03 Nov Mark Bower’s Story
When Mark Bowers was moving into a New Hope home 13 years ago, his parents had a fun way of announcing it. On the outside of a suitcase, they attached a sign that read “I’m Moving.” They took a picture of Mark standing next to the suitcase with a big smile on his face and sent it to their entire extended family. Mark’s parents, Tom and Sheila, remember that time fondly. “We were full of hope that for Mark, this would be a great partnership and success. And it has been.”
When the Bowers moved Mark into a residential program, they were facing a number of challenges. Shortly after Mark’s move Sheila was diagnosed with cancer and additionally, as an only child, needed to move to Florida to help care for her mom. Like many parents who have a child with a developmental disability, they knew they needed a long-term plan and felt they could not provide Mark with the social engagement and activities that he loves. They moved Mark into a residential program in northern Indiana and after a while, realized his needs were not being met. After interviews with many providers, New Hope clicked with Mark. “Mark loves socializing with others and being active. He wants to get to know people. The type of activities offered by New Hope are great for him,” said Tom.
While it was the activities that initially drew the Bowers to New Hope, it is the New Hope team members who support Mark that mean the most to them. From the manager who helped Mark move into the Grandview home over a decade ago to his current behavior therapist and support team, the Bowers can give countless examples of how each person has made a difference in Mark’s life. “The staff are wonderful. Every one of the team makes us feel like were the only people they support.” Mark is fortunate to have two brothers close by that provide loving support.
Since coming to New Hope, they have seen Mark thrive. An avid music lover, Mark has participated in numerous activities including drum circle, choir, karaoke, and bible study. “Mark is thriving,” said his parents. “We are grateful to New Hope.”