Latham Centers 2015; Stories of Spring and Summer

July 14, 2015

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Every Spring Latham Centers sends out a story of success to our friends, encouraging pre-existing and new donors to continue to support our amazing programs and staff. This year the story was about Finn. Since this Appeal was composed Finn has won the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year in Massachusetts, a proud moment for him as well as all the staff at Latham Centers.
Dear Friend,
Today Finn is doing what he loves best – fishing at Schoolhouse Pond across from Latham School. He boasts, “I am so awesome,” as he proudly shows off the fourth fish he has caught.
Finn is 15 years old and lives with a complex genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). The most prominent symptom of PWS is an insatiable appetite and mental health instability; untreated, this can cause life threatening obesity and related medical problems.
Finn was raised in a dangerous urban neighborhood, living with a single mother who worked three jobs just to make ends meet. The streets gave him easy access to all the things that can get a young man into trouble. After numerous visits to the hospital ER for PWS-related problems, it became clear that Finn was heading in a direction that would imperil his health and his future. At the age of 13, Finn was admitted to Latham Centers upon leaving the hospital, and in just two short years, he proudly calls Latham home.
When I met Finn he was 5’1”, 380 pounds. He had uncontrolled diabetes, leg edema that was making it nearly impossible for him to walk, and a respiratory condition that caused labored breathing and difficulty speaking. We knew that admitting Finn to Latham Centers was a risk because of his immediate and extremely poor health, but not admitting him meant certain death for this beautiful and intelligent boy.
Latham Centers is the only PWS residential facility that could handle Finn’s tumultuous history, so we did what we do best: we took a chance on a child with many special needs, and with the help of caring clinical, nursing, residential and school staff, Finn’s health and life have vastly improved. Down 180 pounds, Finn has more weight to lose, but he remains motivated and proud of his accomplishments at Latham Centers.
Moreover, Finn takes pride in his Latham Centers PWS program; he is excited about his weight loss and overall progress. By taking part in controlling his health, Finn has truly excelled. No longer diabetic and perfectly ambulatory with no more leg edema, Finn brightens every room he bounds into. This year, he holds the record for the most gold medals won at the Special Olympics and is employed by the Latham Works Vocational Program. He is humorous and vivacious, and serves as a leader amongst his peers. Including boasting about the fourth fish he caught that morning, he does not hold back telling everyone he meets of his successes – both great and small. For the first time in his life, and because of Latham Centers, Finn feels empowered to succeed and is proud of his accomplishments.
Can you help us continue this important work? Your support and the support of friends enables us to help children like Finn have a full and meaningful life. Please make your gift to Latham Centers today by using the enclosed envelope or by donating online HERE.
Amy Carroll
Chair of the Latham Board of Directors
and sister of Latham School Graduate and Adult Resident


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