Your health, our mission: Reneé, William & CarLee's story
Many of our programs, like Healthy Families East Tennessee, serve the entire family, such as the Large family. Reneé Large experienced a difficult life due to abuse. In June of 1997, she met the father of her children. That fall, she found out she was pregnant, and she was excited yet scared. A baby was everything she ever wanted; however, she felt stressed about creating a safe, stable environment.
She soon discovered that her child’s father was experiencing substance abuse issues, and she began to feel hopeless when she was forced to quit all three of her jobs to be placed on bed rest at 17 weeks pregnant.
Reneé felt hopeful again when she was introduced to Healthy Families East Tennessee.
Her case manager, Stephanie, became her support system because she did not have support from family. Stephanie connected Reneé with information and resources to give her and her little one the healthiest start possible, and Reneé was able to create a stable home for her baby who would be arriving soon. With every passing month, her body changed, but she finally felt at peace with her life.
In April, her son, William, was born. She says he was perfect and nothing would take her joy away. However, Reneé still lacked support at home, but she continued to learn parenting skills from Healthy Families. When she was pregnant with her second child, her daughter, CarLee, she discovered that she had cancer. Renee was undergoing cancer treatment, and CarLee was also in and out of the hospital for the first year of her life. During this difficult time, Reneé continued to rely on Healthy Families as her rock.
William and CarLee have both grown to be successful young adults. William is now 18 and a freshman at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He is a starter on the football team where he plays outside linebacker and on special teams. CarLee is 16 and a sophomore in high school. She is maturing every day. Reneé is nearing her anniversary of being in remission for 12 years, and she is studying at Virginia College to be a medical assistant.
Healthy Families provided Reneé with resources to give her children a stable foundation and a successful future. All three are working toward their goals each day—improving their health and their life.
To read more stories from the 2016 Annual Services Report, please click here.