Magic did happen!
In 1976, she brought the first four mothers together. They were able to share with one another things and experiences that they had not been able to share with anyone else, even friends and family.
Marion says, "When there's a problem with the baby, they don't know what to say, so they stay away...it can be an isolating experience."
Bringing the mothers together proved to be a wonderful way to provide support.
Hugo and I know first hand the importance of having support and staying connected with other parents of children with special needs. Our miracle daughter, Mia, was born at 28 weeks gestation, 3 months early. As grateful as we are for family and friends who expressed concerns and listened to our worries, only a few understood what it was like to be in our shoes. It was very isolating. I, personally, felt like I had no one to turn to except for the parents Hugo and I talked to while Mia was still in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).
Marion's support group grew to become something more incredible than she herself ever imagined. She admits, "I didn't even know what I was doing."
She gathered information from all over the country, spent time at the University of Washington and was learning so much each day from the children.
".....the babies taught us so much." she says.
She chose the name Exceptional Parents Unlimited because her inspiration came from the mothers she met in the support group.
Marion says, "It all starts with the parents and them wanting the very best for their children."
EPU has become a non-profit organization, which over the years has helped more than 3,000 families a year. They provide services for the parents of children with all kinds of special needs through their many special programs including Infant Family Program, Assessment Center for Children, Family Resource Center, Learning About Parenting (LAP) and the Play and Grow Program.
Marion and EPU's Mission states:
"The mission of Exceptional Parents Unlimited (EPU) is to strengthen and empower children and families facing extraordinary medical, developmental, and parenting challenges."
Marion's vision of empowering children and their families with the confidence in themselves is being seen everyday at any one of the 3 locations in the Central Valley (California).
Marion Karian and Exceptional Parents Unlimited is a prime inspirational example of how No one is too small to make a difference and how BELIEVING you can make a difference can lead to extraordinary results.
Hugo and Roxanne
~ Believe Achieve ~
We'd sincerely like to thank Marion Karian for spending time with us to share her incredible story of how her wonderful organization came to life. We're ever so grateful for her, EPU, and it's staff for making a profound difference in lives of many families, including ours. We dedicate this entry to Marion, along with Mia's early intervention teachers, Stacey and Monica, and her occupational therapist, Libby. Thank you all for being in our lives.
Welcome Friends to Believe Achieve
Read Our Personal Believe Achieve Story:
Miracle of Life - How We Came To Be Believe Achieve Hugo and Roxanne
December 2, 2008
Magic did happen!