The Arbor School
“Every mile is for him. To live and to love. He’s my constant reminder why I’m here. To serve those who don’t have the same luxury I do, the often overlooked luxury of something as basic as running.”
13 years and 100 days. That’s when Price Stedham took his first steps. A long awaited and greatly prayed for day for his family, but slow and steady is the name of the game for their son, Price, who was born with a CACNA1A gene variant disorder. It took years upon years to even arrive at such a diagnosis, but while science was busy behind the scenes playing catch up to their son, Nathan and Kristen Stedham were equally as busy trying to provide their developmentally and physically delayed child a place that would help change his trajectory for the better. When Price was only two years old, they found hope and progress after enrolling in The Arbor School.
Nearing its 35th year of service, The Arbor School has been a household name for those that need its unique educational program. With a mission to enable children with significant special needs to reach their fullest potential by educating, empowering, and building hope for our students and their families, their vision is to see to it that every child has a place to learn and grow.
Price is just one of those children. But the school is full of many others like him. Children who, without the school’s strict student-to-teacher ratio that never exceeds two students to every teacher, would find themselves unable to learn and achieve their highest level of independence.
But programs at The Arbor don’t come with a small price tag. The results achieved take a real investment by way of incredible staff and individualized plans for every student in its care. And while The Arbor does charge tuition, on average, tuition only covers about 65% of the school’s total operating costs. The Arbor receives no government funding, and relies heavily on our general operating fundraising to meet the needs of our mission and program. THAT is why every dollar raised makes an impact!
Being a part of the Chevron Houston Marathon for the past six years has allowed The Arbor the unique platform to share its story with a wider audience and raise serious dollars for its programs. But no runner has been more passionate than Heidi Vogel, who considers Price the son she never had. As The Arbor’s number one fundraising runner for the Houston Marathon, Heidi has turned her runs into more than just her story and achievement. They’re Price’s achievements too, because for the last two years Price and Heidi have done the half marathon together.
It’s no small feat to complete the half marathon, but now imagine doing it while pushing a strapping young teenager in a specialized adult sized running stroller. Quite simply, go on a run and push 165 pounds in front of you, and you get the idea. Now go run 13.1 miles.
It’s not easy. But as Heidi shares, “It’s not easy on any single day of the week for Price. Every step is his own personal marathon.”
Price continues to make strides personally, he’s now taking multiple steps all on his own. Heidi, too, is ready to up the ante for Price. This year, Heidi and Price will race their first full marathon together. 26.2 miles of grit and determination with hope as their anchor.
The Arbor has a $50,000 overall fundraising goal this year and would welcome your support of our crossing that finish line and seeing Heidi, Price, and the other amazing runners on The Arbor’s team reach their goals. As Heidi puts it, “Price has already done the hard work, he shows us anything’s possible.”