I am about to turn 12 years old! And I am so happy to tell you that the Center for Independence has been like my second home for the past 8 years. Attending the Center for Independence has been life-changing for me. When I first came for therapy I was beginning to use two canes to move around and not speaking. Things have changed for the better. Nowadays, I do so much at the Center and yes, I am a chatterbox when I am there! In cooperation with school, my doctors and parents, the Center has been very important in all that I have accomplished. To begin with, I have wonderful therapists. Jim and Szilvia are always looking for ways to challenge me and help me grow. What I like about the Center the most is that Szilvia calls me Natushka and I like that she teaches me how to do new things. I like Jim because he likes to joke around and gives me hugs. Most recently they have made me their “Assistant” and I am loving it. Being the only girl in my age group has to have an advantage, and being the “Assistant” is it! I get to help set up for the sessions, clean up the mats, help them get the coffee ready and move chairs around the room. Some of my favorite sessions are when we cook. This past year we cooked some chili and made some wonderful cookie jars that I was so excited to gift my parents for Christmas. Last year I made some doughnuts, that was the best. I also like that I get to spend time with my friends at the Center during summer camp. We have so much fun!
Natalia's parents are so happy to share that this past year Natalia achieved six of her goals. But there is still more to do. She continues to work on improving her balance and speed when she walks. She has been working very hard in the past years to be able to walk up and down the stairs while holding the rail. This year Natalia is working on going up and down the steps all by herself and gaining strength and endurance. She is also working on catching and throwing a ball, carrying her snack and water to the table, folding, cutting and writing independently.
It is amazing to see how far Natalia has come. 100% of funds raised for the Center for Independence go directly towards helping Natalia and other children like her achieve their goals! Oh, the places she will go!!!