Christine and Tyrese’s Story

Christine and Tyrese's Story

Most new parents have an idealized vision of what parenthood will look like. They eagerly anticipate the arrival of their little one and look forward to experiencing all the special ‘firsts’ – first steps, first words, first “I love you’s.” However, for parents of children with complex care needs, the reality can be quite different. These parents may find themselves overwhelmed with specialist appointments, medication schedules and most of all, anxiety about their child’s health and ability to cope with challenges as kids, teenagers and adults.

This was certainly the case for Christine – a single mother to a bright and bubbly little boy named Tyrese, who was diagnosed with developmental delay and seizure disorder. Despite the pressures of being a single mom, Christine always found the time to put Tyrese and his needs first. Christine never missed an appointment and was diligent about implementing therapies at home. Her first priority has always been her son. 

Christine and Tyrese first came to Safehaven in 2001. In order to provide a better life for her and her son, Christine wanted to go back to school part time to become a nurse. Christine was discouraged from pursuing this dream by many who were close to her. But at Safehaven, she found the encouragement and support she needed to pursue her education while ensuring Tyrese’s needs were being met. While Christine attended class at night, Tyrese participated in the respite program at Safehaven.

There are miracles that happen every day with the children at Safehaven. We often describe them as the Exceptional First moments like the first time a child uses a sippy cup, stands, talks, makes a friend. But what is equally as amazing are the Exceptional Firsts that can happen in the lives of the parents and caregivers of these incredible children.

For Christine it was when she completed the nursing program and received her degree last year. She credits the support she received from Safehaven for making her graduation possible. The Safehaven team was so proud of Christine for accomplishing this amazing milestone that they threw her a party to celebrate with Tyrese being right at the centre.

Tyrese continues to visit Safehaven, and Christine is grateful for the compassionate care that he receives. It means the world to know that her son is safe and well cared for, while she works to provide them with the best life possible – Safehaven has been there to support this family every step of the way.

Safehaven is a leader in providing respite and residential care to vulnerable populations with complex care needs and multiple disabilities. They have impacted more than 2,000 children, youth and their families over the last 25 years. Safehaven is creating Exceptional Firsts every single day!

You have the ability to create more Exceptional Firsts for children like Tyrese. Donate $100 and you will provide a therapeutic clown program for a group of kids – allowing them to make memories that will last a lifetime.