Story of my Life was a project in collaboration with Group Homes of Forsyth, my writing partner, Phoebe Zerwick and producer, Michelle Johnson. It follows six adults with various disabilities that live in group homes. The project was one that I am most proud of because it gives a voice to a segment of our population that rarely gets heard.
Here, James Lowdermilk, talks into our audio recorder.
James has down syndrome, but learned to play many musical instruments by ear at an early age.
James gives his mom a hug on a recent visit home.
James plays the organ for local church
Greg Sivernall celebrates his birthday with his room mates and family members in the group home. Greg's favorite "holiday" is his birthday.
Greg gets a birthday kiss from his Mother while she visits him in the group home.
One of Greg's favorite past times is going to the arcade with his brother.
Cecilia Henry was involved in a serious car accident when she was just three years old that forever altered her path in life. Her mother said the doctors told her that Cecilia would never walk or talk again, but Cecilia surprised everyone one day when she repeated something her father told her, then she learned to walk. Now she writes stories and poems about being an angel.
Cecilia during a home visit with her Mother.
Ghree Lockhart was a teenager before she learned she had cerebral palsy. She couldn't understand why she always fell and had a hard time with her balance and learning. Raised by her Grandmother, they both decided it would be best to for Ghree to live in a group home since her Grandmother was getting too old to look after her. Ghree found an important role in her new home. She worked as an advocate between residents and staff to find solutions to issues they had. Her favorite activity is swimming, because she says "in the water, I'm free."
Ghree puts on leg braces needed to walk.
As one of her friends puts it :"Karen has a smile that will light up the room". Karen Lash lives in a home with two other ladies that includes staff that comes in daily to help with organizing, shopping and laundry. Other than that, the three ladies live on their own.
Karen's care taker helps with hair and make up before Karen and her room mates go to a prom for disabled adults.
Karen gets hugs during a birthday party at her home.