Against All Odds

Amy Beal

Against All Odds

Niesha has been able to care for Avery at home, thanks to ABC.

The sickest

Niesha was seven credits away from getting her bachelor’s degree when complications from her pregnancy forced her to leave school. Her son, Avery, was born three months premature with cerebral palsy, and he spent the first eight months of his life in the hospital. Without a job or insurance, Niesha had no idea how she would care for her baby. Then ABC stepped in. With a staff of 100, mostly social workers, the organization offers personalized programs ranging from life skills development to occupational therapy. ABC helped Niesha navigate Medicaid, find subsidized housing, and even obtain the funding needed to finish her degree.

The poorest

A few simple words made up Ana’s entire English vocabulary. Not being able to communicate was hard enough; living well below the poverty line made giving her three daughters a better life than the one she’d left in Mexico nearly impossible. Simple tasks like speaking with her girls’ teachers and grocery shopping were out of the question. But just months after Ana enrolled in ABC’s Family Literacy Program, she was able to meet the standards of Texas’s Adult Basic Education curriculum. Today, reading labels, helping with homework, and working to provide for her family are no longer barriers for Ana.

The youngest

The pregnancy couldn’t have been healthier, so Max’s parents were completely shocked when they found out at birth that their son has a muscular developmental disorder and Down syndrome. But instead of having to fend for themselves, Max’s parents were offered ABC’s help from the beginning. A service coordinator arranged for Max and his family to receive Down syndrome education and at-home physical therapy several times a month. Three years later, Max is now not only walking, he’s running and jumping, too. ABC relies on donations to meet the needs of the increasing number of people they help, something that’s a challenge in this economy. But the staff at ABC is determined to keep helping kids reach their potential through education, therapy, and family support. To find out how you can help, visit

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