By Rena Arrigoni
The pediatric expert proven their worst fears: the Arrigonis child daughter Arlene had suffered irreversible eye, liver, and mind harm due to an undiagnosed beginning disorder. whilst Rena and Al Arrigoni left the doctor's place of work that April morning in 1957, they knew for the 1st time why Arlene had had to be hospitalized such a lot of occasions in the course of her first six months. yet what they can in simple terms start to comprehend used to be how they have been going to deal with her. Arlene's physicians envisioned she may live to tell the tale simply 8 years; she lived to be twenty-two. This publication is the tale of parenting a baby with disabilities. For 11 years the Arrigonis raised Arlene at domestic, seeing her via numerous clinical emergencies and coming to understand her tenacious will to stay. In 1967, following six years of making plans with group leaders, innumerable volunteers, and the Canossian Daughters of Charity, the Arrigonis created Casa Angelica, New Mexico's first privately operated domestic for kids with serious disabilities. Its courses support childrens achieve their optimum point of independence and self-reliance, and Casa Angelica built nationally well-known academic projects that spread out colleges to little ones lengthy stereotyped as unteachable.
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Extra info for Casa Angelica: Arlene's legacy
As Archbishop of Santa Fe and a friend of Casa Angelica, I salute this book as a real inspiration to those seeking to bring joy and loving care to others. MOST REV. MICHAEL J. D. ARCHBISHOP OF SANTA FE Page xi Preface This book is the story of Casa Angelica, which opened its doors in 1967 as New Mexico's first privately operated nursing home for youngsters with severe disabilities. But to tell the story of this residence and the Canossian Daughters of Charity who direct it, I have to bring you into our family from 1956 to 1978 and especially into the life of our daughter, Arlene.
Regina was seven, Arlene was six, and Annette two when I finally admitted to myself that I needed more help in the house. I could not ask Mama for more help. She had done so much already and now found she was busy helping my sister Louise with her five children. That admission was a long time coming and difficult to make. It meant I would have to relinquish my daytime care of Arlene to someone else. It meant admitting I couldn't do everything. I felt I would be letting Arlene down, yet, I knew it was the necessary and right choice.
A tremendous amount of love filled our home. At eighteen, I graduated from St. Mary's, and for two years I attended the University of New Mexico on "the hill" just a few miles to the east of downtown Albuquerque. Basically carefree, I had no special goals in mind. I had taken a number of business courses and went to work as a secretary at First National Bank. Though many of the young women my age, with whom I worked, had apartments of their own, I continued to live with my parents. I was twenty-four when I met a handsome young man from Chicago, Al Arrigoni.