everything there is to know, but if she does not get the support she deserves it will not help.

If granted, I would schedule my daughter to receive almost one session of each discipline for every week of the coming year. This would provide her the opportunity to make significant gains in all her abilities. This will also lead up to her first year of kindergarten. As all the learned skills build on each other, I can only imagine how something like this would give her an exponential boost to her life. As the leading experts in her diagnosis say, she can learn anything, it just has to be taught to her in a different and steady form.

I am already on a flexible work option to meet my daughter’s therapy schedule. The nine extra days would allow for the additional appointments, as well as provide time to continue teaching my son at home. Family balance is always tough when it comes to having a child with complex medical needs.

The financial burden of having a special needs child is something no one can prepare for. Every year we meet our insurance company’s out of pocket max. It is amazing how much care costs and how fast a parent must choose where to draw the line on expenses. As someone who has spoken with many other parents around the world of children with the same diagnosis, it can seem strange to criticize our system.

Especially in my area of the country, we see some of the best of the best in terms of healthcare. I am passionate about finding a way to provide these appointments for my daughter.

I know my daughter has no limits. We pride ourselves on the hard work of every day, and I hope she always remembers nothing is easy and dreams are worth fighting for. Although many individuals with this specific diagnosis never drive a car, attend college, or leave their parents’ fulltime care, some do. If it is my daughters dream to do so, I hope she can do these things someday. We will get the basics right and then set her on her path.