Friday, July 31, 2009

Spirited Woman Battles Illness

A wonderful column from Bob Baird the Journal News about a woman we serve through our Rockland County Association for the Learning Disabled, a member of the YAI/NIPD Network. Her battle with advanced colon cancer and the staff's efforts to make sure she remains active and productive are inspiring.

Geraldine DePaola, who has spent most of her life in Letchworth Village and community residences, has turned a new hobby into a small business while battling advanced colon cancer.
It's only a few months ago that DePaola started spending hours at the table where she and five other women, all in their 50s or 60s, have their meals.
Recovering from surgery, she needed something to pass the hours.
"I used to play cards all the time," she says, adding that her game of choice was War.
But once she started stringing brightly colored plastic beads onto lanyards, she put away the cards for good. Soon, she was adding hooks, creating colorful necklaces and bracelets - first for the other women who live at her group home in Hillcrest, operated by the Rockland County Association for the Learning Disabled, and more recently for a wider client base.

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