Seeds rooted in History!
This story promises to be told in greater detail later.
aHAND4 ® Life! has as its beginnings - HISTORY - all those who ever sacrificed and effectively helped anyone in a significant way, with their substantial living need(s) due to a significant physical disadvantage.
Certainly, every loving, responsible parent today knows what this is about - for their newborn, infant, toddler young child, even thru adulthood.
Modern Seeds planted in Plymouth, WI! (1963 - 1982)
This Organization began as seeds developed in the life of Co-Founder Mr. Edward W. LeMahieu, as he experienced the lives of his family as he grew up. A member of a lower-middle class family, in a small upper Mid-west American town, Ed saw ordinary people offer automatically, courteously, "a helping hand" - many "... supporting sacrificially," "...as needed, for life", those with exceptional needs, many of which were chronic, and physical.
A premature loss of a grandfather, leaving the Co-Founders' father and uncle (brothers) to provide significant care for their mother - who was of limited education, ability to drive, and thus income - who later suffered various illnessness, frailty, eventually life and death in a nursing home - all formed a significant impression on Mr. LeMahieu about "needs", and "meeting those needs".Similarly, care by Ed's mother and father of a grandfather retired prematurely by debilitating respiratory disease, in the family home, until death. And a number of relatives, cousins, second-cousins, all providing care for family members - with autism, downs-syndrome, mental retardation, blindness, severe respiratory and mobility disabilities, etc. All these left a profound impression ... on Ed.
More Seeds planted in Milwaukee, WI! (1982)
More seeds were planted in the life of Co-Founder Mr. Edward LeMahieu began in his role as a young adult father, at age twenty (20), of a son who has grown normally to be a productive engineer and married member of society. A second son was born to a young family, two (2) years later, the other Co-Founder, Mr. Brett E. LeMahieu, and life seemed normal - a young boy, and his brother, and family, exhuberant for life."
"Germination" in St Paul, MN! (1982 - 2001)
Five (5) years later, "germination" began, when Brett was diagnosed with a substantial neuromuscular disability, Generalized Dystonia - no known cause, no known cure - a simple cold (laryngitis) with a voice that didnt return - within a year, a foot turneing in, and in seven years (age 13), complete loss of ability to stand, walk and perform activities of daily life!
"Germination" continued as the challenge was accepted, with strength to move forward, though with no "instruction manual". Needs were discovered, adaptations forged, solutions developed - to ease life, in attempt to provide happiness, in the midst of significant adversity. Care, medications, two (2) brain surgeries in three years, ages 13 and 16, learning to engage limited caregivers, manage finances, family, siblings, careers - striving to create happiness and avoid devastation.