Author Archives: Jack Gaither

2016 Annual Appeal

Dear friends and supporters of the REACH Family Institute,

Charlie and I hope you all had a great year, a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and are looking forward to a healthy, peaceful and successful 2017! We are writing today to say thank you for your interest in our work, to share some wonderful results with you and to ask for your support.


Our goal is for every child to reach their potential. We envision a world full of valued, capable and compassionate children. It’s a tall order and we need your help! We know that there are a lot of needs and many good causes to support. So, we want to share with you our children’s successes, our goals and our needs for the upcoming year. In the past, we have shared a story of one of our children with you to demonstrate what is possible. This year I want to give you a broader picture of our children’s results. Here are some reasons to consider supporting the REACH Family Institute.

At each visit we ask parents to give their opinion of their child’s overall progress since the last visit. This year they voted as follows:

  • Excellent – 36%
  • Very Good – 41%
  • Good – 18.5%
  • Fair – 4.5%
  • Poor – 0%
  • Zero – 0%

We track results in many areas. Here is the percentage of children with:

  • Improved Vision – 64%
  • Improved Reading – 32%
  • Improved Understanding – 68%
  • Improved Language – 50%
  • Improved Manual Ability – 54%
  • Improved Coordination – 73%
  • Improved Balance – 41%
  • Improved Reaction to Pain – 23%
  • Increased Strength – 41%
  • Increased Endurance – 36%
  • Decreased Hypersensitivity to Sound/Touch – 50%
  • Improved Health – 41% including decrease in seizures

In children with Social/Behavior issues:

  • Improved Behavior – 100%
  • Improved Social Skills – 86%

It is important to point out that this year in addition to the above results we have…

  • 1 child who was cortically blind who can now see
  • 1 child who could not read who can now read and
  • 1 child who started reading at the age 15 who can now read well at age of 17

REACH serves children with many diagnoses whose difficulties range from severe brain damage to mild learning difficulties. No child is ever denied help because of the severity of their problems. We empower parents with knowledge and how to apply it. The results are often dramatic!

There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than seeing a child thrive against all odds! What is sad and frustrating for us is when a family has financial need and we don’t have the funds to help them. Medical insurance does not cover our program and we do not receive funds from any governmental entities. We count solely on consultation fees and on donations from good people like you who believe in our work and want to be a part of the solution.

This year our Home Program population doubled from the previous year, for which we are extremely grateful. Our goal for 2017 is to keep the momentum going and double it again. We greatly appreciate your support and thank you in advance should you be moved to make a financial contribution. Please donate by check or online.

Wishing you and your family a Peaceful, Happy and Blessed Holiday Season!


Conceição and Charlie Solis

REACH Family Institute

Run for Reach


runforreachChicago Marathon 2015: Run for Reach

Run for Reach

On Sunday October 11th I am running the Chicago Marathon in support of the Reach Family Institute. Please help me raise awareness for Reach’s work as well consider donating to help me reach my goal of raising $2500 to support their cause. (All donations are tax deductible)

If you know a family that has a child with disabilities or is simply concerned regarding the progression of their child’s development, please let them know that they can contact Reach for a free 30 minute online informational session with Charlie or Conceição.

About Reach

For those who do not know, Reach’s mission is to transform children’s lives by empowering parents and professionals with knowledge and tools related to human brain development and purposeful parenting.

My involvement with Reach began after Juliana I started dating and I learned more about the work of her parents. Over the years I have come to know the many stories that make up the history of Reach and have seen first-hand the impact of their work. Now being a parent, myself, I feel even more connected to their mission.

Their work with children spans forty years and the entire range of functional ability, from the child in a coma to the above average child, and includes work with such diagnoses as profound brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, developmental delay, learning disability, dyslexia, epilepsy, ADD/ADHD and many others. While most of their work involves infants, children and young adults, they have, on occasion, worked with adults, the oldest being a 75 year-old grandfather of a child on program. With their help he regained the ability to walk after two years of immobility following a stroke!

They have taught parents of every social class, from uneducated and poor families in the worst slums of South America to highly educated and well-to-do families in cosmopolitan cities like Rio de Janeiro and Paris. They have consulted for a former President of Venezuela in La Casona (the Venezuelan White House) and members of Pope John Paul II’s Swiss Guard in Vatican City.

In addition to teaching parents, Charles and Conceição also trained more than 200 professionals in the REACH Method. These professionals include doctors specializing in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, and Special Education Teachers. By training other professionals Charles and Conceição’s work has reached many thousands of very poor families who had no hope for their children.

Read more about the Reach Difference.

All of the Reach families have chosen to place their roles as parents at the forefront and have made a conscious decision to learn more about their child’s developing brain so that they can actively help their children reach their full potential. For all of us, parenting can be likened to a marathon. There are ups and downs; struggles and triumphs; it is a commitment. For parents of a child with a brain injury the road can be even more challenging in terms of the work that is put in along the way to helping their children accomplish what many of us take for granted. The families on the Reach Home Program go all in. They put in many hours of work with their children and it is often a family effort with siblings and other loved ones participating to make incremental changes. It’s not easy. But the results can be extraordinary! The power of hard work, determination and love can do amazing things. 


Over the last five months, I progressed from only being able to run 2-3 miles to running over a half marathon weekend after weekend through hundreds of miles of training. Unfortunately it has been far from smooth sailing. In May, my wrists and shoulders were so sore from pushing Jack in the running stroller that I could barely hold him and in July I tweaked my knee and was off training for 10 days. After completing the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon in July I worked my way up to 14, 15, and then 16 miles while Juliana pulled Jack along side of me in our Burley Bee trailer. The support of my family and little shouts of “Run Daddy Run” helped push me along; however, all the running took its toll and I injured my peroneal muscle and tendon in my left calf that put training on hold for a month. After meeting with Dr Reilly The Running Institute and a few weeks of physical therapy with Emily at Athletico I have the green light to give it a shot. It was these struggles that held me off from sending this letter earlier. I didn’t want to start raising money if I ultimately wouldn’t be able to run the race. My training is way off and while I know I won’t hit my planned time, my goal is to be on the line on race day and give it everything I can.

My marathon isn’t the first time that Reach has had somebody raise awareness for their cause through a tough journey. Ten years ago, Gabe Shonerd hiked the entire 2,658-mile Pacific Crest Trail to also raise awareness and donations for Reach.

While a marathon or coast to coast hike make for good analogies for the effort and investment that the families on the Reach Home Program make, it hardly compares to the daily challenges that they endure.

Please help me by donating to this cause and helping raise awareness for the Reach Family Institute. Again, if you know a family that might be interested in a consultation, please put them in touch with Charlie and Conceição –











BrainFit Kids 101 Workshop

On Thursday March 14th from 6:30-8:30 PM, Charlie and Conceicao will be holding a workshop at the Daystar Center in Chicago’s South Loop Neighborhood.  The workshop will focus on providing an overview of child brain development and discuss practical tools and activities that you can do with your child to ensure that you are parenting with a purpose.  Space is still available and if you sign up by March 7th you can save with the early bird rate.

See the below for more information or sign up at


BFK101 workshop flyer JG_website