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Letter from the Director Best Buddies Spotlight Conversation Starters e-Buddies in Action! Update from the Field

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Update from the Field

Each month we will be sharing news from our various Best Buddies State Offices. This will be a great way for our participants to learn about what is happening with Best Buddies throughout the United States. We hope that you enjoy this new feature of the e-Beat!

This update comes from:

Best Buddies Nevada

The pain of social isolation is an intangible. As the old adage states, "You don't know what you don't know." But, for Nancy Franks, the feeling is personal. For years, Nancy has struggled to "fit in." She has experienced the isolation that comes from living with a disability in an exclusive society. So, when Nancy gave birth to her son, David, she wished for what every mother hopes for her child: good health and much happiness. As the years passed and David's own disability became more pronounced, his options for inclusion diminished. David received education in a self-contained classroom. He spent most of his days with his classmates or at home with his mother. Once his formal schooling ended, David became homebound, excepting rare family events, church activities, and doctor appointments. The opportunity to interact with people all but ended.

Nancy felt a resurgence of hope the morning she watched a special feature about Best Buddies Nevada on Fox 5. Based on a matching process that identifies similar interests among its volunteer participants, Best Buddies offers a one-to-one, mutually-enriching experience for the friends who are matched. Nancy and David joined the program and waited in anticipation for the day to come when David would meet his new friend. The afternoon he arrived to meet his Buddy, David was decked out in a clean, black Haring t-shirt. From the start, David took a liking to Robbie. And, although Robbie expressed concerns that he might not "know how to be a friend" to someone who does not talk, something "clicked" that fateful day. Since their initial meeting, Robbie and David have developed a special relationship centered around basketball and music. And, little miracles have occurred, such as the first time Robbie pulled up to David's home and David ran out, jumped in Robbie's truck and turned to Robbie and spoke. Friendship elicited, "Go!" And, from that moment on, David has become increasingly verbal, replacing grunts with "Please" and "Thank You." In the space of two short months, Robbie and David have formed a mutual trust that has erased a generation of disappointment. For Nancy, the fact that David now speaks 15 words is an unexpected bonus. The bottom line for her is that Best Buddies has offered her son something she never had as a young person - a chance at living a life filled with happiness and the care of a good friend.


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