Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health New Jersey

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Aileo Family Story


Please consider making a recurring gift!

  • A monthly gift of $5 could provide books and games.
  • A monthly gift of $10 could provide sensory materials, such as weighted blankets, therapy balls, and tactile toys.
  • A monthly gift of $15 could provide needed supplies for arts and crafts activities.
  • A monthly gift of $25 could provide community engagement activities, like bowling or attending a baseball game.
  • A monthly gift of $50 could provide someone with music therapy or access to fitness classes.

Eight years ago, we looked around our quiet, spacious home and wished we could share it with someone who might not have experienced many advantages in life. A friend connected us to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s life share program, which provides adults with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences the opportunity to live in a family setting and lead a fulfilling life. Soon, Carol came to live with us. Penny arrived a year later to round out our family.

Carol faced many obstacles in her life before Devereux, including several periods of homelessness. We were thrilled to welcome her into our home, but the first months were challenging as she put us through the wringer! We received incredible support from the many dedicated Devereux staff, who made frequent visits and gave us many helpful suggestions on how to support Carol during these early challenges.

Thank you for letting us share our family’s story. Devereux’s life share program changed our lives and would not be possible without the support of donors, like you.

We began to slowly bond as a family, with everyone sharing the cooking, cleaning and pet responsibilities. Today, our home is filled with the happy sounds of laughter, constant conversation, dogs barking, and our favorite TV baking and game shows! Carol works four days each week at a program where she receives job-specific training and a competitive wage. She is envious of the now-retired Penny and says her favorite day of the week is Friday because she “doesn’t have any bosses or work headaches!”

Carol’s main passion in life has always been sports. She was born with an incredible natural athletic ability. She has worked hard to develop that talent and has been an active participant in Special Olympics for over 30 years. When Carol was younger, she excelled in winter events where she medaled in skiing, speed skating and ice skating. But after several bad falls and a few broken bones, Carol turned her competitive drive to summer sports, where she has been equally successful in numerous Special Olympics competitions. In 2019, Carol participated at the State games level and, in 2021, was awarded the gold medal in the heptathlon.

We recently learned that Carol was selected as one of only four athletes from our state to compete in tennis events at the summer Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. A month prior to the Games, Carol will travel locally for a training camp where she will meet her special Olympics coach and fellow teammates. In the meantime, she is getting in top form through a virtual fitness class and by working with a local tennis coach.

Carol’s participation in Special Olympics has expanded her group of friends and brought her so much happiness and has increased her confidence. We are very proud of Carol and we are so excited for this unique opportunity that our whole family is flying to Orlando to cheer her on! We will attend all of her matches and spend several days as a family at Disney World. Neither Carol or Penny have ever been to Disney World. They are looking forward to putting on their Mickey Mouse ears and enjoying its ageless wonder and magic.

Devereux’s century-old tradition of inspiring hope and promoting meaningful life choices combines compassionate care with transformative treatment, empowering individuals with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral differences to access support and achieve their dreams.

When asked recently why she likes being part of Devereux’s life share program, Carol replied that she has a wonderful family and a great life with us. We receive tremendous support from the excellent Devereux staff, and we truly love these women who have enriched our lives and made us a family. We all agree none of this would be possible without Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health!

Devereux Life Share Parents

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