normal birth and development
Lara Nelson was born a vibrant and healthy baby in May of 1991. At the age of six months, she experienced an unexplained seizure, and she and her family began a journey that would take them to the depths of despair as well as the peaks of hope and love, ultimately shaping a conviction to turn what could easily have become a devastating tragedy into something to be used to bring more good to the world.
Lara developed normally for the first two and a half years of her life, although the seizures that wracked her body gradually escalated, culminating in a serious brain surgery a few weeks before her third birthday
Severe developmental delay
Following the surgery, Lara's development inexplicably regressed to the level of an infant, and today at age 22, Lara functions like a young toddler, walking precariously and speaking only a few single words. The seizures are still an ongoing part of her life.
With sister Crissa after brain surgery
Wonderful teachers and caregivers
Lara and her family have been blessed with loving and supportive caregivers throughout her life - her family always believed she somehow brought these special angels to her - but they also knew that the time would come for Lara to transition to a living situation that would provide her a permanent home that would allow her to grow into and live her adult life with stability, consistency and loving support.
Lara at school at age 17 with
teacher Miss Mary
With caregiver Andrea at age 4
New needs as Lara grows up
In addition, her parents knew that it was important for them to address their own needs as older adults, and to ensure that when the time came that they were no longer in Lara's life, she would not be additionally devastated by losing not just her parents but the only home she had ever known.
Creating Lara's House is the response to this need. It is the vision of Lara's parents that other families who share these experiences and needs will join them, and provide the benefits of this life-enriching experience to their own special child.