Opportunities Academy is a post-secondary school that caters to and empowers students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Diagnosed with Down syndrome and asthma at a young age, Marlina grew up in an impoverished and unhealthy environment.
Thanks to a necessary court intervention, Marlina was able to move to Angel View, a residential care and day program for children and adults with disabilities. At first, she rarely spoke and avoided human contact.
She was dangerously overweight, covered in insect bites, and wheezed constantly. To protect her health, her few belongings had to be burned.
But what a difference loving care can make.
Through the support of Angel View's medical professionals, dietitians, therapists, and direct care staff, Marlina transformed from a shy young woman into a social butterfly.
Thanks to a healthy diet, she shed a whopping 90 pounds. Marlina now prefers to dress like a princess, can’t wait to have her hair done, dances every day, and even walked the runway in Angel View's annual fashion show fundraiser.
“Actually,” she says, beaming, “I rocked the runway!”
One of the first medical interventions for Marlina was providing oxygen, but pulling a portable tank didn’t slow her down a bit. Ever the fashionista, Marlina adorned her tank with a pink knit kitty cap.
As much as she enjoyed the opportunity for self-expression, her weight loss and calm living environment gave her an unexpected gift: for the first time in years, she is now able to breathe on her own.
When the staff sees Marlina now, they do a double take — no tubes, no tank — just a serene smile and earbuds, so she can play her favorite tunes.
Marlina shares a home with five other Angel View clients who all benefit from around-the-clock care. Her housemates have become a new kind of family — one that’s helped settle her emotionally. No longer fearful, she participates in regular outings and is currently enrolled in Angel View’s job training program.
Since 1954, Angel View has helped people with profound disabilities reach their maximum potential. In Marlina’s case, the sky’s the limit.
Each day she awakens without fear. She shares nutritious meals with her housemates. After consulting the local weather report, she dresses herself in outfits she has chosen. She learns new skills. She grows every day.
Sometimes she twirls a parasol. Sometimes she dons a tiara. But whether she’s dressed in a T-shirt or silver lamé, you can’t miss the radiance. Marlina glows.
Angel View’s mission is helping children and adults with disabilities reach their maximum potential. Each year, we help hundreds of people make significant gains toward independence through three primary programs: Residential Care, Day Program and Angel View Outreach.Learn More
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