First Steps to a Better Future

Samuel's Story

When the Sosnowski-Rocha family was blessed with a second baby boy, their world changed in more ways than one. Their son Samuel, now one year old, was not only born visually and hearing impaired, but also experiences mild seizures.

Sam's family is learning how to balance time between both children while making sure Samuel is still receiving the attention that he needs. Many people do not understand the family’s situation, so people will often stare at Samuel instead of interacting with his parents when the family is out in public. Joey, Sam’s five-year old brother, recognizes that his younger brother is different. Joey will often stand up for Samuel and express how special his brother is to him.

The main challenge his parents face, however, is recognizing Samuel’s needs and making sure they can afford the necessary equipment to help his physical development. Sara, Samuel’s mother, says, “At first, I was so worried because I wasn’t sure what to do after our medical insurance refused to pay for Sam’s equipment. Sam really needs the adaptive equipment to help him grow and without them, he may not be able to stand or walk properly.”

The Sosnowski-Rochas were fortunate enough to meet Diane Stevens through a mutual friend. With the help of Diane and her foundation, the Porter County Association for Handicapped Children and Adults, the family was able to afford the necessary equipment and all the therapies that their insurance deemed unimportant at that specific time. Without Diane, they would have had a much more difficult time learning how to raise a child with special needs. The Sosnowski-Rochas want to tell families who are in similar circumstances how important it is to connect with programs and organizations that understand your situation. They are truly thankful for Diane as well as all the people who have helped their family, especially Samuel.

To learn more about the Porter County Association for Handicapped Children and Adults, Inc., visit their Facebook page.

Special thanks to Ahmed Alsaygh, Sanja Djordjevic, Jarrett Hammel, May Ling and Ethan Uysaloglu for collaborating with UWPC and collecting and writing this story.

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