• February 20, 2020

PBRC names Poster Child - Odessa American: Local News

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PBRC names Poster Child

Junior Gamboa lights Community Christmas Tree, will be featured in spring telethon

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  • Poster Child Junior Gamboa

    Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center Speech Pathologist Mary Garcia gives speech therapy to 7-year-old Adalberto Gamboa Jr., Thursday. "Junior" named the animal in a complete sentence before finishing the puzzle. Gamboa will participate in the 42nd annual Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center Telethon 2019 on Saturday, March 2nd from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3rd from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The telethon will be hosted by NewsWest 9 and Crossroads Fellowship.

Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 3:30 am

Junior Gamboa is one of those children who brightens the life of everyone he meets.

That and the progress he’s made at the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center are the reasons why he is the center’s Poster Child of 2020.

The 7-year-old son of Alberto Gamboa Sr. and his wife Dianna lit the Community Christmas Tree last week in Optimist Park at North Grandview and Everglade and will be featured in the center’s telethon Feb. 29-March 1 on KWES-TV, Channel 9.

Junior’s mom says he “loves soccer and is always smiling.

“He is so active and friendly,” she said. “He loves to say ‘hi’ to everybody.”

Noting that her son has graduated from the 620 N. Alleghaney Ave., center’s occupational and physical therapy programs, Dianna. Gamboa said, “He has been going to speech language therapy for six years and he can talk so much better.

“The people at Cameron Magnet School can understand everything he says. Before, he was crying and couldn’t say anything, but now he is so happy that he can tell me things. He is a lovely kid.”

Speech language therapist Mary Garcia said Junior’s family is extremely proud that he is the Poster Child. He has a 9-year-old brother and a 3-year-old sister. His dad is a welder’s helper for Ruben Gallardo.

PBRC supporters are preparing for the Crystal Ball Foundation’s “American Treasures – a Star-Spangled Ball” Dec. 27 at Odessa Country Club, where the group hopes to raise $70,000. Tickets are $260 and may be obtained by visiting the foundation’s website at odessacrystalball.org or by calling Board President Ann Kennedy at 432-638-6718. Kennedy said more than 300 people will attend.

PBRC Executive Director Kim Ortega said the center this year has done more than 20,000 therapy sessions with over 1,500 patients and by year-end it will exceed 24,000. Its Christmas Carnival will be from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the MCM Grande Hotel FunDome.

Born with Down syndrome, Junior was basically non-verbal two years ago, speaking one word at a time, but he has progressed to two- and three-word phrases and has a constantly growing vocabulary, Garcia said.

“Junior is a very happy kid and a hard worker,” Garcia said. “He comes in here greeting everybody and ready to work. He loves to run around the office and scare the staff. They know he’s coming, but he jumps out and yells ‘Boo!’ to them.

“Sometimes he does act a little silly and I have to redirect him, but he will do just about anything I ask. He is a very social little boy who loves dinosaurs. He’s one of those kids who lights up a room. Everyone falls in love with him.”

Garcia said Junior’s clarity of speech has improved along with his phrase-making. “There are times when he says things that catch me totally off-guard and I’ll say, ‘I didn’t know he knew that,’” she said.

“He is very smart.”

Odessa, TX

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