Guest Post: What’s Best for Ryan

Ryan smiles at Viking's Stadium.

How old are you?

That’s kind of a rude way to start out a talk, isn’t it? Most of you in the room probably grew up with the Nike “Just Do It” slogan. It was first introduced in 1988—28 years ago. Nike is now a globally recognized brand in just three words.

For 103 years, Mosaic hasn’t said, “Just Do It.” For 103 years, Mosaic hasn’t used “Just Do It” as a slogan or a gimmick. Instead, Mosaic just does it. “Just Do It” is the manner in which they care for our loved ones.

My son Ryan is 38—10 years older than the Nike slogan. He has been with Mosaic for 17 years because of the people at Mosaic and their dedication to the people they serve. As a mom, the hardest thing to do is to rely on someone else to care for your child, regardless of the age of that child. You have children and you dedicate your life to them. The people at Mosaic dedicate their lives to your child, too.

Ryan used to weigh 244 pounds. His back would hurt, his feet would hurt, he wanted to sit and do nothing. Mosaic has helped him be more independent and to make good choices for himself.

Today, Ryan weighs in at 176 pounds- an almost 70 pound difference! He plays basketball, baseball, kickball, goes bowling and enjoys working out in the gym. Mosaic made it happen.

Since then, Ryan has just taken himself on vacations. He’s learned how to save and budget his money each year and has taken four trips to Disneyworld – six days and five nights each – through an organization that plans trips for people with disabilities. Mosaic made it happen.

Ryan enjoys karaoke, sings in a church choir, and he has a larger music collection than I do. Did I mention he can NOT carry a tune – event in a bucket! But that’s Ryan—he’s creative and he’s an artist. His art has even been displayed in a gallery at Drake University. Mosaic made it happen.

Now, I’ve heard it be said that change is the spice of life. Well, I just turned 64 years old and I don’t really like spicy things! I will admit there a few things I don’t adjust well to, and change is one of them. A short time ago, Mosaic presented me with a change for Ryan. He has lived in an apartment with two roommates and shifts of 24/7 staff for several years, and now, the change—a host home. He would live with one person in their home day in and day out.

This was a new concept and my head started spinning, my heart started pounding and my stomach was doing flip flops. It felt like I was going to be giving my son to someone else. But isn’t that what I had done 17 years ago?

Yes, it was.

Hasn’t Mosaic done the very best for Ryan?

Yes, they have.

The more I thought about it, the better I felt. My head stopped spinning, my stomach settled down and my heart warmed.

Mosaic has found a way for my son to have the best of both worlds. A host home gives Ryan his own life, not one shared with two other people and a rotation of staff coming and going. That’s where Kyle fits in.

Actually, Kyle is the perfect fit.

Kyle had been one of those staff in Ryan’s apartment for years. They had become best friends! They had so many things in common—one of those was being Minnesota Vikings fans. They had taken trips up to Vikings games and on one occasion, they were allowed into the end zone before kickoff to take pictures and then allowed to stay there for the entire game.

Talk about a memory maker! Now, a new memory maker. One that will open new doors for Ryan and Kyle together. Am I hesitant about this new host home partnership?

No, not one bit. Mosaic made it happen; they just do it.

We all appreciate the way firefighters, paramedics and first responders do their jobs. They do what needs to be done—so does Mosaic. For 103 years, Mosaic hasn’t said “Just Do It.” For 103 years, they haven’t used “Just Do It” as a slogan or a gimmick.

Instead, Mosaic just does it. Thank you, Mosaic.

The preceding post is the personal story of Ryan Mueller and Joan Robinson. Ryan is served by Mosaic in Central Iowa. Joan shared this story at Mosaic in Central Iowa’s latest Partners in Possibilities luncheon, which gathers community members together to learn about and invest in Mosaic’s mission.

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