Meet Riley Butler… Building abilities and changing lives

On May 6, 2019, a one-year-old little girl began changing lives in ways no one thought possible. Ryan and Carla Butler, along with their children, welcomed their foster child, Riley, into their home and hearts with a willingness to learn how to care for a child with challenging medical needs. Since that day, they have done everything in their power to help her live life to the fullest disproving medical opinions along the way.

“With Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy, we were told she would never talk, walk, sit, move, eat, or drink on her own. In fact, we were told our job was just to keep her alive, feeding her through a g-tube,” shared Carla Butler. Since starting services at Capper Foundation just six months ago, Riley has gained the ability through speech therapy to form two to three-word sentences and hold short conversations—greeting everyone she meets. Capper’s interdisciplinary approach to her care also includes physical and occupational therapy, helping Riley develop gross and fine motor skills essential for daily living and greater independence.

“Right now, our goal is for Riley to walk into her first day of school and eat lunch with her peers. In the future, we want her to have the skills to achieve her dreams – go to college or live on her own if she wants to. Personally, I think she would make an amazing pediatrician. These are things we wouldn’t have thought were possible without the amazing progress she has made through her therapies at Capper,” noted Carla.

While none of us know what the future holds for Riley, we do know she will do it as “Rileyann Rose Butler”. Riley joined her forever family on August 15, 2022, when her adoption was finalized. With the aid of speech therapy, she now calls the Butlers “Mom and Dad”.

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