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Success Stories, Debbie

As told by Debbie

I was born in Monterey, California on September 5, 1964. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I lived with my parents until they divorced when I was 8 years old. After that I lived with my mother. My mother and father remained close friends and both were a very big part of my life. My mom took care of me until I was 14, then it was too much for her back.  Debbie at the ropes courseI moved to the Gardens. The quality of care wasn’t very good. It was a very structured place so we didn’t have many choices in our lives. I hated it there and I was there until I was 30 years old.

I then met Kelly McGurran and he said I should talk to my Alta Caseworker about receiving supported living services. My Dad agreed, but my Mom was afraid I wouldn’t be able to live on my own. Eventually my dad talked her into giving it a try. I moved into an apartment with staff for 8 months, then I moved in with Jacquie Foss and became S.T.E.P.’s first Supported Living consumer. STEP grew and grew.

My Mom died in 1998 and my dad died in 2004. I miss them very much. My mom left me some money from her life insurance to live on. I recently bought a van with electric ramps and doors for my power chair, so now I have my own transportation. It is nice.

I have lived in many apartments over the years. I go to camp almost every year and the year before last I bungee jumped. I love to travel, I have been to Reno, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, just to name a few. I love to fly and stay at hotels. I have taken classes at the local college. I completed my Early Childhood Education class last semester.  I am taking the courses required to get a teaching certificate, so I can work with disabled children.

I advocate for disabled people. I want them to know we can still have dreams and goals for the future.

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