Just One of the Many Reasons Why We Support Easterseals Colorado
Cindy Charlton on staying strong — no matter what comes your way.
Cindy Charlton became a person with disabilities nearly 20 years ago after contracting a bacterial infection commonly known as the flesh-eating bacteria. Due to complications from the disease, Cindy lost three limbs and half of her chest. Just a few years later, after recovering from her illness, Cindy was dealt another blow — her husband passed away from cancer. She was left alone to raise two small children in a newly disabled body.
Cindy has faced some of the most horrific obstacles imaginable. And yet, she is determined to remain optimistic. Now, that optimism is inspiring countless people around Denver, including our team here at American Furniture Warehouse.
When her youngest child began 12th grade, Cindy decided to go back to work. A bit nervous that no one would hire a disabled woman who had been out of the workplace for nearly 16 years, Cindy was floored when she received a job offer from Easterseals Colorado.
“I was surprised at first, but then I thought, ‘of course, they would hire me,’” said Cindy. “Their mission is to change the lives of people with disabilities — and they have totally changed my life. Easterseals not only talks the talk, but they walk the talk.”
Cindy works with a Stroke Day Program participant at Easterseals Colorado
Not only has Easterseals Colorado totally changed Cindy’s life, but they’ve also changed the lives of people and families across Denver who are challenged by disabilities. As the Director of Rehabilitation Services and Stroke Day Program for Easterseals Colorado, Cindy is improving the lives of stroke survivors by helping them achieve greater independence through recreation, wellness, and employment.
“The Stroke Day Program provides an active, therapeutic environment for stroke survivors,” said Cindy. “This is where they can socialize, work on their speech skills, or even relearn simple everyday tasks, like how to make a meal.”
An Easterseals Colorado employee helps a Stroke Day Program participant with physical therapy.
The Stroke Day Program aims to help stroke survivors gain independence, confidence, and support in a social setting where they can meet people facing similar obstacles. And Cindy —who has two prosthetic legs and uses a hook for her arm — is the perfect person to understand what it means to become a person with disabilities in the blink of an eye.
“I totally get what it means to lose it all,” said Cindy. “And I also know what it means to then climb back out of that rabbit hole and reclaim your life.”
20 years after becoming disabled, Cindy Charlton spreads of message of hope.
As a longtime supporter of Easterseals Colorado, American Furniture Warehouse has donated more than $3 million dollars to help people like Cindy continue the crucial work of this vital nonprofit. This year, we are working with CBS EcoMedia to help fund a kitchen remodel that will offer more space for treatment and rehab.
“Right now we are on top of each other in one area,” said Cindy. “This remodel means more space, more equipment, and more opportunities to help people who are recovering from a stroke. Yes, it’s just a kitchen remodel, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to change lives.”
Cindy’s work at Easterseals Colorado is changing lives for people with disabilities each and every day — and that is a beautiful thing to witness. It’s no wonder so many have been inspired by her work.