This is my mom, Lyn Sorenson. She went from being a healthy, active, and spunky wife, mother, and volunteer director of a Christian Montessori pre-school and kindergarten to being a severe stroke patient in December 2016. Life for our family was turned completely upside down as we struggled to find the best care for Mom after she had three sudden hemorrhagic (brain bleed) strokes in one week, followed by a month-long coma.
Her recovery was expected to be very limited, IF she could wake up at all from the coma. Thank the Lord, she DID wake up in January 2017! As tragic as the injury was, we count our blessings as she is making steady, slow progress, one step at a time. Things that used to be simple, such as moving her arms and legs, speaking, swallowing, and writing, are now all basic functions that she has to relearn. It’s incredible to think that, at one point, we were literally dancing in our living room after hearing that her pupils had finally started to react to light again… and, now, we’re celebrating things like writing, leg lifts, and smiles! While she is beating the odds and has come so far, she still has an incredibly long road ahead. Mom is constantly thinking of the needs of others, even now, and has selflessly helped so many people over so many years (see background info at the bottom of this page). Now, she needs others to think of her!
Why we’re asking for help…
We so very humbly come to you for help. Mom's necessary level of care will exceed the maximum that insurance covers. Her Medicare and private insurance resources have been exhausted. Medicaid covers only the most basic long-term care needs: a shared room and therapy for perhaps three more months. Anything beyond these basics for the remainder of her recovery is an out of pocket expense. Medicaid also appropriates effectively her entire pension, leaving only one income to cover my parents’ basic life and household expenses, as well as any out-of-pocket medical expenses for my Mom.
The severity of her injuries mean that it will take MUCH longer for her to recover her strength and mobility compared to most rehabilitation cases. As a result, our goal is to raise funds to cover the approximate level of care that Mom needs for at least two years and relieve some of the financial burdens from my dad and our family. We are incredibly thankful for the insurance coverage that we’ve had, but we’re now in the uncomfortable position of having to ask for help from friends and family. If you are able, please help us cover these additional costs to make sure Mom is given the chance to reach her fullest recovery. While her recovery will likely take months to years, SHE IS making progress and perseveres every day!
What are the donations needed for?
Thankfully, Lyn recently moved to a facility 10 minutes from home that can properly continue the care that she needs. As recommended by her neurologists, she needs a great deal of rest and quiet. She will often spend several days resting and sleeping a LOT, and then make new, significant gains in her recovery. We’re so thankful that she was recently able to move into a private room, which allows for that much-needed rest. Also, the extra space of a private room is greatly beneficial since we do family therapy with her. For example, we’ll have classic rock jam sessions where we all sing, I play piano, Isaac (my husband) plays bass, my dad plays guitar, and Mom shakes a rhythm egg! Additionally, so many wonderful friends and family visit and do great activities with Mom, which were very limited by her previously shared room. These visits and activities are critical for her spirit and her recovery. This private room adds an extra $900/mo., totaling $21,600 for two years.
Additionally, the absolutely imperative, on-going professional therapy will cost $70-80 per half-hour session when her insurance allotment runs out, which could occur any time in the next three months. She may need at least 1.5 hours a week of each type of therapy: speech, occupational, and physical. For two years of that amount of therapy, it would cost a minimum of $74,880. While it is possible she may not need that much therapy or insurance may cover some portion of it, we need to be prepared to provide Mom with what she needs to support her unbelievable perseverance.
As a result, our total overall goal is to raise $96,480.
How can I help?
Please consider giving however you are able. $5/$25/$50/$100/$1,000… whatever the number is for you, we are eternally grateful for your generosity! It’s going to be a LONG road of recovery for Mom that could be much longer than 2 years, but we know that these are her more immediate needs. This campaign will remain open for donations for as long as Mom requires the support. If many of Mom’s friends and family are able to help over time, then the individual donations can be smaller.
ALL funds will go directly to Mom’s medical bills and care for her recovery. Please help us, help her, get her inspiring life back. She is a true fighter and not giving up! Thank you for ANY financial support and prayers you can offer for Mom! Click “Donate Now” to give and please share Mom’s story!
A bit of background on Mom: Mom retired in 2010 from a 30-year career working with handicapped children and adults as a pre-school teacher, an intervention specialist, a supervisor of programs for the disabled, and a Montessori teacher. She earned her Montessori credentials from Association Montessori Internationale about ten years before her retirement from public schools, adding what she learned from her Montessori training to her vast public school training and experience. In her “retirement”, she founded a Montessori preschool that this past year had nearly 20 students enrolled. To keep costs lower for families, Mom volunteers her time, taking no wages or salary for herself. Even in her sixties, Mom was logging over 10,000 steps a day, swimming whenever the weather permitted, and eating a mostly vegan, mostly organic diet, with an occasional egg or piece of fish. Needless to say, the strokes came as a disheartening surprise.
Testimonials from parents of my mother’s Montessori students:
“When [my daughter] first started attending, she was extremely shy. She would not leave my side. After a few months of schooling, she learned independence and now thrives in a parochial school where she is required to speak in front of people and do jobs requiring independent skills.
