Meet the Geraldis. Unique and full of love, this remarkable family is dozens strong, the majority of them having been adopted with special needs.
Hey, Everyone! Yes, This is a food blog but every opportunity I get I love to features non-profits. Today, I have a special post about The Possible Dream Foundation. They are working to make a difference in the lives of orphans and special needs children. If you follow my blog, you already know that my husband and I have a son, Caleb, who has had 17 brain surgeries, Cerebral Palsy, and seizures. We also have two children we adopted with attachment issues. When the Geraldi family found my blog and told me their story, I knew I had to feature them.
Please take the time to read this extraordinary story of a giving family who has helped over 88 special needs children. This family has been such a blessing but have also suffered much tragedy. If you would like more information about the Geraldis’ non-profit, visit their website Possible Dream.
Michael and Camille’s Special Calling
In 1972 Michael and Camille met in a hospital in Miami where they both were devoted to caring for and loving children with severe medical problems, many of whom had been abandoned by their birth families. This mutual calling in life brought the pair together, and three years later they were getting married.
The Geraldis have taken care of 88 critically ill children.
A few years after they were married, they were adopting their first child. Since then, the Geraldis have brought home 88 critically ill children that the hospital could do nothing more for. These children, with Down syndrome, spina bifida, cardiac problems and more were given a warm home full of hugs, siblings, rules, toys, good food, chores, and fun. Find out more about Special needs children here.
Geraldis‘ Special Needs Children
Though the Geraldis’ children have special needs, it does not mean that they aren’t intelligent, caring, happy children, with individual personalities. They have their own interests just like you and me. Some love singing, others enjoy Etch-a-Sketch, a few are expert basketball players, and many enjoy training search and rescue dogs. The children simply have unique challenges that Camille, Michael and their childcare volunteers have dedicated their lives to working with.
Children who were believed to never survive past a few years or were thought to be completely deaf, blind and unresponsive have exceeded expectations! They are community members who go to school, attend dances and manage a farm of chickens, goats, cows and dogs in North Carolina.
What does the NONPROFIT The Possible Dream Foundation do?
In 1987 Michael and Camille founded a nonprofit that offers job training for disabled adults and aid for parents of special needs children. Renamed the Possible Dream Foundation, the nonprofit continues to operate today to serve the needs of special needs children and accept charitable donations for the Geraldi family.
The Setbacks and Death of Michael
The family has faced many setbacks through the years. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew destroyed Michael’s pediatric practice, and in 2011 a fire caused by lightning strike burned down their newly renovated North Carolina home (thankfully no one was home at the time!). The most recent and most devastating event was the death of Michael in March of 2016 to mesothelioma, rare cancer with a low survival rate. Though death is unfortunately not uncommon for the family of critically ill children, his passing has been difficult in many ways. Not only do they miss his loving, supportive and playful presence, the family also struggles without his financial support. For more information about the rare cancer Mesothelioma visit here.
Donations can be made to the Foundation through the website: www.possibledream.org.
Camille doesn’t think of herself as a hero or a saint. She is simply a mother doing all she can to share her love as far and deep as it will go. The children she and Michael adopted have now been given the life they should have from the very beginning, one of love and support.
You can follow the Geraldi family on Facebook @possibledreamfoundation.
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