Having been a member of Ilene’s circle of support for over 11 years and she has not only touched my life, but the lives of all those she encounters. I have always been able to see the love she has for everyone around her. When we first met, she came running from another room, landed on the couch next to me, and grabbed my hand. I was instantly overwhelmed by her love and warmth toward others.

It took no time for us to become comfortable with each other. She played the piano for me, and shared the adventures and stories of her life, such as how she was born in Chicago in 1961 and is a proud sister of two younger brothers “who are very smart.” She never leaves out the minor details, like dates or locations, for Ilene will tell you it is all “important you know!”

Ilene has worked full time since she moved on her own in 1991, and has a number of successful jobs. She currently works, and has for the last 13 years, in the gift department at the UCLA Foundation at a position that was specifically designed for her. On her recent return from a vacation to Hawaii, Ilene’s boss was relieved to have her back since no one could perform her job like she can. She is also the chair of her own meetings, where she keeps other members “in check” with her gavel.

With her wonderful circle of support, Ilene’s friends have introduced her to many different aspects of society, consisting of dancing, the application of make-up, and the “Hollywood scene.” She lives in a one bedroom apartment on the Westside of Santa Monica. Living in the vicinity of Hollywood and having a staff member who is an actress, Ilene feels that she too, is a celebrity. Because of this, Ilene has walked comfortably onto countless movie sets, always “schmoozing” with the stars.

Over the years she has spoken at several conferences, and can even be seen in the documentary, “Fires of the Mind,” where her 120 word per minute typing speed was featured. She is also a national spokeswomen for “Healing Gaia”, a holistic nature-based program for people with disabilities.

I enjoy and cherish the time I spend with Ilene. With a strong support system, Ilene lives a fulfilling life and has touched the lives of many. She has made me a stronger person, and I am excited for our friendship to grow for years to come.

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