[She] learned to care for others. I know, she was born with a good heart and beautiful spirit. She learned how to handle herself at Montessori. From folding napkins to respecting others space, she grew so much. Currently, a boy in her class is a bit "different" and gets picked on daily. She tells me stories. Her teacher pulled me aside one day and told me how [She] will stand in front of him while he has to deal with his emotions (part of his "different") so no one sees. She will protect him. I asked her about it. She said, "Mommy, people don't see the good in him like I do. They have to look a little hard sometimes. But God put it there." I know that something like that is instilled from daily values taught not just me, but from the wonderful teachers that she experienced at Montessori. … A special thank you to Lyn Sorenson who made it possible for [her] to attend in the first place.”
--Parent of past student
“I cannot imagine another early childhood option for my children other than the Trinity Montessori program. … My son, now in kindergarten, is one of the top math students in his class and it is because of the fundamental math skills learned in Montessori. He also continues to enjoy baking because of his experiences with Mrs. Kieft and, again, this plays into his math skills and love of measuring/counting. The program - and the WONDERFUL staff - encourage each student to grow and develop their own interests and talents. The teachers took an interest in my son's interest in agriculture and weather and helped him with related science and math lessons.
My daughter, who is currently in the program, is reading at age 4. She can complete nearly every kindergarten assignment that her older brother brings home. The holistic program also encourages her creative and artistic side and she loves the art and music lessons, along with "Flower Fridays" and the baking lessons. She describes herself as an artist, and the program explores, develops, and nurtures her interests.
More than any academic-based gains our children have made in the program (although we certainly value those!), what I personally value the most is the social-emotional and spiritual skills the program provides. My children - especially my son - are painfully shy and I have always been worried about them making friends. The Trinity Montessori program has been such a blessing for our family and the emphasis on kindness, friendship, and faith. My son's anxiety has been reduced by learning to pray to God when he feels worried and to know that God is always with him. My kids gained perspective and strength by talking about Heaven at school when their great-grandparents were sick and dying. I LOVE that the program openly prays for others, and my kids have learned to randomly say a prayer for someone they see in need. We try to be outside as much as possible, and the Montessori program emphasizes the beauty of God around us and seeing God in every day natural wonders. As a family, we can't be outside and not have one of the kids point out the trees or flowers or mud or rocks or sunsets or stars without talking about how God made everything.
I could really go on and on, but I think I'll stop for now.”
--Parent of past and current students (siblings)
“We have had two of our children go through the Montessori Good Shepherd program. [Our son] is now in second grade, and I can still see the building blocks of what he learned in Montessori operate in him on a daily basis. Academically, he is thriving and has been able to work through any challenges that he has faced in that arena. But more importantly, he cares for others very deeply and is a trustworthy, kind child.
[Our daughter] is opposite of her brother in many ways, as she can be very quiet and observant at times. … The peaceful environment is so comforting to a child with a sensitive nature as she has, where differences are not discouraged. She is now reading and spelling very well, and will also be well-prepared academically as she moves on from Montessori.
Without Lyn and her ministry through this program, we never would've been able to send our children to such a wonderful place. She didn't only influence the children while they were at school--she influenced my parenting at home, too. I learned so much about the planes of child development and how to create a peaceful environment where our children can thrive. She has brought families together from the beginning and helped them all make connections to each other and to Trinity that may never have been made otherwise. She certainly helped our family find a niche in our large church.”
--Parent of past and current students (siblings)
“He has not only benefited from the impressive collection of child-sized manipulatives and learning tools available through the program, but has learned important social and spiritual lessons. He began talking about Jesus in a familiar way after enrolling in the program, as though talking about a friend. When another child stepped on my son's foot, he knew, without asking any adult for help, to get the "Peace Flower", so that he and his classmate could each talk, in turn, about how they felt about this incident. This kind of conflict resolution is a very important skill, beyond what he might have gained at Kindergarten in the public schools.”
--Parent of current student
“14 months ago my precious [daughter] was described as a child who played alone, couldn't follow directions, and was essentially a problem for her preschool instructor. [She] felt neither loved nor valued at school. It seemed that no one at school ever saw her incredible strengths. Thankfully, she was having another, very different experience in Sunday School, which eventually lead us to Montessori. Although [she] took some time to trust her new environment, to unlearn the survival skills she had developed at the previous school, and to embrace the Montessori world, the experience has been life changing. Yes, I have no doubt. Life changing. She now sings and skips her way across the parking lot, greeted by multiple joyous acclimations of "*****'s here!!!" EVERY day. To say she feels confident, loved and valued at school is an understatement. She has had the opportunity to learn at her own pace and in a meaningful experiential manner. … I have worked in education for 36 years and with preschool programs since day one. The Montessori Good Shepherd program at Trinity is the best of all I have ever known. The complete package of academic, music, art, baking!, play, social-emotional, physical, and spiritual opportunity is not just exceptional, it is a treasure to be cherished. The spiritual component is perhaps the cake's icing, perhaps what makes it all work. I love the nondenominational Christ-like approach of the Good Shepherd philosophy. … I love that she sees school as a safe and loving place to be. I love that she talks about Jesus and God and Angels and heaven in random conversations, not just at church. I love that recently when I was crying and very upset [she] gently told me to be like the angels, don't be afraid [Mom]. Thank you Trinity and the lessons of Montessori Good Shepherd for being here when we needed you.”
--Parent of current student