Second home…safety…family. These are the words that come to mind when Corinna reflects on the role that Safehaven has played in her family’s life.
When Corinna’s newborn son Cameron was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, her whole world turned upside down, and made worse with the crushing news that Cameron would never walk on his own.
Corinna remembers all too well the first time she took Cameron out in publicin his wheelchair. She hated every moment. “It felt like everything was moving in slow motion, it felt like everyone was staring”, she recalls.
But despite the difficult days and heartbreaking moments, there were many good days too. One of the most empowering Exceptional First moments Corinna remembers is when a child approached Cameron to ask why he was using a walker. For the first time, Cameron explained his condition in his own words. This exchange was a moment of realization that he is not helpless, and can advocate for himself and make friends.
Safehaven was the one place where Cameron never had to explain his disability or endure looks of pity and concern. Now that Cameron is nineteen, he’s aged out of the system, but he is still deeply connected to Safehaven.
Cameron spent this past summer volunteering at his “home away from home”. He’s grateful for the opportunity to give back to this wonderful place that changed his life for the better. As Cameron thinks about the future, college is in his sights–marking another exceptional firstmoment.
Although Cameron is doing well, and making huge strides towards independence, the reality is that he will need support for the rest of his life. It’s so important that Cameron have a say in the type of care that he will hopefully receive in the years to come.
Safehaven is a huge part of Cameron’s story. They’ve even inspired Cameron to consider a career working with kids with disabilities – more specifically kids living with autism. Corinna has no doubt that her son will be able to support children and families with the same level of care, compassion and empathy that Safehaven has shown her family. She’s so proud of her son, and truly grateful to Safehaven for their enduring support throughout Cameron’s journey.