That is my sister, Sherry, on the right. The picture was taken at the Special Ministries Easter Party in 2011. She was born in 1947. No one knew the hospital had made a mistake with my parents’ blood types. It was a couple days after her birth when Sherry’s skin started turning yellow, and they knew something was wrong.
The doctors said Sherry would never be able to hold up her head and she should be institutionalized. My mother refused to do this and took Sherry home. As a result of this decision, my parents divorced and Sherry grew up with my mom and her two older sisters.
The results of the mistakes at Sherry’s birth left her with practically no hearing. She wears the strongest hearing aids we can find and they help, but not enough. There are many sounds she does not hear, so her speech is a little funny to some people and her shopping list has things like “oak meal” for oatmeal, “dish soak” for dish soap, and “kitty liddle” for kitty litter.
She also has dystonia (a neurological movement disorder) and a lot of uncontrolled movements. They make her clumsy, and with two back surgeries to relieve her pain from all the spasms, she is now quite ridged and teeters when she stands. She receives shots quarterly to help stabilize her neck, which, I suspect, may have been broken at birth. People stare at her because she is different and she doesn’t have many close friends, as most people don’t have the patience to understand her.
That’s the sorry side of Sherry,now for the best part. Sherry is independent. She lives with her cat and keeps her home cleaner and neater than I do. She used to write her own checks and pay her own bills, but the dystonia and arthritis make that really difficult now. She is a much-loved member of our family.
Her life would be pretty lonely and miserable if not for one beautiful organization, Special Ministries of Livingston County. Through Special Ministries, Sherry has been able to participate in activities such as Bingo, Faith Formation Classes, Cooking Classes, Christmas and Easter Parties, Computer Classes, and Arts and Crafts Classes. She also enjoys attending concerts, theatre productions, and the All Sports Banquets where each participant receives a trophy. In the past, before her back gave out, she had participated in the softball league and weekly bowling and swimming.
The organization is 40 years old this year, and with the economy being what it is, they are losing funding in many areas. It makes it tough. It is my dream to help raise money so that my sister and all the other people like her can continue to have activities in a world that often overlooks her kind.
If you have read this far, and think you would like to help by either volunteering, or making a donation, or attending Special Ministries first fundraiser on October 24th, please go to www.special-ministries.org or call 810-229-6661, ext. 106…….. Special Ministries is a 501(c)3 organization.
And I am Sandy Dubisky, proud sister of Sherry.
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