Dawn Weaver

All Heart and All In

February 2024 IssueDawnWeaver0224

by Edwina Hoyle
Photography by
Cassidy Dunn Photography

Dawn Weaver’s life has always been one of giving care, loving others and relying upon her rock-solid faith. “I draw all my strength from the Lord. He will not abandon or forsake me,” she said. Dawn has certainly been tested, however. Her 34-year-old son, Jonathan suffered a traumatic brain injury as an infant has required 24-hour full care—feeding, bathing, dressing, everything—ever since.

“Jonathan is very verbal. He tells everyone, ‘I am unique because I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God.’” Dawn said he is sweet and captures everyone’s hearts. “I don’t let his limitations hold him back. I want him to get the fullest life, and I push him to his limits.” Everyone knows him fondly as “Scooby” because he has always loved to watch “Scooby Doo” cartoons. He has t-shirts, hoodies, shoes, and room décor with Scooby designs.

Jonathan has been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and is awaiting surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He spent three weeks at a hospital in Charleston, and then two weeks at Mayo Clinic. “In October, we almost lost him,” Dawn said. He was unresponsive after surgery. “I was on my knees intensely praying over my child. I was praying, Lord, let your will be done. I’m taking care of one of God’s special children. My grace and faith will get me through. After about ten minutes, he sat up and asked for coffee. The doctor told everyone, ‘You just witnessed a miracle.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Your prayers were answered.’”

Dawn’s sister, Debbie Peeples, who is her “best friend and a phenomenal woman,” has stepped in to manage Dawn’s home health care agency, Above and Beyond Caregiving, while Dawn is with her son. “God blessed me with Debbie to fill my mother’s shoes,” she said.

Dawn has also taken in her daughter’s 73-year-old mother-in-law, Virginia, who is deaf and mute, and provides her with love and care. “Both Jonathan and Virginia have infectious smiles and such joy,” she said. “My clients ask me to bring Virginia with me. She’s caring and helpful with the elderly.” Sometimes Jonathan visits her clients, too.

Dawn was instilled with determination and faith as a child growing up in Ridgeland, S.C. Well-known and respected in the community, her mother was the principal at the public school. “Mom was a phenomenal woman. She always taught us to strive to be our very best and to be kind to all.” Her mother encouraged love, not hate, and her example of faith was a powerful influence. Dawn had perfect attendance at church for 14 years as a child, and her faith continues to sustain her today.

Dawn helped care for her mother until she passed away. Then she packed up and moved to Rock Hill, S.C., to care for her 93-year old grandmother, who was also a positive role model for Dawn. Her grandmother taught school, retired at age 75, and then went back to teach night school to disabled adults with special needs. When her husband’s grandparents needed care, Dawn moved to Mississippi where she lived for 14 years. Her husband died of testicular cancer, so she raised their three children herself, and adopted a fourth. Her son, Joe, was 13 when Dawn adopted him. “He was the same age as my son and didn’t have the best life. He was living in an abusive household, so I adopted him. I was a single mom for 34 years.”

“I do what I do,” Dawn said. “I put everybody ahead of me. I never complain. I’m always at full speed, going, going, going. I take my clients out, clean for them, whatever they need. People always tell me I go above and beyond and ask me if I ever stop. No, I don’t. I don’t feel any entitlement. I work for everything. The world owes me nothing.”

Then Dawn’s world changed, quite by coincidence. She ran into Mark, a casual acquaintance, at a local gas station one day and they exchanged pleasantries. He told her he would pick her up that Saturday night for Valentine’s Day. She didn’t expect him to show up, but he did. “He was like a knight in shining armor, wearing black jeans and a black jacket with roses in his hands. We sat and talked for hours. It was the best time of my life.

“Now we’re always together. Mark loves Johnny, and they do guy things together like Nascar. They are both Dale Earnhardt fans. Mark is soft spoken and kind, and he completes me and levels me out. He’s the piece I had been missing my whole life. I never knew what true happiness was. My happy place is a cabin in the mountains, so Mark surprises me every February for Valentine’s Day. It’s my rest and relaxation.”


Up Close:
• Dawn loves crafting, painting, and making jewelry and ornaments. She has one client who has a seasonal tree in her home, and Dawn freshens the ornaments as the seasons change.

• A true Lowcountry native, Dawn enjoys walking on the beach and swimming.

• Her son, Mikey, his wife, Brook, and her grandson, Finn, live in Texas. She has a great-grandson on the way!

• Her baby girl, Anna, now 37, has two boys of her own, Parker (12) and Taylor (14). Anna and her husband, Timmy, live in Bluffton, where Dawn’s son, Joe, also lives.