The White House – Rachel Raja & Peanut

The White House – Rachel Raja & Peanut

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Rachel Raja was born in Bethlehem, PA in 1976.  She lived in Allentown, PA and Detroit, MI between the ages of 6 and 11.  She was home schooled.  She rode horses, both English jumping and Dressage, until she was 19.  As a teenager,, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. 

Rachel received her GED and went to SUNY Morrisville in Morrisville, NY where she studied Equine Racing Management for standard bred and thoroughbred horses.  She was team captain for the tennis team and goalie for the lacrosse team.  Rachel became disabled during her time at SUNY Morrisville after a horse rolled over her and stepped on her in 2003. Rachel changed her degree to Science and graduated in January 2004 with an AAS. 

Rachel lived in various places in New York State and when she was in Potsdam, NY, she met Laura Westover.  They became the best of friends and roommates.  While living in Messina, NY, Rachel was blessed with Peanut, her service dog.  Rachel and Peanut (and Laura) moved to Jamestown, NY, which turned out to be very dangerous.  In trying to find safe, handicapped living arrangements, they found the Wishes 4 Me Foundation.  After talking to Lynn Robinette for 2.5 year, in May 2016, Rachel and Peanut (and Laura) moved to the Atlanta area to live in the Wishes 4 Me Foundation Community.

Since living here, Rachel finally feels safe.  She says she is now organized and enjoys participating in activities with the other residents.  She has exercised her creative talents through crafts and gardening.  She also helped build the fish pond at her house.  Rachel said that it feels like the home she never had.

The White House – Laura Westover & Monte

The White House – Laura Westover & Monte

Laura Westover, age 46 in 2016, was born in Waltham, MA.  She lived in New England until around age 10 when she moved to Florida.  Laura was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Autism.  Due to the lack of knowledge about Autism and Cerebral Palsy, Laura became a ward of the state because of behavior problems between the ages of 11 to 18.  At age 18, she began living on her own and worked temporary jobs.

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Laura moved around New York State trying to find a safe place to live.  She moved to Potsdam, NY where she met Rachel Raja.  The two became the best of friends and roommates.  Laura (and Rachel) moved to Messina, NY where Laura was blessed with Monte, her service dog.  From Messina, they moved to Jamestown NY, which turned out to be very dangerous.  While looking for safe handicapped housing on the internet, Laura found Wishes 4 Me Foundation.  Laura and Monte (and Rachel) moved to the Atlanta area in May 2016 and lives in Wishes 4 Me Foundation community.

Since being with Wishes 4 Me, Laura has exercised her creative talents by building a fish pond, crafting, making things from wood and gardening.  Laura and Rachel work on many of these things together.  Laura has a love for animals and has been doing some dog sitting as well.  She said she feels safe for the first time in a long time.