A Place to Call Home
When Crystal Robinson’s daughter Zariah was born, Crystal was thrilled to be a mother and start their life as a family together. Zariah’s hydrocephalus diagnosis, a condition caused by a buildup of fluid in the brain, was a shock. As Zariah underwent 11 brain surgeries by the time she was three years-old, Crystal knew that she had to stay strong and seek out the best care for her daughter. “My daughter was a fighter,” said Crystal. “I was scared, but I knew how scary this must be for her. I needed to be there for her.”
Between Zariah’s frequent illnesses due to the cold weather, and the lack of resources readily available for children with disabilities, Crystal knew that Zariah could not thrive at their home in Chicago. She decided to move their family away from the life they knew to Los Angeles, where they were fortunate to find the Blind Children’s Center.
“Once we were enrolled, everything fell into place,” Crystal remembered. “They have been very sensitive to what Zariah needs since day one.” The Center’s family workers connected Crystal with resources and helped her navigate the process of finding Zariah the therapies most suited for her needs. Zariah flourished in the Center’s infant class, learning to hold objects in her hands, feed herself with a spoon, and drink from a sippy cup. Crystal remembers her surprise when the teachers gave her a drawing that Zariah had made. “I didn’t know she could color,” Crystal said. “The teachers really help me develop Zariah in ways I didn’t know I could.”
Although they miss their family in Chicago, the Robinsons have settled into a routine in Los Angeles. Zariah loves spending time with her cousins a few blocks away and watching her favorite movie, The Princess and the Frog, over and over and over again. Though they are now more than a thousand miles from Illinois, with the support of the Blind Children’s Center, the Robinsons have finally found home.
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