In 1994 our family was excited at the impending birth of our youngest son.
My two older sons were thrilled to have a baby brother to play with and love. We were all together when it was time for Eli's birth. Unexpectedly, immediately after he arrived, Eli stopped breathing for almost 10 minutes. We found out after he had been transported, that there were some birth defects that would cause a lot of medical intervention.
As a family in crisis, that was just the beginning. Eli would endure 36 surgeries and countless interventions. We all pulled together as a family and were very close because of it. As diligent as we were to address the emotional needs of our older boys, there was an inherent undertow that would steal their carefree innocence.
They adored their brother and doted on him over the years. He was so lucky to have them in his life. Children who are raised with a sibling with special needs sacrifice their needs and wants for the good of the family. Some of them are bitter and some feel like they got left behind. Sometimes there are devastating emotions they don't think they can speak about for fear they will overwhelm their parents even more. Many give up their interests to help with their sibling.
This is why I created Survive, Strive and Thrive. The only qualification needed to apply for a grant is to have been raised with a special needs sibling.
If that is you...WELCOME!
Many times there are unrealized dreams and aspirations due to limited time and/or resources. What is YOUR dream?