February 12, 2018

Patrick Dempsey Supports the Disabilities Community at Gatepath’s 10th Annual Power of Possibilities Event

Press Release
March 5, 2018

Burlingame, CA — Gatepath announces award-winning actor Patrick Dempsey as guest speaker for the 10th Annual Power of Possibilities event on March 8, 2018. Dempsey, best known for his role as neurologist “McDreamy” on the hit television show Grey’s Anatomy, was diagnosed at the age of 12 with a learning disability.

In a conversation moderated by ABC TV News Anchor Dion Lim, Dempsey will share how growing up with a learning disability built perseverance and shaped his perspective on life. “You have to keep working. I have never given up,” he said in an interview with Barbara Walters.

Dempsey has a personal connection to Gatepath’s mission of creating a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected and included. His philosophy on giving back and paying it forward is that “healthier communities and happier people drive a commitment to the efforts and organizations that positively impact our world.”

“We are honored to have Patrick Dempsey join us at our annual Power of Possibilities event,” said Gatepath CEO Bryan Neider. “His personal perspective helps raise awareness about the importance and value of creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion in all aspects of life.”

The Power of Possibilities event brings community members together to celebrate the achievements of those with developmental disabilities and to support Gatepath’s mission. Previous attendees have called the event “magical,” “heartwarming,” “empowering.”

The Power of Possibilities is known for its notable speakers. Last year, actor Colin Farrell talked about how raising a son with special needs has positively impacted his life.  Glee actress Lauren Potter, former San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, and actress and author Holly Robinson-Peete were also previously featured guests.

Gatepath is celebrating more than 98 years of serving children, youth, and adults with special needs and developmental disabilities in the Bay Area and providing support to families.

The Power of Possibilities event is made possible by our title sponsor, Carole Middleton, and the following platinum sponsors: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy,  Sharon and Joel Friedman, Gatepath Auxiliary, Goldman Sachs Gives, GoPro, Sarah and James Jungroth, Sutter Health, Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.  Other sponsors who are generously supporting the event are Bailard, Barulich Dugoni Law Group, Inc., Janice Berthold, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Kathryn and Richard Breaux, Elaine and George Cohen, D’Elia Construction Inc.Electronic Arts, Karen and Todd Gemmer, Graybird Foundation, Linda and Richard Leao, Diane Christensen Mason and Charles H. Mason Jr., Katie and Bryan Neider, Norman S. Wright Mechanical EquipmentOracle, Barbara and Paul Regan, Lilli Rey, and Wells Fargo.

Learn more about this at www.gatepath.org/POP.


Gatepath has been a cornerstone of our community for more than 97 years, providing support services to individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to empower people with special needs to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships. With educational, therapeutic, vocational, and family support services, we provide support to an individual throughout his or her lifetime. We collaborate with businesses, third-party providers, local nonprofits, and various other organizations to bring the highest quality services to the children, youth, and adults in our programs. Together, we are creating a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected, and included in all aspects of life – in the classroom, in the workplace, and in our communities.

For more information, visit Gatepath.org. Our local online resource center is available at Smcfrc.org, where families can connect to invaluable resources and support services.

Contact:  Julia Ballantyne, Gatepath
Cell: 916-390-4671