A Wrangler’s Tale

Justin’s mom never thought that she and her son would need New Danville’s services.  Thanks to a recent scholarship, his progress continues. The many lessons they have learned together is a Wrangler’s tale.

“I wish more people could learn from what Justin has – have a big heart, don’t judge, don’t hold a grudge. The world would be a better place,” Justin’s mom, Sandy, shared in a recent conversation. They have been through challenging times to have the gifts revealed though.

They both see New Danville as a gift and a blessing. Justin has been able to return to the day program thanks to the generosity of the Assistance League of Montgomery County who provided scholarship funds for day program fees. “I feel blessed to be at New Danville,” Justin said, “and appreciate being there. I feel blessed that this (ALMC’s scholarship support) is happening for me.” Five years ago, neither Justin nor his mom would have ever imagined that they would be part of the New Danville family.

Sandy first heard about New Danville years ago through its then-presence at Market Street in The Woodlands. Luckily, the memory stuck.  When Justin suffered a traumatic brain injury several years ago and she found no brain injury centers that would take his insurance, she recalled New Danville. After some research, she concluded New Danville felt right for them.

Justin and his mom share an affinity for the outdoors, animals and art. Justin enjoys experiencing all that, and more, at New Danville.

“He has come so far,” she said. “He is not the same person he was a few years ago (after the injury). He is now able to create things and he loves to share them with others.”

Sandy feels the progress he made at New Danville before the COVID lockdown served him well during the 15 months he was unable to come to the day program. “He continued his improvement, but it was lonely.” Justin nodded and said, “I love New Danville. The people, going to class. I like art class. I created presents for my mom in art and for a friend in woodshop.”

Justin’s short-term memory remains an issue, though it is improving. She said that in 2019 Justin spent a lot of time with the miniature horses and could remember them at the end of every day. “That was pretty special,” she said.  “I was surprised and pleased that he has remembered for so long that he made those gifts. He would often not be able to remember what he did during the day by the time he got home. But he is improving. The doctor said that his brain is building new neural networks. His activities at New Danville are helping make that happen.”

How did a birdhouse become a bowling ball?

How did a birdhouse become a bowling ball? The answer is in this Wrangler’s Tale.

Eric has been a resident at Meadowbrook, the residential part of New Danville, for many years. He’s quite busy, watching over the chickens and goats, assembling pallets, working in the woodshop, and participating in outings, like bowling. And that is how a birdhouse becomes a bowling ball.

In the woodshop, Eric created a birdhouse that he entered into the art and craft competition at the Montgomery County Rodeo and Fair. He won an award for his entry, and with the award came a cash prize.  On one of the regular bowling excursions that our Wranglers participate in, he set his eye on a new bowling ball. He proudly proclaims, “The award money is how I bought the ball.”
As he continues to get accustomed to his new, flashy bowling ball, his scores are creeping higher and higher, which he enjoys sharing the latest of in between his many chores and activities.

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