Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

My Sister Lauren

By Linda Lotzi, VOR Board Member
The Voice, Summer 2012

     In 1998, I became the primary contact and the court appointed personal guardian of my sister, Lauren. Lauren’s home for the last 41 years has been White Haven Center (WHC), an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF/MR) in Pennsylvania.  Our parents wished for Lauren to reside at White Haven as long as she is safe and happy. 

      Since I was young, I have experienced what it is like to have a sister with severe profound intellectual disabilities. I felt the struggles my parents had with Lauren when we were young. I remember many times when Lauren would fall to the floor and have a seizure.  I was only five years old.  I remember how hard it was on our family when Lauren was brought to White Haven Center to live.  I was very sad and did not understand. Back then there were no supports in place to help family’s keep their loved one home.  Society dictated then that facilities were the best way to support a family with a child that has disabilities. Today, forty years later, society is still trying to dictate what is best for my sister and her friends.