Richie* was born with loving parents, bright eyes, and a weak heart. After enduring his first heart surgery at six days old, Richie spent most of his first year in the hospital. As he grew, he endured bullying at school, and then, in an incredibly painful blow, when Richie was little, his home burned to the ground and he lost everything. Even his beloved family pets.
By the time Mia* was placed with her foster parents, Joseph and Traci, she was severely traumatized and almost nonverbal. At only five years old, she’d already endured sexual abuse, chronic neglect, and frequent hunger.
Mark Gilbert joined the Nexus family when he was 23. As an adolescent, he drifted into drinking and drugs, then theft. For six years, he was in and out jail, always running, always chasing elusive dreams.
It was a vicious cycle. "I’d get high feel good, go out and do something stupid, then regret it. I got to the point where I hated life…”