From Brain Injury to Dancing: Marina’s Story


Five-year-old Marina is a happy, playful child. Seeing her dance and sing to her favorite songs is a joy of her foster mother’s. It’s hard to believe that just seven months ago, Marina experienced a traumatic brain injury that would change her life forever.


In September of 2019, doctors completed life-saving surgery that involved removing part of Marina’s skull to ease the swelling of her brain. Marina’s journey to healing would be long, but she wouldn’t be without help.


As she recovered from surgery, Marina was placed in the care of Raintree Children and Family Services’ Therapeutic Foster Care program. That’s where she finally found love and support from her foster parent, Jennifer.


For the next three months, Jennifer brought Marina to therapy appointments, and gently washed her hair so her scar would heal properly. Adjusting to their new life was a challenge for both Jennifer and Marina. Since her injury was so profound, activities like walking and running – things a five-year-old would love to do – were terrifying for Jennifer. As the days and weeks went by, Jennifer watched Marina carefully to make sure her injury would heal. This past November, Marina was finally able to go back to school. It was a huge milestone for the little girl who was in critical condition just months ago. Today, Marina is a joyful child who Raintree case managers describe as loving and helpful. Marina gets to enjoy things like dancing, playing with her doll, and learning games on her tablet – activities that every child deserves to enjoy.


Foster parents like Jennifer can make all the difference to a child’s life. Foster parents help children in their community by providing them with dedicated care and support in their home. They are shoulders to lean on, an open heart for support, providing compassionate care to children who need a loving home. There are children in your community who need your help. If you have an open bedroom and an open heart, you’re one step closer to helping a foster child in your community. To learn more about what it means to be a foster parent with Raintree Children and Family Services, visit our website.

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