The Beatles said all you need is love.
Being in the presence of the Young family, I have never seen that sentiment come to life more. I used to teach with Kent Young and always found him to be a great friend, wonderful listener, and from the way he spoke of his family, a true hero. He is a great husband and father. I recently had the pleasure of meeting his family, and let me just say – they are an inspiration. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so moved by such a pure, genuine love that strongly radiates among the entire family.
Kent’s wife, Janelle (who happens to be beautiful), teaches pre-school. So she’s also a saint. She’s an artist, too, who is vibrant, funny, and full of life. She, along with the rest of the family, likes to read. She also likes to have fun while being a devoted mother and wife.
Sophia, Kent and Janelle’s daughter, (who also happens to be beautiful and is the spitting image of Mom) is 13…but she is anything but typical. Sure, she likes to do the same stuff her friends do; she likes being a cheerleader, she likes to dance in her basement where she’s hung posters of her favorite musicians – Greyson Chance seems to be the fave. She is also, however, equipped with a maturity beyond her years. She is very maternal when it comes to her brother Caleb, 23, who has Tetrasomy 18p.
Caleb has to be one of the most special people ever in existence. Kent said his parents and sister really helped with Caleb when he was little, when he spent 7 years in and out of a children’s hospital. He did therapeutic horseback riding when he was younger. He comes home often for visits, as he lives in a group home and works at a food bank, sorting and helping to deliver groceries to the elderly. He also loves the Jesters drama group he is a part of, which puts on a variety show featuring special needs adults every spring.
And Caleb just happens to be the most loving human being on the planet. I feel truly blessed to have met him. It is impossible to be in a bad mood when he’s around. He simply loves everyone, and he’ll tell you that. He is very affectionate and kind, with such a fun, uplifting personality. He is a self-proclaimed “ladies man.” He likes llamas. Said his mom about Caleb’s phone tendencies, “He likes to role play on the phone. He becomes a doctor who takes care of people or animals, or a magician in the circus…his imagination is amazing!” Janelle added, “Aunt Kris usually fills this need in his life – she is now better than me at it!” He is just such a pure, good-hearted person. It might sound strange, but when you’re around him…
You can feel the presence of God.
It is obvious since I’ve spent time with Caleb and the rest of the family that they realize what a miracle he is. This family loves each other fiercely, and they teared up more than once while talking about it. I really felt that it was a privilege to witness such a display of love and caring. I think that’s rare in the world today.
Caleb’s sister Sophia had an idea a while back. Caleb has always wanted to swim with the dolphins. His family said he has never asked for anything – not once – in his life. But he really wants to swim with dolphins. So Sophia began making and selling dolphin sun catchers to raise money for Caleb to go to Florida where they have a program that allows those with special needs to swim with the dolphins. It’s supposed to be very healing. Sophia needs $15,000 total in order to pay for her brother to do this. Especially after meeting Caleb, I want to help more than ever. And you can, too. If you’d like to contribute, you can buy sun catchers for $3 each by sending money to: Caleb’s Dream Trip c/o Bippus State Bank, P.O. Box 519, Roanoke, IN, 46783. Sophia has also set up a Facebook page titled “Caleb’s Dream Trip” where there is more information.
I love this family. And I would love for Caleb to be able to achieve his dream and swim with the dolphins. It is the Christmas season…the spirit of giving is in the air. And even though we know from the Youngs that all you need is love…
Sun catchers make great stocking stuffers.