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Accident And Syringomyelia Disabled Mother Seeks Free Grant Writing Help

by Christine
(Henderson, NV, USA)

I am a soon-to-be a 41-year-old mother of three that was on the fast track to becoming a nurse when I was involved in a car accident that changed my life.

I thought I had already been through the worst life could hand me when I had cancer surgery in January of 1999 and then lost my then husband Kurt to a car accident.

But I survived the treatments and the shock of losing not only my best friend and husband but also the father of my child.

I made do and did what I had to in order to provide the best possible home for my son. I eventually met and married my current husband and we worked hard to make the best of things.

I was forced to change careers in 2003 after the airline I worked with closed down. I went back to school and studied as hard as I could. I took classes to become a phlebotomist while continuing my education to become a nurse.

Just as I was finishing all of my pre-requisites for the nursing program my life was put into a tailspin.

After working the night shift at a local hospital, I took my kids to school. It was early and the traffic was heavy because of an accident on the highway, so I decided to get off one stop earlier than I normally would.

While waiting at the light at the end of the off ramp, I noticed a car coming up behind me, it was going too fast to stop and I knew it was going to hit me.

With my kids in the car my first thoughts were of them, so I turned to make sure they were okay when the van hit my minivan. The man driving had lost his brakes and hit us doing 45 mph.

I did not realize it at the time, but I had been hurt more than I could have imagined. It took a while for the adrenaline to subside and the pain to start, but when it did, I knew something was wrong.

By the time I got a real diagnosis, it was two weeks later and damage was already being done. I had lost the transverse processes off of my L4-L5 and there was a significant movement in my spinal cord.

I was going to need serious back surgery. I thought, okay, I can do this and then get back to my life. Little did I know that this back surgery was not going to be anywhere near the worse news I was going to get.

After the surgery, for which I was cut open back and front, I was told that I had a spinal cord syrinx that was pressing against the nerves running through my spinal column.

This is what had been causing the constant extreme pain that I was still experiencing even after the surgery that put 2 plates and 8 screws in my lower spine.

The problem with this new condition called SM (Syringomyelia) is that there is no cure. And that meant that the only options I had were to find things that could help me manage my pain.

But it also meant that there was no going back to work, no going back to school and no being able to do the things with and for my family that I had always done, like cleaning and cooking.

Standing, sitting, bending, twisting, lifting, all of these things were out, as they would cause more significant pain.

So here I am now, not able to work, not able to: pay my bills, get the changes I need to have done to my home to make things easier, get the equipment I need in order to try to maintain the little bit of health I have left.

And I have no way to make sure that my family is taken care of.

The small amount I get from SSD does not cover my mortgage and the other programs in my area are for those even worse off than I am.

I don't qualify at all for such programs because my husband has a job. He works for a non-profit that helps families get the help they need for their children in school.

He makes under $2K a month and pays $450 of that to his ex-wife for child support, so we end up $3K short every month since I have not been able to work.

I know I am not the first to have these types of issues, but I do know that if I cannot go to work to help others, I want to find ways to do it from my bed.

I participate in a website support group for SM and help newly diagnosed people deal with the condition that makes life hard to live.

I am looking for someone to help me put together a couple of grants because I need help for my family in order to make life livable and I want to help other families like mine that are going through this as well.

There are no organizations that offer free grant writing assistance in my area or in most areas.

Between the medications, medical bills, medical equipment and regular bills that this condition brings with it, I am hoping that there is a place to introduce hope into the plan and make my life and other SM sufferers' lives easier and less stressful, because stress is a big trigger for nerve pain.

And with less stress, the pain will be more manageable and life will be easier. Thank you for reading my story.

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