In 1985, we welcomed our firstborn, Cortney, into this world. Born with multiple complications, she endured numerous life-threatening operations. In the first weeks of her infant life, continuing into her early childhood years. Often times the thought of what she was enduring medically was almost unspeakable as we looked upon our child. But somehow, the strength that we drew upon as husband and wife during those times taught us important life lessons.
Despite the complications, surgeries, and medical prognosis, Cortney grew into the beautiful young woman she is today. And though she was diagnosed with congenital nervous system malformations, leaving her non-verbal, non-ambulator. And unable to care for herself, each day Cortney faces one challenge after another with strength, dignity, and determination. Her sister, Chelsea, seven years younger, champions Cortney’s efforts as she accomplishes her daily goals. No doubt everyone has heard about special needs programs for the disabled young child, young adult, or older adult. Many, if not most, are encouraged and participate in programs leading up to the equivalent of graduating high school. But there are few post-graduate choices for the IDD community.