This is a story about resiliency and courage in the face of a great challenge. Jeffrey Wells is a young man who came to the ResCare New Jersey program in 2022 following the death of his mother who he had lived with his entire life. Having never spent much time away from home, Jeff was suddenly faced with a new reality. He soon began to thrive in his new environment with the support of staff and his peers. Jeff also started attending ResCare’s day program, and before long, he began to make friends, socialize in the community, and participate in new activities.
This year, just as Jeff was settling into his new life, he tragically lost his sister to cancer. Shortly after, he also faced the unexpected loss of a housemate to cancer. Even in the face of those losses, Jeff made a bold decision to persevere, help others, and turn much of his grief into action. He decided to attend the day program every day and access the many personal and social supports available to him at the program.
At his core, Jeff is a very religious man, and states that his beliefs have guided him through these difficult times. He reports his commitment is now to pray for all of the people in his life, including his family, staff, and peers. When asked what advice he would give to someone who has lost a loved one, Jeff said, “Be happy because that is what God wants.” Even though Jeff has suffered significant losses, he has managed to push through by embracing the support systems around him.
As an example of Jeff’s positive energy, he recently joined a new sports and fitness program initiated at the day program designed to promote health and wellness going into the fall and winter seasons. This is one of the most active programs available and includes everything from gym workouts to basketball, kickball, aerobics, and Zumba classes. When presented with these opportunities, Jeff responded enthusiastically that he “wants to keep moving!”
Jeff has since become the catalyst and spokesperson for the program, motivating many of his peers to participate. By focusing on others and keeping his religion at the center of his life, Jeff is an inspiration to many. Staff and peers alike notice his kind and generous spirit in the face of adversity. We applaud the remarkable ways Jeff has handled a very difficult year. His resilience and love of life inspire us all!