The giggles start from the moment he hears the garage open. Before 27-year-old Christopher Strasburg even sees who's on the other side, he knows it's his best friend Sue Burkhard.
Burkhard works for Help At Home, a program that helps people with disabilities, like Christopher, learn how to live independently.
"A few times a week, Sue comes over to play," Christopher said through a speaking app.
HOMETOWN HERO! As the world became more isolated, Sue Burkhard gave friendship. Her job is to teach people with intellectual disabilities to be independent. She’s a lifeline for people like Christopher and he’s important to her too. "They're my best friends,” she said. ❤️ @6abc pic.twitter.com/nGC47B6ryV— Beccah Hendrickson (@Beccah6abc) May 5, 2021
"Because he is non-verbal, Sue is his voice and I can't thank her enough for that. She treats Christopher and all of her friends with such dignity, respect and love," said his mom, Pam.
That's the keyword for Burkhard: friendship.
"They're my best friends. They're the best friends anyone could ask for. They're a lot of fun," said Burkhard.
When the pandemic hit, Burkhard was a constant for Christopher. She would take him on adventures outside to places like Doylestown Central Park. His parents say she was a lifeline for him.
"Just trying to find things to do where they weren't around other people, to try and keep them safe and their families safe," said Burkhard.
"I just can't imagine our life without her in it," said Pam.