Love Grows at Richcroft
February 14th is Valentine’s Day and we are all about relationships here at Richcroft. Whether it’s the relationship forged between an individual with a disability and their support staff, the friendships and relationships among our supported individuals themselves, or even between our organization and the community we care for, we value the happiness that comes from feeling encouraged, uplifted, and loved. Danny and Maria Rosner are one such couple who show that having a disability doesn’t have to hinder love — in fact, it can be the reason for a deeper, much more supportive connection.
Danny and Maria met while both living within Richcroft’s Residential Program. At the time, Maria was a waitress at Oak Crest Village and Danny was a member of the cleaning and maintenance crew. The attraction was mutual and both of their families encouraged each other to pursue the relationship. This April, they will celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary — a true testament to their commitment and affection toward each other.
When it comes to relationships, individuals with disabilities are often considered unable of sustaining a long-term connection. The stigma is unfortunately all too real and can be demoralizing for everyone involved. Fortunately though, with the support of their families and Richcroft’s Residential Program, Danny and Maria’s situation is different. Not only have they managed to defy odds, get married, and live together as a couple, but they have learned to become each other’s greatest advocate!
Danny has been particularly vocal when it comes to his and his wife’s needs, feeling empowered to say, “My wife is having trouble with the stairs and we both would prefer to live in a rancher.” When residents speak their minds, we listen. As a result, the staff at Richcroft are in the midst of finding a new, more accommodating one-level home for the Rosners in order to ensure that their needs are being met.
Danny and Maria’s relationship has only gotten stronger over the years. Danny now runs his own vending machine business (a source of great pride), and Maria works at Mercy Ridge, a retirement community not far from their home. Together, they love attending church and singing in the choir; dining at their favorite restaurant, Carrabas; watching their favorite TV shows together (Full House and Secret Life); and taking vacations when possible. Maria is also an artist. Her project, “Maryland Blues” was featured in The Arc Baltimore’s Art in the Round event two years ago — and sold for $4000!
Like many others around the world, the pandemic shifted the way we could all socialize but Maria and Danny didn’t even let this dampen their spirits. They still enjoy meeting up with their friends over Zoom and making the most of their time outdoors by going on bike rides together.
Richcroft understands that all our individuals have unique necessities and requirements and we strive to provide a program of tailored care to all we support. All individuals who are in our Residential Program have access to an extensive and flexible array of supports, and staff who can help guide them in discovering their own needs, interests, and desires. For Danny and Maria, staff members have played an integral role in enabling their relationship to flourish and encouraging them to explore different activities and events. Studies show that service organizations, like Richcroft, are key to encouraging and enabling the close personal relationships of adults with disabilities.”
At Richcroft we are so thankful for our steadfast, nurturing, and giving staff members who do so much for the individuals they support. According to the Rosner’s long-time Residential Support staff, Mthunzi, “Being Danny and Maria’s caregiver has been one of the great joys of my life.” When it comes to love, nothing warms the heart more than stories of relationships that defy expectations and break traditional molds. To those of you who would like to help support the individuals, families, and staff members of Richcroft, please visit our website to see all the ways in which you can get involved!