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54 Year Old Disabled Dialysis Patient Needs Housing And Medical Grant Money

by Mary Conner
(Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

My name is Mary Conner. My life changed when I became disabled after being put on peritoneal dialysis September 19, 2007.

A family history of diabetes and high blood pressure resulted in diabetes at age 35 and dialysis at age 51.

My family history includes my father (died as result of diabetic coma), my mom (diabetes and colon cancer), two brothers (stroke and amputee), and two sisters (stroke and diabetes).

Having been diagnosed as diabetic in 1991, I took my medication for diabetes and high blood pressure but failed to control the diseases.

Employed as an Administrative Manager for two Fortune 500 companies for 15 years combined, diabetes and high blood pressure did not prevent me from fulfilling my obligations to the positions.

I took the medications but failed to keep the blood sugar and blood pressure under control. A visit to the kidney doctor in June 2007, revealed an eight percent kidney function, which put me at Stage 4 renal failure.

At that time I was employed as a customer service representative making $34,000 per year.

The nephrologist explained the process of kidney failure and signed me up to attend a class on the different types of dialysis available to me.

After the class, I decided to go on peritoneal dialysis because it would give me the most flexibility and provide me with a life close to normal.

Going on dialysis before my kidneys failed was a life-saving decision because when the kidneys failed, I would have no guarantee that I would be able to get medical attention in a timely manner.

Performing peritoneal dialysis would permit me to perform dialysis overnight and during the day, I would be able to keep doctor's appointment, etc.

When on peritoneal dialysis a catheter is surgically placed in the abdomen and has tubing that extends outside of the body to allow the patient to perform dialysis.

The area where the tubing comes on the outside of body is called the 'exit' site. This tubing is about six to eight inches long and has a port at the end of the tubing that allows the patient to connect to the dialysis machine called a 'cycler' and perform dialysis.

When the patient is not performing dialysis, the tubing is taped to the body. Dialysis patients cannot lift more than 10 pounds for fear of stressing the catheter or straining the abdomen.

The daily medications for dialysis patients range from 10 to 12 different medications per day with side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, constipation and diarrhea, which makes it difficult to maintain regular employment.

There are visits to the dialysis centers that are scheduled and unscheduled. Fatigue is a daily part of the dialysis patient's life.

Being on peritoneal dialysis has taken a toll on me physically and financially. Physically, I am limited because I get tired more often and cannot perform tasks for a long period of time. Financially, I live on the bare minimum.

Social security Disability did not start until April 2008, five months after I applied. My rent payments were $595 and utilities averaged $95 per month. The Social security Disability is now $1470 per month.

My medication is paid for with the assistance I received from the social worker who was able to get assistance from the drug companies that provide some of the medication.

They provide me with a card that only cost $5 per prescription refill but that covers just two of the medications. I am covered by Medicare, which is only for medical or hospitalization.

Owning a home would provide me with the security of knowing I have a place to live without the fear of lease payment increasing each year and having to pay for amenities I do not use such as swimming pool, tennis courts and general grounds maintenance.

I am sharing my story with you because I am seeking financial assistance in the form of a grant of $100,000 to purchase a home.

With the housing market in the shape it is in now, there are many homes available to me at a very good price that would otherwise not be available.

Many of these homes are foreclosures in the price range that would allow me to afford the taxes and utilities with my current income.

Currently my rent is $629 and the utilities average $85 per month. I pay for other amenities in the apartment unit that I consider in excess.

Some of those items are: administrative fee of $6.99, water $16.40, sewer $15.29, trash $7.99, common electric $5.46, local power company $75, cable charge $25, and pest control $4.99 per month. Please note that some of these monthly charges would not occur monthly in a house.

Your consideration of me for a grant to purchase a home would make life for me better.

I deal with the dialysis but one less worry of increasing lease payments would make the ordeal of dialysis more bearable.

I am looking to get on the transplant list as well.

Sincerely,
Mary Conner

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Sep 10, 2010
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Housing Repair & Modification Help in Georgia
by: Katina from Accessible.org

Congratulations on making the effort to submit your story to Accessible.org.

With the publication of your story, you are now well on your way to:

1. Getting your story known to a wide audience that could help you.

2. Getting your story polished up and presentable so you can submit it elsewhere, including the White House.

As a disabled person myself, I can sympathize with your situation and I definitely understand your need for help.

I've done a bit of research and found these resources for you:
HUD Housing Program Georgia
http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/states/georgia

NRCSHHM
Supportive Housing and Home Modification
http://www.usc.edu/dept/gero/nrcshhm/directory/

Please let us know if the resources have helped you in any way.

Katina from Accessible.org

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