Jeff’s Story

Baby-JeffJeff was born on May 22, 1965 in his home state of Michigan. Growing up with Prader-Willi syndrome was very hard for Jeff as none truly understood him. As a child, Jeff got into a lot of trouble and was often times very defiant and sassy, and would give his teachers and family a hard time. As a child Jeff struggled significantly with medical issues and had his first hip surgery when he was 2 ½ years old. He was then required to wear a full body cast for three months. When he was four years old, a second hip surgery was needed.

Jeff-at-the-Lake-1Throughout Jeff’s teenage years and early twenties, Jeff’s weight continued to climb to 225 lbs and his behaviors became more and more difficult to manage. When Jeff was 23 years old he moved into a group home in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan with five other individuals diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. He lived there for one year and then moved into Elmhurst Group Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One year later, Jeff’s mother heard about Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center (now Prader-Willi Homes of Oconomowoc) and Jeff made the trip to Wisconsin in December of 1990. Jeff loved living in Oconomowoc from day one. He wasn’t happy living in either of the group homes in Michigan and found a new sense of belonging in his new home with Prader-Willi Homes of Oconomowoc. Jeff especially loved being around other people with Prader-Willi syndrome and interacting with them.

JB-playing-Basketball2-1Today Jeff weighs a mere 125 lbs and has been in this healthy weight range for over a year. Jeff is proud to be part of the PWHO family and feels that if he would not have come to Oconomowoc when he did, he would be a very different person today and not the healthy, independent, loving man that he is now. He has a lot of friends and is proud to be a good role model to others. He strives to make a positive impact on others around him. Jeff loves spending time with his girlfriend and playing board and card games together. He loves participating in Special Olympics bowling and bocce ball. Jeff has even placed high enough to participate in the state tournament for bowling twice.

JB_ copyJeff likes spending time with children, going shopping, going out to dinner, and playing his Wii. Most of all, Jeff loves to travel and has been all over the country. He has attended many of the national PWSA-USA conferences and has visited many places including the Kentucky Derby, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Louise, and many, many more. Jeff’s favorite places he has traveled are Arizona, Georgia, and Canada. Jeff’s family is very proud of Jeff and all of his accomplishments. He is an absolute joy to spend time with and is loved by many, many people.