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A long journey home

WGCIL there for Loucks every step of the way

Published: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 5:00 a.m. CST
Caption
(Photo courtesy of Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living)
After a stay in a nursing home and over a year on her own thanks to the Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living, Diane Loucks is finally ready to return to Omaha, Neb.

JOLIET — The Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living helped Diane Loucks on her challenging journey back home.

Originally from Crest Hill, Diane was diagnosed with Von Hippel Lindau Syndrome while living in Omaha, Neb.

After having surgery to remove a brain tumor caused by VHL, she moved back to Joliet to be closer to her sister while she recovered.

An accident, however, landed her in the emergency room. From there, she was discharged to a nursing home.

A social worker at the facility contacted the Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living and Diane was enrolled in the Center’s Community Reintegration program. This program assists people with disabilities, whom the Center calls “consumers,” presently living in nursing homes.

After initial enrollment, the Center staff works with the individual to locate a residence in the community. As needed, the consumers hire personal assistants who provide services that allow the individual to remain independent.

Diane has been out of the nursing home for over a year, and is preparing to return to Omaha. There, she — along with her cat — will move into a new apartment.

Diane is eager to reconnect with her friends and then pursue the task of getting back her previous job. She recently said, “I have been unable to do much of anything for too long. I am eager to get my life back.”

To help support its Community Reintegration Program, as well as its many other services, the Center will hold its annual fundraising Empowerment Event from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 15, at Harrah’s Joliet Casino Event Center. Minimum donation is $25, which includes a light dinner, cash bar and music.

Please call Pam Heavens or Steve Miller to RSVP and/or for information on sponsorship opportunities.

During the evening, the Center will honor George Block, president of Remco Medical, and the University of St.  Francis with its Shooting Star Awards. These awards will be presented to Block and USF in recognition of their many years of support to the Center and its mission.

A United Way Agency, the Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living is located at 2415 W. Jefferson Street in Joliet. In addition to its Community Reintegration Program, the Center provides a wide variety of free services to people of all ages with disabilities of all types.

For more details, call 815-729-0162 or 815-729-2085 (TTY).

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