Life After Diagnosis
When Dan Holte was just 58 years old he was sidelined from his job as a barber with a myasthenia gravis diagnosis. Getting that news was not easy, nor was it easy to look forward. When working with an aquatic therapist at a local pool, Dan was approached by Diane Siekaniec from Freedom Resource Center. Diane introduced Dan to Freedom Resources and peer mentoring. At that time Dan became a mentee, working with a mentor who had a similar diagnosis. Over time, Dan became a mentor for other people who, like him, were facing new challenges. Dan works closely with Peer mentor specialist Paula Short so others can break down their own barriers to independence.
“The Peer Mentoring program is benifical for the mentor and mentee. People you would never meet under normal circumstances, and you form these relationships that continue long after the mentorship ends”-Dan Holte.
Dan is currently mentoring groups of youth who come from diverse backgrounds but share a common desire, to be a part of the community. Dan is helping them learn how to use the city bus, which opens the door to so many opportunities. “There is life after what happens to you”, Dan said smiling. Dan is also the vice president of the board of directors at Freedom Resource Center; a place Dan is thankful for finding. “If it wasn’t for Diane, I would have never known what Freedom was.”
This Giving Hearts Day, please consider donating to Freedom Resource Center. Your donation will strengthen our Peer Mentor program and allow others to see what they are capable of achieving. Go to givingheartsday.org on February 13th or call 1-800-450-0459.