New Opportunities Blossom in Daisy’s Life

Mosaic’s mission is to pursue opportunities that empower people. That mission became real in Daisy Kinison’s life, and I’m happy to share her story with you.

Daisy said she was looking for new opportunities when she decided to move from a group home into a host home setting. Nearly two years ago, she settled into a rural lifestyle on an acreage with Milissa Katschke, her service provider, and Milissa’s husband, Don. Since that time, the opportunities have not stopped coming her way.

She’s learned how to care for farm animals, everything from bottle feeding calves to caring for more than 50 free-range chickens to brushing the horses (although she does not want to learn to ride). She goes to a weekly farmers market to sell the eggs she gathers daily. Outdoor activities like gardening, camping and even fishing are now a routine part of her life. Additionally, with Milissa, Daisy takes in concerts, fairs, goes shopping and more.

On top of it all, she has even lost 100 pounds and is quite proud of herself.

Although Daisy has a ready and frequent smile, her life wasn’t always easy.

She’s only 37, but her mother died in 2000, and her father passed away eight years later. After his death, she moved into an apartment on her own. That presented challenges, too–it was expensive for Daisy, she was lonely and she couldn’t go anywhere or do anything because of her limited income. Instead, she moved into a group home.

It was soon evident to Daisy that a group home wasn’t her best solution, so she was matched with a Mosaic at Home provider. The matching process for Mosaic at Home takes a lot of time–we want people to feel at home and be comfortable with their service provider. The match worked out well for Daisy. But then, her provider suddenly passed away, and the person who stepped in to help (the provider’s daughter) just wasn’t a good fit. So Daisy returned to a group home setting.

Then Daisy found Milissa, and the two fit together right from the start.

Milissa had worked in the local school system as a paraprofessional with students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. She quit that job because she was ready for something different, and she soon became a caregiver to someone with dementia. Then, she heard about Daisy and Mosaic at Home.

“I had met Daisy,” Milissa said, “and a friend told me a few things about being a Mosaic at Home provider. I signed up to get more information. It has worked out really well.

“We go see friends of hers–we have some of the same friends. We like the same things. She loves to read, I love to read. We both like to do word searches. We like movies, and we like going out to movies. We both like concerts, and we go to county fairs. She likes to be my shadow.”

The two are close, so close that even though she has two daughters who live nearby, Don calls Daisy Milissa’s “other daughter.”

Daisy said that her 100-pound weight loss is the best thing that’s happened since moving in with Milissa, and having Milissa’s support and guidance was a key factor. In the group home, Daisy said, she wasn’t active and ate lots of snacks. That’s changed.

Now, Daisy makes it a point to exercise at least twice a week, and she goes for walks. She also has learned to monitor her eating, including her snacks, and has learned about portion size. Milissa said Daisy has even started cooking and likes to cook for the couple once a week.

“I have a lot more energy,” Daisy said, but “self-control was the hardest part.”

The bond between the two has also helped Daisy “open up” and become more comfortable in their home, Milissa said.

“She was a little bit quiet when she first moved in. But now my husband gives her a hard time, and she’ll give it right back to him,” she said.

She fits in with the rest of the family, too, and even traveled with Milissa to San Diego when Milissa’s son, a Marine drill instructor, graduated his first class. Often, young grandchildren also visit the farm, which Daisy said can get “kind of wild” with the 3- and 4-year olds. But it is clear that Daisy is happy.

“She’s never had a meltdown, never cried, never mouths off,” Milissa said. “She is usually all-around pleasant, and sometimes, she just giggles for no reason. Daisy says she enjoys living here because she is becoming a farm girl and loves helping with the animals!”

I think you’ll agree: it sounds like Daisy is in the right spot. 

I’m always pleased to share stories like Daisy’s. Across the 13-state Mosaic network, we strive to make success like hers possible for each person we serve.

Thank you for being a partner in our mission.

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