PNC Bank is the proud sponsor of LifePath’s Outstanding Family Award

Hearing that Stephanie Kuen, LifePath Assistant Supervisor was on duty, the Liu family did what they do best.

They helped.

“It was so sad that Stephanie couldn’t be with her son on Mother’s Day,” said Tina (Liu) Rehberg, Allentown resident. “So we brought her son to her.”

That day, the Liu family arranged to pick up Stephanie’s son, bring him to the Weiders Lane LifePath house and host a Mother’s Day luncheon celebration.  

The Liu-Rehberg’s niece, Michelle Liu, has been a resident of LifePath for two years and during this time the Rehbergs and Lius have not only embraced the LifePath family, but have made it truly a part of their own.
Michelle Liu was born on December 19, 1979 in Glendale, Arizona to Taiwanese-Americans Henry and Inger Liu while Henry was working as an engineer at Honeywell.

College sweethearts, Henry Liu and Inger met during a college student activity and have been together ever since. A year after Michelle’s birth, Henry got a job at AT&T Bell Laboratories and the family moved to their new home in the Lehigh Valley.

At three months of age, Michelle began experiencing recurring seizures and was soon diagnosed  with Sturge-Weber Syndrome which, in Michelle’s case, is a condition characterized principally by seizures, a facial birthmark, muscle weakness on one side of the body, and cognitive sequencing issues.

As Michelle grew older, the frequency of seizures increased causing Michelle to suffer dangerous falls and serious injuries.

In an effort to help alleviate the high frequency of seizures, Michelle had surgery to remove a portion of the right side of her brain. But despite the surgery, the seizures continued.

While the family was learning to live with the side effects of Michelle’s disorder, life went on. After twenty years in the Lehigh Valley, Henry accepted a position in Shanghai China and moved wife Inger, Michelle, and Michelle’s youngest sister, Elisa to the city above the sea, while Michelle’s other sister, Patricia, remained in the US to attend college.

However, anti-seizure medicine in China was scarce. So scarce, that Tina (Michelle’s aunt) brought medicine to China periodically to make sure Michelle had enough supplies.
The Liu family eventually thought it best for Michelle to be in the United States where medication and care were more available, so Michelle, along with her mother and youngest sister, Elisa, returned to the Lehigh Valley and eventually found their way to LifePath.

“When we got to LifePath, it was like a breath of fresh air,” Tina said. Tina now acts under a power of attorney for Michelle as Inger and Henry still reside in China. “Everyone is so nice,” she said.
But it goes both ways…

Since Michelle moved to Weiders Lane, she has fully engaged in the LifePath experience attending the Bethlehem Day Program, participating in painting parties, social events, special outings and even the talent show (where she sings solos!). At many of these events, her family – Inger, Henry, and Michelle’s sisters, Patricia and Elisa and Michelle’s brother-in-law, Martin, together with Tina and Tina’s husband John Rehberg also participate.

The Liu family also showers Michelle’s housemates, staff and staff’s family with kindness and gifts. They purchase special items for the house to share too, like a rice cooker and even an aroma therapy machine.  During the holidays, they bring presents for everyone and trips to the Asian grocery store yield goodies and treats for all.
Their kindness extends beyond treats and gifts too. Whenever the Lius visit the Weiders Lane house, they make it a point to have a conversation with each housemate, which makes the residents feel very valued and special. Last year, when one of the individuals in the house passed, the Lius were there with kind words, gentle conversations and a place of solace. And during holidays or long holiday weekends, they are always there with helping hands and support, attending church with the house residents and participating in barbeques, picnics and outings.

The Lius are an embodiment of LifePath’s mission, always helping wherever they can and showing unconditional dignity and respect to all.

“We love our job here at LifePath,” said Stephanie Kuen, “The Liu family just makes us love it even more.”

The Liu family will be honored at the 2016 LifePath/PICPA luncheon held on November 23rd at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center in Fogelsville as PNC Bank’s 2016 Outstanding Family of the Year.