Natalia lives with her father and younger brother.  From the first few hours, minutes, and seconds of the opening of the Phoenix Centre, it became home for Natalia. This girl, apart from the two rooms where she lives, has seen nothing of the world.  She has always been forced to live one-on-one with loneliness.  The only source of outside communication was with her television because she cannot use the computer or telelphone due to her poorly developed motor skills.  Natalia has difficulties speaking and it is rare to find people who have the patience to listen to her.  When she came to the Phoenix Centre, we saw a helpless child who could not maneuver in a wheelchair. She could not separate her hands or her feet and only could look at you with wide eyes and a helpless smile.  She would say that the years she spent at home alone have been so difficult because she only saw a future without hope. Every day of every week was the same with the only joy being when her brother would come from school to talk with her.  She was face to face with her fate as a child with special needs. At one point she began to hate life and sunny days.

The Phoenix Centre has changed Natalia’s life.  Here at her second home she always expresses how she has found joy in her soul and a dream of living and doing new things.  Together with Natalia we have managed to do many beautiful things. She has learned to play checkers, make puzzles, color and draw, and arranging beautiful pieces of art.  She has learned to eat fruit, cookies, and candies alone while also drinking without a straw.  She has improved her motor skills enough to put away toys and objects and even manipulate her wheelchair and stand with assistance.  Here she has found many friends and family. Now she only sees sadness on holidays when she must stay at home.  Her greatest desire is that the Phoenix Centre does not close.  Every day she thanks the children and the employees and those who were present at the opening of the Phoenix Centre.

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