Carlie’s Story of Hope

Sep 4, 2011 | Uncategorized

Carlie joined our Hope Institute family almost two years ago. She’s a beautiful girl with a bubbly personality. She lights up a room with her smile.

But because Carlie lives with Cerebral Palsy, autism and cognitive impairments, each day presents considerable challenges for her.

Carlie was born almost 5 months premature. She weighed less than 2 pounds and measured only 10 inches long. She needed round-the-clock care when she came home from the hospital.

“I was afraid when I realized what was ahead of us,” her mother, Tammy, explains. “But as Carlie grew, and her diagnoses became more complicated, our whole family came together. We did everything we could to help her.”

For 15 years, Tammy’s daughters, Kylee and Giana, helped care for, and protect, their sister every day. Everyone was committed to making sure Carlie had the best opportunities possible.

But as she grew older, Carlie struggled to communicate and became increasingly withdrawn. She’d spend hours alone in her room and wasn’t interested in activities. Despite all her family’s loving care, Carlie’s world was getting smaller.

Tammy realized that Carlie needed expert help in order to learn and grow to the best of her abilities, and to live her life joyfully, every day.

She spent more than a year investigating learning and living options for her daughter. When she visited Hope’s campus, Tammy knew Carlie would receive the same level of caring, love and support she’d had at home.

Today, Carlie is accomplishing more than her mother ever imagined. She’s mastering skills at school and encouraging her fellow classmates. She loves to tell jokes. And, despite her physical challenges, Carlie is now playing soccer and basketball. She’s even joined Hope’s cheerleading team and Girl Scout troop.

“Carlie’s become so independent since she’s been at Hope,” Tammy says. “It was such a difficult and emotional decision to place her. But it was the best decision I ever made. I am so incredibly proud of her!”

Carlie’s story is just one example of the many hopeful futures you provide children with disabilities through your generous support of The Hope Institute.

Carlie, and all of us here at The Hope Institute, thank you for bringing Hope into their young lives.

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At Hope, we support children and families to achieve optimum growth, independence and joy.


The Hope Institute

15 East Hazel Dell Lane
Springfield, IL 62712