CPD Legacy Story: Jordan Snell

September 4, 2012 by cpehrson

This CPD Legacy Story was written by Jordan Snell.  Jordan attended the Up to 3 Early Intervention program as a young child, and shares how his life was changed through the people he met there.

I was born in May of 1993.  My birth was not your normal birth, as there were some complications. I was born as a blue baby. I was quickly revived, and although I recovered, it was not a perfect recovery.  Due to that incident, I will live the rest of my life with a disability called cerebral palsy.

Small boy in a child size jeep that is hand-powered

Jordon as a young boy in his first hand-powered jeep.

About two months after my birth, I was enrolled in the Up to 3 Early Intervention program at the CPD.  My (occupational) therapist was Amy Henningsen.  It is thanks to the Up to 3 program that I am able to do many of the things that I do today.  It would make life easier if  the story ended there, but it doesn’t.

You see, my experiences with the Up to 3 Program went long beyond the age of three.  In fact my experiences with the Up to 3 program still have not ended.

About two years after I started going to Up to 3, my family’s way of life was forever changed when my dad was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  Six months later, my mom had a brain cyst that to this day affects her short-term memory.  If you can imagine having  three children, plus a 2-year-old with special needs, a husband who was terminally ill, and not be able to remember what happened 15 minutes ago– this was the situation my mother found herself in.

When my dad called and told my aunt what had happened, she was there immediately.  My aunt is an amazing woman. Soon she was flying from Mesa, Arizona to Logan, Utah about weekly, splitting  her time between her family and mine  and making sure our needs were taken care of.  It quickly became evident that this was all too much to put on my mom’s plate at this time.  My aunt, seeking to help my family, decided to take me home to Mesa with her.  While this did take a load off my parents, it also eliminated my parent’s ability to watch me grow. After much thought and prayer, my family decided that I needed to be in Logan where I could see my parents regularly.  The first place I stayed, the family ended up moving to Texas.  After much more praying and thinking, my family asked Amy (my OT from Up to 3) if she and her husband would be so kind as to take me in and allow me to live with them.  After talking it over with her husband, Amy said yes. Over the next four or five years I spent the weeknights at Amy’s house and weekends at home with my family.  Amy and her husband took it upon themselves to love and care for me as if I was their own child.

Young man standing unsing an electric sander.

Jordan as a young adult using an electric sander.


Over the years, the therapy I received as an infant in the Up to 3 program never really ended. Instead, Amy helped me to adapt to my surroundings.  I assure you that, without the help of the Up to 3 program, I would not be a 19-year-old ham radio operator, private computer consultant, and a soon-to-be missionary, let alone drive a car and ride a bike.

The Up to 3 program truly changed my life. If there is any question in your mind about if you should enroll your child in this program, do it. I promise you won’t regret it.

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6 Responses to “CPD Legacy Story: Jordan Snell”

  • Natalie Allen Says:

    This is a beautiful story of trial, hope, love and success. I have had the privilege of meeting Jordan and the fine young man he is. I am blessed everyday to work with and love Amy Henningsen. Thank you Amy for your example and all that you have taught me. Thank you for what you do for families and children. You inspire me.

  • Amy Says:

    Jordan overlooked mentioning that he graduated high school as an honor student and has been accepted to USU following the completion of his mission . (His aspiration is to obtain a PhD in mechanical engineering.) Nor did he reveal that he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout in the fall of 2011. He is an excellent auto and bicycle mechanic and the kindest, most helpful individual you would ever care to meet. Jordan’s greatest attributes are his inquisitive mind and his “refusal” to give up which is exemplified through his many achievements.

    Jordan has a very strong, cohesive family who mutually support and love one another regardless of the challenges that face them. Jordan, my friend, we salute you!

  • JoLynne Jensen Lyon Says:

    Jordan, thanks for writing your story. It’s my pleasure to have met you and to see Amy around the CPD. She’s wonderful, and so are you.

  • KimS Says:

    Wow. This is an amazing story. Great to see the long-term benefits of these programs. Best Wishes to Jordan.

  • Layne K. Says:

    That sounds like Amy! She’s always so quick to help and assist those in need! Good luck with your mission Jordan, I am sure you will bless several lives!

  • MJ Says:

    Jordon we love you. Amy you too!

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