Person of the Week
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Kerri Eaker

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:21 PM EDT
You are not alone.
Just four little words, but for people facing life altering moments they can be powerful and often what they need to hear.

No one knows that better than out "Person of the Week".

Because of what she's has been through, especially the past seven years, families facing the same struggles are finding wisdom and strength.

Kerri Eaker's son Dakota lives at the Marne House for Men with Special Needs.

"He does a lot of helping around the house" For years he could do little else because of his condition, "the diagnosis was skezo-affective disorder which is schizophrenia and bi-polar."  He's also developmentally delayed.

Kerri Eaker, "in the beginning you're going well fix it.  Give me a pill and fix it.  There comes a point when you realize there's no fixin' you know way to fix this."

He's been in and out of 17 hospitals over his 22 years, and recently things got worst.

In the past six years alone her husband Darrell, passed away, Kerri faced fought breast cancer, and it appeared Dakota would have to be placed in an institution.

"It's my faith that gets me through but I've also got so many people that support us."

Now she works with others who know what it means to feel alone.  
She coordinates events through the family support network, a program of Mission Children's Hospital.

Roxann Colwell, Program Manager, "it's important because it eases the challenges along the way."

The 12 year old son of Ray Hemachandra is autistic, he would injure himself and has trouble communicating.  Kerri Eaker has made a difference.

Ray Hemachandra, "she brings love and passion, authenticity having done the journey herself she cares about your kids as much as she cares about her own family."

Bill Keen, "she's just so friendly and kind to everybody.  And I look forward to being with her in heaven someday." 

And that purpose has led Dakota to a place he could never imagine, a place of his own.

He's moving into his own apartment, in a building where staff lives on site to check on him. He'll never be fully independent, but he's found that hope and happiness doesn't come from a place.

It comes from a person, the one who never gave up, the one he calls mom.

Kerri is quick to point out there are several others with the family support network who also have special needs children and are making a big difference in the lives of families.  
To learn more about the organization and how you can help, click here. Kerri Eaker

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