Crescent Cove Marks One-Year Anniversary
In a perfect world, every child would be born healthy. But life can occasionally throw unexpected curveballs to the youngest and most vulnerable.
“The reason that we come here is because of our daughter, Charlie,” said Jo Schifsky, a mother from Mendota Heights. “She is the youngest of four. She has holoprosencephaly, which is a diagnosis that is considered non-compatible with life.”
Schifsky’s daughter, Charlie, is almost 7. And in her short life, she’s experienced a host of challenges.
“She’s got cerebral palsy, epilepsy, diabetes insipidus, she has a whole plethora of diagnoses,” Schifsky said.
Charlie’s condition requires around-the-clock care, leaving Schifsky and her family without the opportunity for many breaks.
“Being a special needs family is really isolating. Really, really isolating,” she said.
“An Opportunity to Step Away”
The isolated feeling took a turn when Crescent Cove in Brooklyn Center opened its doors. It has twice provided Charlie with a home away from home, while Schifsky could take a short break.
“An opportunity to step away and just catch your breath is amazing,” Schifsky said.
That’s just one example of the impact Crescent Cove has made on families since opening last year.
“All of our staff and volunteers are incredible people,” said Katie Lindenfelser, founder and executive director of Crescent Cove.
The home has six bedrooms and space for therapy and recreation. Staff members have provided respite for 35 families since it opened.
“Everything that we do and provide to families is at no cost to them,” Lindenfelser said.
Fulfilling a More Difficult Role
Generous donations help to make Crescent Cove possible, but in the coming months and years, this home will fulfill a more difficult role.
“We know that this is a home that holds a lot of joy, but also a lot of sorrow,” Lindenfelser said. “So as we look to next year, we know that there will be families who aren’t leaving with big smiles that they had a break. There will be lots of tears shed as well.”
Tears because Crescent Cove also serves as a hospice facility for children. It’s a function that families hope they’ll never have to utilize. Yet it’s also why Schifsky and her family feel comfortable taking Charlie here.
“It’s easy for us to leave her in the care of the staff here, knowing that if it was the end of life for her, it would be beautiful,” Schifsky said.
Crescent Cove has an operating budget of $2 million, which allows them to care for children 24/7. If you’d like to help, you can donate at through the Crescent Cove website.