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Why we do what we do?

Born on September 18, 1997, Joy Lynn Michelle Carter had a birth defect called Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect that causes the spine to not close properly during development). The doctors did not expect Joy to live through the pregnancy, delivery, or the many surgeries. Joy lived much to their amazement for 4 months. She had many struggles but just as many triumphs. Her life was a testament of God’s love and healing power. Her name is what she brought to this world and it is the legacy she left behind January 15, 1998. That legacy is our Non-Profit organization – Because of Joy. Because of Joy reaches out to support Summer Camp, Family Camp, Community Involvement Programs, Awareness programs, Continued Education Scholarships and programs ran through our partnering organizations. We truly believe that Spina Bifida is something to live with not die from… and we are dedicated to giving moments of Life to those with Spina Bifida.

Our knowledge of Spina Bifida and Education motivates us to increase our Scholarship Fund:

  • Spina Bifida is the #2 birth defect in America following Heart Defects.
  • Every day, 8 babies are born in the United States with Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain & spine.
  • The Average Monthly cost for a child with Spina Bifida is $1500 more than a child without special needs.
  • The medical community has made strides in giving every individual with spina bifida the gift of a full life and we celebrate that with offering opportunities to live it to the fullest.  Because of today’s medicine, about 90% of babies born with Spina Bifida now live to be adults, about 80% have normal intelligence & about 75% play sports.
  • The AVERAGE cost of Tuition & Fees NOT including Living expenses for a 4 year undergraduate education at a public university is over $75,000.00

Take a look at some of our Partnering Organizations:

Joy’s Family

Jeff, Julie, Jeffrey, and Jared are the foundation for Because of Joy.  Each year Joy’s family works together to make sure that Joy’s legacy is experienced by many.  Jeff handles all of the behind-the-scenes while Julie is more the visionary and front-line person.  Jeffrey and Jared started working on Tea for Joy when they were 7 and 4—each year, their participation increases as they get older.  Both of Joy’s brothers have found their place and have expanded the horizon of because of joy in their own way.  Joy & Spina Bifida impacted this entire family in such a profound way.

It’s amazing to see a hard situation filled with such hope, joy, and purpose.  Even as the boys have grown up, their involvement and excitement for each event have increased to volunteering with the camp and with other organizations helping the Spina Bifida Community.  Currently, the whole family spends a week at Summer Camp doing whatever is needed to help out and also volunteer at events held by the Spina Bifida Association of North Texas. Jeffrey is a firefighter/paramedic working for the Irving Fire Department.  He and his wife, Sami, live in Hurst, TX, and both volunteer at camp and help with planning and running the Golf Tournament.  They have 2 children, Marty and Ollie, who are keeping us all on our toes.  Jared is the reason we started Tee it up for Joy—our Golf Tournament, and has been very influential in the building of the scholarship. Jared works as a team lead for ASAP Tires in Denver, Colorado.  He enjoys living where he can enjoy the outdoors through hiking, camping, and snowboarding. Both of the boys are volunteers at the camp in the summer, and (brag alert!) they are fantastic role models for the boys that attend and help other volunteers. Jeffrey & Jared have both recently helped out as the lead counselor due to their interest in working as director one day.  It is great to see young men with this much compassion and watch them reach beyond their lives to step up to help others.  Sami, our awesome daughter-in-law, has jumped in helping most recently with videos for virtual camp as well as helping with Camper Check in for our first camp back after Covid. She is the first to give support in the planning to Julie as well as volunteering at Tee It Up for Joy.

Our family involvement reaches past Joy’s immediate family.  Joy’s Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Cousins she never met are all very involved.  We feel, as a family, the responsibility to keep spreading joy into our community and educating others about spina bifida.  Joy has truly started a work on earth and continues to inspire us.

I've been playing in the Tee it Up Tournament for a few years and it gets better every year! It is a very well organized event with good food, good people and for a good cause.

Jon Holzapfel

I have played in all five of the Tee it Up for Joy tournaments and have enjoyed all of them. Each tournament is more entertaining and fun than the previous one. They are well staffed, the food is great, the side games are fun, the tournament is always enjoyable and you get to meet new people. The benefits of this tournament help enrich the lives of many children.

Rod Lunos

I love Tee It Up for Joy! It is a unique tournament that benefits some amazing kids!

Albert Estes