The Beat of His Own Drum
“Marcus is a gentle giant with a great big heart,” says Stephen, who became a Mentor after working at a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. “All it took was a little patience and understanding to help him come out of his shell.”
Before Marcus moved in with Stephen, he was not very talkative and struggling with his health and hygiene. Within months of moving in with Stephen, his demeanor, image and outlook began to change for the better. Stephen took the time to respect and relate to Marcus, helping him to develop hobbies and immerse himself in the community.
“I started taking him to rehearsals for the music program at my church,” says Stephen. “As he got to know everyone, he decided he wanted to be a part of one of our congregation’s musical productions. I signed him up for drum lessons, and ever since, he’s been an amazing addition to our cast. He feels happier, more productive, and loves expressing himself through music!”
Last Christmas, Stephen bought Marcus a bicycle that he rides every day to his bus stop with friends from his day program. Stephen and Marcus often ride together along the beach path near their home. The exercise has helped Marcus lose weight and begin a healthier lifestyle.
This past year, Marcus developed some serious health issues, and Stephen needed assistance coordinating his medical care. “I don’t know what we would have done without Amanda, Stephen’s coordinator from California MENTOR, and the help we received from the Harbor Regional Center,” Stephen says. “The MENTOR staff helped me to keep track of Marcus’s appointments and paperwork, coordinate with his doctors, and make sure he was comfortable during his hospital stay. As a team, the staff from California MENTOR and Harbor Regional Center were truly instrumental in Marcus’ recovery.” And Stephen was there at the hospital as soon as Marcus woke up, bringing gifts to him from his congregation. “You should have seen the smile on his face,” he says with a grin. “It was a true family moment.”