Gwendolyn Mote had already raised one child in her late teens and early twenties, so when she got pregnant at 34, it was quite a shock. She refused to accept the fact that she was pregnant for several months. The doctors she was referred to through the Healthy Start program at the Nassau County Health Department not only convinced her she indeed was pregnant, but they also laid out a health plan for her and her baby.
“So much had changed in the time between pregnancies,” Gwendolyn said. “I had changed. I was not mentally or otherwise prepared to have another baby. He came just as everything seemed to be going wrong in my life. “
It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. Gwen developed gestational diabetes and the care she received was vital for both her and her baby. She was enrolled in the Healthy Start program and later, after her son Casstian was born, in the Healthy Families program.
“Now I realize that Casstian was sent to me as a gift from God. He has blessed my life in so many ways I can’t even tell you.”
Casstian is now a happy, healthy 7-year-old. His classmates and friends call him funny, talented. He enjoys playing with neighbors and singing with his Boys and Girls Club Chorus.
“Healthy Start showed me how to be the best mom I could be. They taught me patience, found ways to help us with things I didn’t even know we needed. They showed me how to never give up. “