Angelica’s second baby was due in just three weeks when her first son, Andreas, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. “My world was shattered—turned upside down,” she said. “I just wanted to run away.”
Soon she was dealing with a new baby while trying to learn about Andreas’ diagnosis, therapies, prognosis, and systems of care. Determined to do everything they could for Andreas, the family sought out a network of providers with whom they were comfortable. When Angelica’s husband’s job took him to another part of the state, she stayed in the Valley with the children because of the care Andreas needed. “I was by myself—the dynamic of our family totally changed.”
Angelica recalls how alone she felt and the struggles she faced during that time. No one else in her family or network of friends had any experience with Cerebral Palsy. When others would ask how she managed, she replied, “I do it because I have to. If I take a minute to think about everything, I think I’ll break down.”
When Angelica finally found Raising Special Kids, she was paired with a parent mentor who also has a child with Cerebral Palsy. They found common ground, and Angelica found someone who understood what she was feeling.
Things have stabilized now that her family has been reunited, and as Andreas was about to turn seven, he reached a milestone with physical therapy and began walking without the aid of a walker. Angelica recognizes there are still challenges down the road, but she is reassured by the knowledge she can rely on support from her parent mentor. “She’s been wonderful. I still call her to talk.”