Channel 3 viewers first met Lauren Reed in 2004. She was 2 years old and in need of a stem-cell transplant for a potentially fatal genetic disease known as Sanfilippo syndrome. She ended up getting that transplant. She’s now 12 years old and is happy and healthy.
After the transplant, Lauren and her family were faced with long hours of speech and physical therapy. The sessions were often at different clinics. This required the family to drive long hours from one city to another.
Carrie Reed, Lauren’s mother, decided to come up with a way to provide therapies for developmentally disabled children, at one location. Thus, the Lauren’s Institute for Education (L.I.F.E.) was built and opened in 2005 in Gilbert.
The clinic originally provided pediatric therapies for speech, physical, and sensory skills. It’s grown and now has a school for developmentally disabled children. It’s newest addition, however, is its adult center.
Some parents with children at LIFE’s school were concerned about what would happen to their children once they were gone. Who would take care of them?
That’s why LIFE added its adult center. It teaches adults with developmental disabilities basic life skills. They learn how to cook, clean and even manage their money. The center’s aim is to train the adults on how to take care of themselves when their caretakers are gone.
The center plans to expand and offer more services for its children and adults at its Gilbert location. They even hope to open another center on the west side.