When Brian was young, my doctor told me he was significantly delayed, etiology unknown. Much later, at the age of 20, researchers concluded that a very rare genetic mutation, only discovered the prior year, was the source of Brian’s issues.

Throughout his childhood, I often found it difficult to get Brian the services he needed. It seemed the lack of a diagnosis played a part. Doctors told me they had never met anyone quite like him, seldom offering advice on how to help him. Brian was turned away from a program at school and in the community because he didn’t fit the diagnoses they were looking for. I doubted we were the only ones having difficulty finding and being approved for services. I felt more fortunate than some. Having left my job at least I had the time to advocate for my son and try to make headway on his behalf.

Before I had Brian I assumed our society had plenty of first-rate programs for those born with special needs. And I never gave a thought to the cost. But finding the right services can be difficult. And for some, paying for those services is out of reach. As a member of society, improving the lives of my son and people like him starts with me. So I give because I’m able to. I give because I want to support a top-notch organization like Minute Man Arc, a place that is welcoming, collaborative and always manages to make me smile. And I give to help Brian and those with special needs build their lives.

Barbara Waters
mother of Brian Waters
Groton, Massachusetts