Sian’s 5 year goal was to own (instead of rely on long-term leases) her first “Freedom To Live Training Home (Campus), so the model she would build could be permanent and replicated Nation wide one day. Sian knows this is a lofty goal but believes what happened at the 1997 Ironman finish line 20 years ago happened for this specific cause and is why she has committed to race one last time in Kona to raise awareness, share the incredible stories and invite all of you to join her in what she knows will be an amazing journey and race for FREEDOM.
Why One Million Dollars?
Sian Welch is racing Kona one last time; this time not to win the race but to win FREEDOM for the recipients of Freedom To Live.
Why One Million Dollars?
Your support and donations will help Freedom To Live buy its first permanent Independence Training Campus for people living with SCI who battle and persevere everyday to cross their own finish line.
Sian launched FTL and began serving people in 2011 after an initial funder understood the great need and saw Sian’s passion and commitment to her mission. 5 years later and after helping over 30 FTL recipients find hope, purpose, independence and long term happiness for their lives, Sian is ready to take FTL to the next level. The Million Dollar Campaign is Sian’s way to call upon and ask the millions of people that know her through her crawl to the 1997 Ironman finish line to HELP. She hopes that people that have been inspired by her determination 20 years ago will be inspired to help people that need that kind of persistence and determination to get through their own “ironman” race everyday!!
“Spinal cord injured people haven’t just lost a race, sometimes they have lost the ability to do most ALL (physical) things for themselves; their challenges are enormous and lifelong. As my crawl to the finish line inspired so many people, I now realize why that happened to me. I have the tremendous opportunity and blessing of knowing each FTL recipient intimately and being a part of their very difficult, brave and long journey. I find myself so inspired by the recipients of FTL and the many others I have known over the years who continue to demonstrate “against all odds” courage and determination to once again find hope, purpose, independence and true happiness in their lives after an injury that changes EVERYTHING.”
Hi my name is Sian Welch and I am the executive director of Freedom To Live Foundation. Our mission is not only to provide accessible affordable housing to people that are stuck living in long-term care facilities but we also use our 30 years of expertise and experience to help individuals and their families get from A to B to C after being blind sided by a catastrophic injury.
My Mom, Mary Williams, is a RN and 30 years ago she saw a major gap in the system and after creating a solution and building a program that proved 100% successful, the gap is still there without New Start Homes. After selling New Start in 2010 it was apparent that the mission that was started 30 years ago in the heart of a passionate nurse was not going to continue in a for-profit world.
Even though the resources that it takes to move one from an institutional warehousing situation to independent living is nothing more than time and consulting and having affordable, accessible housing available, there isn’t any bottom line profit to this service.
Mary Williams built a for-profit company to fund her non-profit mission. When I was in high school my parents sold our home to answer the calling my Mom had. In my senior year of high school I had 4 roommates that were ventilator quadriplegics. I didn’t really question what my mom did back then but I experienced the sacrifice and the blood sweat and, many times, tears it took to persevere what she believed in.
As the executive Director of FTL I am committed to seeing that all the knowledge, experience and passion of my mom continues. I pray one day, the mission to provide affordable and accessible housing together with the Independence Training Program to people and their families living with a catastrophic disability can reach people all over the US.
Sian Welch serves as FTL’s capable, committed and compassionate leader, and she is the driving force behind the organization. With her mother, Mary Williams, serving as her mentor and role model, Sian was destined to dedicate her life to the service of others. She grew up in the same household as many quadriplegics and others with spinal cord and neuromuscular related afflictions, learning to look past their medical devices and physical limitations to see people with great potential and capacity for reaching amazing success in this life.
Sian’s background includes 10 years as a Professional Triathlete, 8 years working in Real Estate, 2 years as Client Advocate and Program Developer for New Start Homes and presently is the Executive Director of Freedom To Live Foundation and CEO and Administrator of New Start Home Health Care Inc. which partners with FTL.
Freedom to Live Foundation (FTL) provides a “campus living” Independence Training Program for SCI individuals who desire to achieve independence and a better quality of life by managing every aspect of their life but, need an affordable, accessible and collegial-like living environment in which they can have the time and support to learn life-long skills so they can recognize in advance and overcome the many new challenges facing them after leaving rehab, moving home or transferring from a long-term nursing facility. FTL applies all of its energy and effort into finding “what can be” for our recipients rather than merely settle for “what is.”