This is the first of many blog entries (I hope) featuring the big Sotos family across the world. To get us started, I’d like to introduce you to Joe who is from New South Wales in Australia. His guardian Suzanne offered Joe’s story to be featured on the blog and I thank her very much.
Joe is currently 32 and Suzanne took Joe (Joe has Sotos) in when his father died when he was 17. Joe lives independently and works full time in supported employment. He works 4 days a week with New Horizons and receives a wage as well as also also receiving a disability pension.
Joe lives only a couple of streets from Suzanne and she tells me that Joe is a regular visitor and phones daily. He has 12 hours a week of support ( supplied by the Government) to assist him to shop, bank and cook. Joe has lived in his own home for 8 years, and has paid off his home loan with his own income.
Joe has taken independence in his stride and Suzanne tells me they have not had any problems. The biggest issue for Suzanne was letting Joe become independent, letting him make mistakes …try new things. She described it as being was not much different to her daughters growing up and leaving home.
Health wise Suzanne has found that Joe has become more relaxed as he has matured and he has not had any major health issues apart from problems with his teeth( they had been neglected earlier) and he has had small skin cancers removed and a squamous cell carcinoma on his lip.
Suzanne describes Joe as a happy man with a full life and many friends.
The photo is of Joe last Sunday, Suzanne runs an Adventure Tour Company and Joe visits their office for breakfast every Sunday.