Tonawanda News —
Helen and her husband are a bit older parents so Ward Road not only provides them respite, but also more importantly provides Darrell a home where is he loved by the staff that takes care of him on a daily basis. This does not mean that Darrell does not see his parents regularly. To the contrary, Darrell stays with his parents every other weekend and as Helen will tell you, it takes that time in between to get rested for Darrell’s next visit!
Weekends with Darrell are spent driving throughout the Niagara region with Helen and her husband, sometimes putting over 500 miles on their car! And, if it’s Sunday during football season Helen knows where to find Darrell – in front of the television cheering on the Bills. After a couple of days with mom and dad though, Darrell is ready to go home to Ward Road.
Here is what Helen has to say about the Ward Road home: “When you have to give up a child to something like this, it’s wonderful to know you made the right decision and you chose the right place because that above anything else is the most important thing we ever could have done for our son.” Helen also will tell you that she serves on our board because she wants to know what we are doing every minute to make sure that the care we are providing Darrell and all of our residents keeps them happy, safe, feeling special and most importantly loved.
I hope the stories of Becky Napoleon and Darrell White gives some sense as to how special and unique those with developmentally disabilities are and how important it is that they are taken care of in a loving and compassionate way.
It is by no means an easy job, but our organization provides a voice to the voiceless and supports to the people who need it most. We will remain resolute as an agency in our commitment to the developmentally disabled in Niagara County.
John Reardon, a Lockport native, is executive director and CEO of Niagara Cerebral Palsy in Niagara Falls.