By CINDY KRISCHER GOODMAN - McClatchy Newspapers
ESPN commentator and former tennis star Mary Joe Fernandez remembers the day she learned her son had asthma. "It was like a wake-up call that threw me into action," Fernandez said.
She realized she would need to become ultra-organized to keep up travel for her broadcasting job, find the best asthma treatments and manage her son's medical needs. "I came up with an action plan that I leave behind with his school, or baby-sitter, or my parents so when I travel they know what to do."
Fernandez just recently started to talk openly about her son's illness, even during a recent tennis clinic for children at the U.S. Open in New York to raise awareness and empower other parents.
Despite their fears about job security, more parents of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities are opening up - even at work. What they have going for them is strength in numbers: One in seven children under age 18, or approximately 10.2 million children in the United States, have special health care needs, according to Department of Health a...
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