Michelle's Story

By all accounts, Michelle is thriving…but it hasn’t always been this way. It is only with your 
financial contribution today that Michelle will continue to receive the right supports at the right time.

As an infant, Michelle was smiling, blowing bubbles and rolling over just like any baby. Then, she began having seizures… every day. After numerous medical tests, Michelle was diagnosed with a very rare form of childhood epilepsy. Michelle also struggled with expressive language, anxiety, and outbursts of frustration. She was soon diagnosed with autism.

Michelle’s young life was busy and meaningful and family was always a big part of her social life. She thrived on physical activity, especially anything thrill seeking. She loved to swim, ride her bike and downhill ski.

As she grew into adulthood, Michelle’s parents struggled to find the right supports that would foster her growth and desire for independence. “At our first meeting with Hammer staff, we felt like we were with family members. We felt trust and hope for Michelle’s future,” says Michelle’s mother, Victoria.

Six years later, Michelle, 28, is thriving under the care of supportive staff at Gardner House in Wayzata. “If she has a desire or goal, Hammer will find a way for her to achieve it,” says her father, Pat. “Hammer has been instrumental in enriching Michelle’s life.”

Gardner’s Director, Jessica Senso, has worked with Michelle since she first came to Hammer and is amazed by her growth. “When I first met Michelle, she would keep her head down. Now, she stands tall, smiles confidently and shares her thoughts,” said Jessica. “Michelle has control of her life and is living life to its fullest.”

Show Michelle you care by making an investment in Hammer today.

Thank you for making a difference.

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Our goal for 2016 is to raise $1.2 million to offset shrinking government support and maintain our quality services.
You can designate your gift to any Hammer fund, home, or apartment program. See a list of 2016 Home Improvement Needs.