UNSUNG HEROES: Renée’s Story

With celebrations all around us, the Center for Family Involvement is taking a moment to celebrate the people in our lives who have no idea what a huge difference they have made, the unsung heroes.

Graphic with black background that reads: 
Who is your... Unsung Hero
Renee's Story. 
Images of super hero with Center for Family Involvement Logo. The words "unsung hero" in comic book cloud with orange behind it. Bottom left reads, In memory of ... Geri Allen with a photo of her. Bottom right is a picture of Renee with a heart at the bottom of the photo.

Our co-director of the Family to Family Network of Virginia Renée Soniat shares:

“Before my child was diagnosed with autism, I had a lot of concerns that were dismissed by our pediatrician. I came across some information that led me to Geri Allen, an occupational therapist in our area. Although Geri’s practice did not accept our insurance at the time, she spent 3+ hours on the phone with me, validating my concerns and giving me the very best tips I didn’t know I needed. My conversation with Geri undoubtedly changed the trajectory of support for my son in a very positive way.

 Several years after that conversation and very shortly after her passing, our new insurance was accepted at the practice Geri had owned. For the first time, my child finally had a therapist who he connected with and actually looked forward to seeing each week. It didn’t hurt that she made it fun and allowed him to ride belly down on a flat, 4-wheeled scooter in the hallway! I know that Geri’s legacy lives on today through the care and compassion of all the therapists, patients, and families she touched in some way. I am grateful for that conversation with her all those years ago. Geri was an unsung hero in her calm presence and her words of wisdom when I needed them most.”