Leaning on People Makes You Stronger

My name is Joan Sylvester and I have a 45 year old daughter with multiple disabilities. Joining ‘The Family Guild’ connected me with a group of people that really understand my experiences with my daughter. We are a group of all women (although we didn’t plan to be exclusively women, maybe we scared the men away!). I am fortunate that I have a supportive family and friends but this group helps fill a loneliness that I have felt on this journey. We laugh, we cry and we support each other with the struggles we may face. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I have learned through this powerful group of women that sharing and leaning on people actually makes you stronger. One of our goals has been ‘Partners In Care’. We are learning to be courageous and caring when dealing with support staff. Mutual respect and understanding are key elements of a positive staff and family relationship. I feel less alone when faced with struggles that go along with having a child with disabilities and for this I feel very fortunate and better at dealing with the diversity we may face.

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