Raleigh, NC, February 21, 2020
Laurie Nederveen is a familiar face around the halls of Easterseals UCP in Raleigh and on the new sensABLE snacks food trucks. She’s the Director of Program Development and has been heavily involved in helping the teens and adults we serve with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities receive job training and find meaningful employment. With the support of the community and our business partners, sensABLE snacks food trucks have been circulating in New Bern and Ahoskie.
Meanwhile, in her personal life she and her husband, Paul, are caregivers and legal guardians to Jan, her brother-in-law. Jan, who is 53 years old, has a regressive form of myotonic dystrophy which is a genetic disorder that impacts the muscles and can lead to heart conditions, vision issues and intellectual disabilities. Later in life, Jan was diagnosed with autism.
Fortunately, Laurie and Paul were able to purchase a condo just three miles from their home that is accessible and suitable for Jan. He is part of their daily routine making sure Jan has what he needs from supplies to love.
Laurie serves people with special needs by day and night. She said, “The real challenge for us has been about the discrepancy between expectations and reality. Since Jan lived his first 40 years without a formal diagnosis, the adjustment to accepting services has been difficult for him, his family and the community.”
It’s estimated that 40 million caregivers in the U.S. care for adults with a disability or illness, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Laurie is among the millions and said, “The demands of parenting an adult with late onset of health problems has been stressful because as a child-free couple, we were not mentally prepared. I am grateful we have the ability to help Jan live with dignity and happiness. He has certainly taught us patience and flexibility to accept life’s interesting turns.”
In honor of National Caregivers’ Day, a salute to Laurie and caregivers like her who support family and people with disabilities and mental health challenges.ABOUT EASTERSEALS Easterseals provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children and adults living with disabilities and mental health challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.Learn more about Easterseals UCP at www.eastersealsucp.com. Sign up for the Easterseals UCP eNews. For more information contact:Kathy EdgertonChief Communications OfficerKathy.Edgerton@eastersealsucp.com(O) 919-865-8660 | (C) 919-208-0621