Joanna, God's Special Child: Joanna's Extended Family's Desire, Determination and Will to Give a Profoundly Intellectually Disabled Member the Best

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9781478710042: Joanna, God's Special Child: Joanna's Extended Family's Desire, Determination and Will to Give a Profoundly Intellectually Disabled Member the Best
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Richard Cardinal Cushing, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston in the 1950s, referred to individuals with mental retardation as "God's special children." Joanna was one of those children, and this is the story of her mother's desire, her extended family's determination, and a surrogate parent's will to give a profoundly intellectually disabled family member the best life possible. Joanna was only 15 years old when her mother died prematurely during a heart operation. Three generations of her family worked with military precision to care for their orphaned teenage family member until Joanna's death as a senior citizen. Family members monitored Joanna's care at the Fernald Developmental Center. They brought Joanna home a few days per week for home cooking, leisure time, day trips, and inclusion in special family events. And they monitored her pension benefits so she could enjoy all the neighborhood functions possible from her Fernald condominium-like apartment. Over the years, Joanna's co

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About the Author:

About the Author: George Mavridis was Joanna's cousin. This memoir is his special thank you to Joanna M. Bezubka for being his surrogate sister for 24 years and surrogate daughter for the next 21 years. Mavridis was active with several parent advocacy organizations and served as president of three organizations (Fernald League, COFAR, and Fernald Corporation). For the last decade he scheduled appointments with legislative aides for New England senators and representatives for VOR's Washington Initiative each June. Mavridis was a graduate of Tufts University, an officer in the United States Navy, and a registered structural engineer.

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Mavridis, George
Published by Outskirts Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 1478710047 ISBN 13: 9781478710042
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