Cathy was born in Brooklyn, NY - 8/1/1960. She attended Queen College for a year then transferred to University of New York in Albany, NY. Cathy enjoyed traveling as much as possible before her stroke in 2010. Cathy is also an artist. After being in a nursing home from 2010 to March 4, 2015, Cathy moved to Lawrenceville, GA into a home where she has been active in the community as she has been going through some intensive rehabilitation which she did not receive in the nursing home.. Cathy's right side has been severely damaged from the stroke. She laid in the hospital bed all day, every day while in the nursing home. Atrophy had set in so bad that her right leg was unable to bend at the knee at the time of her move. Within 2 months after moving to Lawrenceville, she is sitting in a wheelchair or her recliner for at least 7-10 each day. In Cathy's 4th month of being out of the nursing home, she can stand with the assistance of her physical therapist. Lynn Robinette refers to Cathy as our "Miracle Lady".
Wesley, a sweet little six year old autistic boy, with a very expensive educational future ahead of him. Who will pay for the special educational program that is needed so help Wesley have a means of having a production and success life in society? Stay tune and find out more …
If you are interested in assisting the foundation in helping others, please visit our “donate” or “volunteer” page for more information. Autism is a developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and socially interact with others. Wesley, for the most part, is non-verbal but we know that he loves his family and friends. He gives big hugs and kisses as often as possible. Wesley is receiving speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavioral therapy, all of which have contributed to his physical and emotional improvement. We are thrilled to report that Wesley has recently learned to make basic sounds and to say a few words. We pray for him every day, thanking God for the manifestation of his healing. We are grateful to see his improvement with each passing day.
Kim, 41 years old who suffers from Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA). Kim was diagnosed at the age of 25 years old. She began showing symptoms of her disease in high school. On several occasions people thought she was drunk because of ability to walk. Kim was embarrassed and did not want anyone to know so she suffered in silence for a very long time. Since Friedreich’s Ataxia was hard to diagnose prior to 1996, Kim did not know what was causing her coordination to decline for a very long time. Kim was seen by 4 neurologists before she was diagnosed. By the time Kim turn 26, she had begun to use a walker and at the age of 31 years old, Kim had to start using a wheelchair. Shortly after Kim began using a wheelchair, she had to also give up driving. As the progression of the FA, Kim has had to give up a lot of independence. There are a lot of things we take for granted and most of these things we really never think about. We do not think the height of toilet is a big deal. For a disa bled person, one or two inches in the height of a toilet can make a difference in whether someone will need assistance going to the toilet or not. The bathroom for a disabled person is such an important part of their life. Handrail, adaptable toilet facilities, roll in shower, roll under vanities, reachable light switches and water facets that can be turned on and off easily and reachable. Kim progressed to the point that she could no longer prepare meals for her family. Wow!!!! How does life go on if you cannot always care for yourself and cook for your family? If you could not do these things, what would you do? Kim has worked through her challenges by attending Ataxia Support Group Meetings, National Annual Ataxia Conferences and staying in contact with the Wishes 4 Me Foundation. Through the Support Group meetings, Kim became aware of the Wishes 4 Me Foundation. By having these contacts, Kim has become aware of programs available for her to assist with her independence. The pro grams do not solve all issues. The programs are also time consuming and sometimes exhausting to get started and to manage.
Through the Wishes 4 Me Foundation, Kim found out about the Medicaid Waiver programs offered in the State of Georgia. The foundation assisted Kim in applying for the waiver program which best fits Kim’s needs. The foundation assisted in providing support as much as possible which gave Kim hope through a divorce and other life changing events. Kim, also, has a sister with the same disease. Kim’s sister has further progressed with FA than Kim. Kim has had to watch her sister be placed in a nursing home because of the many physical issues. Kim states, “The Wishes 4 Me Foundation has been committed to assist me in becoming more independent and assisted in finding solutions to keep me as independent as possible. I do not want to live in a nursing home. I want to live in the community and around my family and friends which I love. I want to stay in my home as long as I possible can.”
Kareemah is in her early twenties and has a smile which lights up a room. She giggles a lot which is so contagious. Kareemah was diagnosed with Turners Disease when she was a small child and with Machida Joseph’s Disease (aka: SCA3) when she was a teenager. At age 22, Kareemah for the first time move out of her parent’s house into Kate’s Home.
