Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Cactus Perspective


While my colleagues were digging out from three successive snowstorms last month, I was enjoying a respite in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. There is much to compliment Tucsonians for. They have spectacular weather, gorgeous scenery, farmer’s markets in February and a very laid back lifestyle (If only there was an ocean it would be perfect).  What it also has is a gem of a residential program working with adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Tucson Residence Foundation and meeting with Program Director John Cunningham. Like Latham, this program found its mission in the early 1970’s serving adults with developmental disabilities. They have a small program that focuses on PWS and it was a delight to talk with knowledgeable professionals about the joys and the challenges of our shared interest. John offered to give me a tour of one of the homes they manage that supports individuals with PWS. I jumped at the chance to see how they do it in the Southwest and compare it to our program. Not surprisingly, our programs were so similar that except for the cactus, I could have been back here on the Cape.

When I see something good out there, even if it isn’t ours, families and professionals working with PWS should know about it. So thank you Tucson Residence Foundation, it was great to meet another non-profit supporting adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome! And I also would like to include a huge thank you to the staff that worked here during the recent storms that seemed to never end.  I know the children and adults felt safe and cared for by all of you during a very challenging month!

Submitted by:
Chris Gallant

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