Although, Jason Crawford has been a part of the St. Louis Center family since he was seven years old, the bond with his sister, Kelli, has always been strong.

Jason and Kelli Crawford grew up in Dearborn, MI, and Kelli is now a mom herself with twins, Justin and Katie. Her husband’s name is also Jason, which can lead to a lot of confusion in her home. But she loves her brother Jason, and fondly remembers life growing up with him.

“We’ve always been really close and he’s just been my little buddy,” said Kelli. “We did everything together growing up, even when he went away to school. He would come home every other weekend.  He’s been at SLC since he was seven, so it’s been 40 years. Part of my life was going out to SLC every week and picking him up or dropping him off. When I was there recently for his COVID vaccination, I hadn’t been in the gym since he was in a Christmas show on the the stage. And oh my, I remember how little he was. I couldn’t believe how fast time has gone by.

We always did everything together as a family, taking vacations and going to my soccer games. Even now, I pick him up, he comes to my house and I take him to dinner. We have a nice relationship. He’s been staying at my house recently, and he’s right at home as part of the family.”

Kelli has seen many changes at SLC. “It’s amazing, and it’s just so nice to see how the Center has grown. I was always concerned about what was going to happen to him as he ages. Originally there was just SLC, then he went up on the hill to St. Joseph Hall, then after that, where would he go?

So it was perfect that SLC kept looking toward the future. He’s been in Fr. Guanella Hall since it was remodeled. These past couple of years he’s really aged and slowed down a lot.

But now he’s getting one-on-one care, and there’s no barriers for the bathrooms and rails in the hallways. It’s quiet, it’s perfect, and he loves it. He has his own room, and he loves all the staff.”

Kelli continued, “my parents went on both Dream Cruise trips organized by the Center. SLC’s been really great for our family.”

*Note, 2021 Dream Cruise Trip “Splendor of Autumn:  A New England Color Tour” – booking available here


This story was originally published in the 2020 St. Louis Center Annual Report.