Liliya, a lively and vibrant 21 year old with Cerebral Palsy, has been a Princeton resident for most of her life. Wheelchair bound, and living with her parents in a cramped one bedroom apartment, Liliya has learned to make the best of every situation and does so with a smile on her face and laughter in her voice.
After learning Liliya was recently diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, The Friendship Circle, a non-profit organization that assists individuals with special needs, wanted to do more for Liliya. Liliya, a member of the Friendship Circle for more than ten years, and has formed close relationships with many of the volunteers. They have come to know her as a friend, a sister, and a person who has unselfishly made a difference in all of their lives.
Liliya envisioned a place she could call her own and Bassie Shemtov, director of Friendship Circle, put Liliya’s dream of independence into motion. Howard Schwartz and Bassie approached Matt Lester, CEO and founder of Princeton Enterprises, and asked for his help in providing Liliya with her own space. Once a location was selected, everything else fell into place.
Ashley Oleshansky, a Project Manager of Princeton, seamlessly coordinated the work between the apartment community, contractors, and The Friendship Circle. She worked with “many wonderful companies and was amazed by the number of generous people who came together to make a difference in Liliya’s life.”
With the help of numerous organizations, Liliya’s dream was taking form. Liliya would soon have a studio apartment with every modern convenience and technological advancement to make her life a bit easier and more enjoyable. With the help of local businesses and Belfor, Princeton converted the studio into a “home away from home” complete with a wet bathroom, kitchenette, Murphy bed, massage and therapy chair, smart TV with internet and Skype, and an arts and crafts area.
On May 4, 2012 “Team Liliya” and volunteers from The Friendship Circle gathered together to introduced Liliya to her new place where she can relax, visit with friends, and enjoy her new-found independence. As Liliya was shown around, tears of joy and excitement were evident on everyone’s face. Liliya smiled and looked at everyone that made this vision a reality, and simply stated, “this is pure magic.”