Male, 19 Years Old
William was a teenager when a medical diagnosis changed his whole outlook on life. In 2012 he was diagnosed with cardio myopathy and spina bifida, serious health conditions that doctors told him would substantially shorten his life span. William spiraled into a depression. He became standoffish towards people and angry, missing his entire sophomore year of high school.
William’s mother brought him to VIP, hoping to help him get back to school and on the right track. Our therapists worked intensively with William and within the year he was making friends and began to succeed in his school work. After this positive progress, William left VIP to continue on with his life.
Two years later William began having suicidal episodes again, and he returned to VIP for more help. Along with the counseling, William was matched with a VIP mentor, a volunteer committed to becoming a positive adult role model in the life of a child, often introducing their mentees to new experiences. William’s mentor was an EMT, trained in managing William’s health conditions should anything happen on one of their outings.
At first William was cautious of this new relationship, but through the consistent friendship of his mentor, William let down his guard. They explored museums, went to movies and even Medieval Times! William had never had someone who genuinely related to him and cared about his well-being. Now his mentor is much more like a big brother who stays in touch with William daily by phone or text.
William’s outlook on life has become much more positive through therapy and the committed and caring friendship of his mentor. In fact William attributes so much of his success to his experience at VIP, that someday, he wants to become a therapist to help others in the way he’s been helped.