Kareemah was pretty much a shut in when living with her parents. It was not her parent’s fault. It is very common for disabled individuals living with their parent, to become shut-ins. Parents have to work and the disabled child is left at home without activities. Kareemah’s mom, asked their neurologist is there were any resources to get her daughter involved with the community. The doctor referred the Kareemah to Lynn Robinette of the Wishes 4 Me Foundation. A few days later, Lynn, Kareemah, Kareemah’s family met and talked about various options. Kareemah decided a few days later to move into one the Wishes 4 Me Foundation’s Homes, known as “Kate’s Home”.
Kareemah is no longer a shut-in. Weekly, Kareemah is now experiencing new things for the first time in her life. Kareemah’s smile gets bigger each week – it that is possible. Kareemah volunteers at a local Assisted Living Facility twice a week. Kareemah attends church every week with her housemates. Weekly, Kareemah and Jenny participates in a Prayer Shawl Ministry at the First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville. Kareemah has learned to crochet and knit. She is currently making a prayer shawl for the ministry. Kareemah enjoys going to the movies on a regular basis. One evening, Kareemah and some of her new friends, went out to eat and attended the play Annie at the Fox. Kareemah experienced several new things that evening. It was a joy to see Kareemah at the Fox Theatre watching the play. Kareemah would sing along with the characters as though she were on stage herself.
The Wishes 4 Me Foundation has assisted Kareemah in various ways. Ms. Robinette of the foundation worked with Kareemah and her mom in getting Kareemah’s first manual wheelchair ordered. Ms. Robinette’s experience with Kareemah and with wheelchairs assisted the Seating Evaluation Clinic with several recommendations. The Foundation assisted with getting Kareemah on the SOURCE program which is a Georgia Medicaid Waiver program which provides caregivers to assist Kareemah with her daily activities. Kareemah has participated in various community events since she moved into Kate’s Home.
My name is Jeremy Knauth. I am one of the residents in Steve’s Home. I have enjoyed the opportunity to live in the house. I have a learning disability and a physical disability called, Generalized Cerevical Trunical Dystonia. Dystonia is in the Parkinson Family of disaease. I am currently 27 years old (in 2008). I worked and drove and have lived on my own for awhile. About 2 years ago, I had a seizure which triggered the Dystonia. I am now able to walk short distances with a cane. Now, I do not drive. I need assistance with several daily living task. I have caregivers who assist me on a daily basis. The Caregivers are provided through a Georgia Medicaid Waiver program called the Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP). I received approximately 56 hours a week in which a caregiver assist me.
Living in Steve’s Home has been wonderful for me. I currently volunteer at the Salvation Army in Lawrenceville. I volunteer by reading books to small children at a daycare center across from the street from where I live. I am able to stay active in the community because of the assistance which I have received through the Wishes 4 Me Foundation and through ICWP. My parents have, also, been able to enjoy some additional free time with me living in Steve’ s Home. I no longer have to depend solely on them for transportation, caregiving, mentoring and assist in networking to retain knowledge of the different resources for disabled individuals. The Wishes 4 Me Foundation works hard to network with various organizations so that we are all informed on as many resources available as possible. The Wishes 4 Me Foundation advocates for the residents of Kate’s Home and Steve’s Home and many other disabled individuals. The volunteers and founder of the foundation help educate as many people as they can about various disabilities and options. The Wishes 4 Me Foundation has assisted me in building my self esteem so that I can also be apart of the community and assist in bringing about awareness to Georgia about how successful we, the physically challenged, can live in the community if given the proper tools and mentoring.
I am very thankful that God has blessed with such a great opportunity. I am very thankful for everyone who has helped me be successful in living in the community and out on my own. I am continuing to learn how to live in a group setting but due to my disabilities, I am not able to live on my own again because of the amount of care which I need.
I am looking forward to the Wishes 4 Me Foundation expanding their efforts to more homes our the first two. We have fun and we have several social events at our houses each month.
Thank you for taking the time to reading about me and supporting the Wishes 4 Me Foundation.
At 2½ months, Colin was diagnosed with epilepsy. After gaining partial control of his seizures, at 4½ months, he was diagnosed with infantile spasms. This is another form of epilepsy that has a lasting effect. The spasms caused severe developmental delay and overall declined health. Since the diagnosis, Colin has had pneumonia twice, a severe stomach virus, and several upper respiratory and auditory infections which have lead him to multiple specialists to care for him. At 10½ months, he is currently under the care of a pulmonologist, gastro-enterologist, ENT, ophthalmologist, and neurologist. Due to his delays, Colin is barely able to sit on his own, eat pureed foods, or crawl, all things that a 10 month old should be doing. There is no solid prognosis for Colin's condition. We do not know if he will ever be able to do the things that all children should be able to do. Only time will tell.