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Nancy (and Nick)
Hi, everyone! I'm Nancy. I grew up in Milwaukee Wisconsin, graduated from Pius XI High school and attended college at the University of Wisconsin Madison. After college, I was hired in retail management in the “Gold Coast” of downtown Chicago and then went on to work for ADP, a large human resource management company in Chicago. I married in 1989. My husband and I moved back to my home state to start our family. I decided to become a full time mother raising our four children. This was necessary due to the needs of my first child, who was born with a disability.
Nicholas James Salerno was born on a sunny and cold morning, Feb 12, 1996. He was a beautiful baby with lots of thick black hair. When he was six months old, we were shocked to learn he had Cerebral Palsy, an incurable permanent disability. Nicholas does not have full motor control of his arms and legs. He is totally dependent on others for his care. He is nonverbal but uses his beautiful brown eyes to communicate. He looks left for “yes”, right for “no”, up for “he doesn’t know” and down for “can you repeat the question”. He has made all of his life choices that way. He is extremely intelligent and has a special grace about him. I have never known him to have a bad day.
Unfortunately I had many bad days. I deeply struggled with Nicholas' diagnosis and how it affected our family's way of life. I felt isolated, scared and far from God. Then, one day, 18 years after Nicholas' original diagnosis, I heard a message from God that changed my life completely.
God’s love and mercy saved my life from the deep despair and depression, revealing a beautiful life that had been covered in tears and abandonment. I was “told” that I had to share my struggle with grief and faith in order to help others. I would never have believed that the Lord planned for my son to portray His son. This was something no one, myself included, would have thought could happen from such a disabled young man. Nick’s portrayal of Christ in the “Stations of the Cross” would lead to him being nominated by the Archbishop of Milwaukee as one of the ten most influential stories of 2014.
It is an honor and a privilege to be able to share my story. You too may have had similar hardships and heartbreaks, or know someone that has. My heart was healed. I hope now, to help others as I share my journey of God’s great love and mercy for my life.
BLESSED MOTHER TERESA
Nancy Salerno's inspirational presentations are ideal for:
Each talk is designed to be flexible to suit your time and budget constraints. Nancy's talks may run anywhere from 40 minutes to 90 minutes, and may include a Q/A session afterward. Please contact Nancy to discuss all specifics. A portion of Nancy's proceeds are donated to local Catholic charitable organizations.
Confessions of a
Special Needs Mother
Nancy shares her private world of pain, despair and isolation in raising her son Nicholas, diagnosed with a rare form of Cerebral Palsy as a child. In this talk, Nancy talks about how her heart was changed about her life and her son's diagnosis. Nancy invites you to learn how you, like her son, can be the face of love and mercy to others.
In this brand new talk, Nancy delivers a message that everyone can relate to. The voices you hear of negativity and failure can become your best friends. They never leave your side. There were years of struggling with not being good enough and endless self-doubt. Her health took a devastating turn, which brought her to her knees. Learn how God’s mercy once again lifted Nancy out of the pit of despair. She learned to break her ties of bondage. She hopes to free others caught in this destructive web of lies.
Unchained: A Story
This special presentation pairs Nancy's inspirational story with musician Anna Nuzzo. Anna enhances Nancy's words with her beautifully moving original songs. Through song and story, Nancy and Anna invite you to "be love" and see how you can be the face of Christ to others. Get to know Anna and her music by visiting her website.
A Witness Through Music and Words
Contact Now to Begin Planning Your Event with Nancy!
"What a great evening! Nancy was the only speaker at this two-day event where you could hear a pin drop! It was such a privilege to hear Nancy share her "Confessions of a Special Needs Mother" talk. To journey with her through the stages of emotions and to feel and share them as she tells her her story was incredible, all the while pictures of her family's were flashed across the screen. It was heart-wrenching as well as heart-warming.
National Council of Catholic Women
“As a parent of a special needs child, I strongly identified with Nancy’s witness. She shared the challenges frequently encountered when advocating for our children in places and with people unprepared to welcome their special gifts. More thananything I was moved by Nancy’s spiritual journey from self-blame to self-discovery and, yes, joy at being chosen and allowed to be Nicholas’ mom. Christ’s light shone through her full “yes” to the mission God had for her as mother."
Deacon Dale Nees
St. Paul Catholic Church, Racine, WI
"Nancy Salerno is one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet! As she beautifully unfolds the story of her unexpected life as a special-needs mom, you are immediately drawn into her world and can't help but fall in love with her and her family. Her inspiring talk leaves you wanting to be a better person and be love."
International Catholic Singer/Songwriter