MARYLAND

Wilhelmina Frederick gives kids a second chance at love

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A little boy named Angel is getting a second chance thanks to a foster mother who refused to give up on him.

Over the last 20 years, Wilhelmina Frederick of Upper Marlboro has fostered 21 children for the National Center for Children and Families.

"Pull up your shirt, baby," she said to Angel.

Four-year-old Angel was born very sick, with cocaine in his system.

"Angel's parents were on drugs," Frederick added.

He now uses a feeding tube. Angel has autism, scoliosis and lung disease. When he came to Frederick two years ago, he was in a wheelchair. But the doctors didn't know Frederick.

"Because they said he wouldn't walk, he runs. He runs now," she boasted.

Like Angel, the other 20 children who've come to live with Frederick over the years have had their own issues - emotional and psychological.

"I've had some very troubled teens, very troubled teens," Frederick continued. "But you know what, love goes a long way. I love them back to health."

And with her limitless love, comes important life lessons.

"You have to contribute.You have to give back.Even though life was hard for you in the beginning, you've been on a gravy train since you been here, and I know you have," Frederick said.

The National Center for Children and Families calls Frederick a blessing.

Social Worker Elizabeth Frein said, "She loves all of the children, whether they are here for a few days or several years, or she adopts them and they become a permanent part of her family."

Frederick vows she'll never let her age keep her from mothering children who need it.

"I'll always do it. If I have to sit in a chair like this, with a remote control, because trust and believe, it's going to be remote control. I will still do it," she proclaimed. "I love them, each and every last one of them. "

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent for the National Center for Children and Families, click here or call Katedra Sullivan at 202-396-9330.

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