Letter: Group home has helped this hero

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 18, 2007

As a parent of a Rowan Homes resident, Friday night I prayed for a sign to continue the fight to keep Rowan Homes as my son’s group home provider. Piedmont Behavioral Healthcare (PBH) terminated their contract due to a dispute of allocation money the state disperses to PBH for the residents. Saturday morning, I found the reason to continue the fight. This was the enclosed article I wrote in 2001 about my sons Patrick and Benji, when the Salisbury Post asked readers to write in telling about their “heroes.”

An update: Patrick continues to be my “pride and joy,” now 32 and a man in blue. Benji is more my hero today than ever, now 29. With Rowan Homes under the directorship of Jay Laurens and his entire staff, I lay my head down at night and know Benji is receiving excellent care in a Rowan Homes group home. The stress PBH has caused since Dec. 13 has caused some health issues. And finally, the newest member, Tabitha, my granddaughter and angel, now is 8 and continues to win her battle against adult-form leukemia (AML). The doctors tell us that if she continues in remission, in July it will be five years since her last dose of chemotherapy and she can start being checked each year instead of every six months.

Readers, if you know one of the 33 residents, or just Benji, and wish to help us stop the takeover of Rowan Homes, effective on Feb. 1, please e-mail me at dcupitmartin@msn.com or call Rowan Homes (704-633-7370). PBH signed a contract with an out-of-county provider. The residents need your help.

My sign showed me the reason we parents continue to fight for all our children when we know someone is hurting.

— Debbie Martin