​Mark and Tricia

Mark and Tricia’s family started their journey of raising children with special needs when their youngest son was born with Lobar emphysema and had part of his lung removed. “He was familyportraitbeach_croppedquarantined to our home for most of the first three years of his life because of the high risk of infection,” she explained. Joel was subsequently diagnosed with several additional conditions.

On the heels of that crisis, their daughter, then 8 years old, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare and debilitating genetic disorder. “We were floundering,” said Tricia. “We had no clue how to handle any of this.”

A friend put Tricia in touch with Raising Special Kids where she found a variety of resources. “For me, the parent to parent connections have been the biggest blessing. To have another parent to talk to is really incredibly valuable.”

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