Cancer Disabled Young Woman Seeks Disability Grant For School Return
(Salinas, California, USA)
I am a 22-year-old single female living at home with my mother. I love music, dancing and hanging out with friends.
My ambition is to become a music video producer and lead a productive and independent life.
I would also like to in some way repay my mother for both the financial and emotional support she has unstintingly provided.
About a year and half ago I was experiencing excruciating pain down my left hip and leg. Our family doctor misdiagnosed it as sciatica, an inflammatory nerve condition.
The doctor basically told me that there was nothing that could be done except prescribe painkillers and I would just have to learn to live with it.
I tried to continue working and to live a normal life but I had constant pain and was unable to stand for long periods. Some days the pain was so strong I couldn't even make it to work.
Eventually this led to me losing my job and made me basically bedridden. After enduring the pain for several months, it just became unbearable in spite of the painkillers and I went to see another doctor.
It was the second doctor who discovered a tumor in my pelvic bone. The tumor had actually eaten through the bone and it was this that caused the tremendous pain.
This doctor referred me to cancer specialists at Stanford Medical Center who confirmed that it was indeed cancer, a particularly malignant form called Ewing's Sarcoma, which has a low survival rate.
After going through more than a year of chemotherapy and radiation, the latest tests show no traces of the cancer.
I will still need to be monitored regularly and have tests and check-ups for several years, but my doctors are very optimistic of a complete recovery.
However, the cancer treatment has severely depleted my body and it will take several months before I am able to fully function and return to work.
Being only 22 years old, I feel extremely frustrated that I can't keep up with my friends and am exhausted after only minimal physical activity.
The chemotherapy caused damage and I may never be able to overcome the resulting side effects.
Even when I am able to work again, the particular area of California where I live has a high cost of living as well as high unemployment and I'm not sure that I will find a job.
I've come to realize that my best option would be to move to a state where I may find more opportunities.
While I had been receiving unemployment and am currently receiving disability, these are minimal amounts that can't cover living expenses.
My mother and family have been my source of financial support and although my mother's insurance and the state's Medi-Cal have paid for the majority of medical costs, the portion that was not covered and the related non-medical costs have been substantial.
We live 80 miles from Stanford so there was constant traveling and with the high cost of gas, having to stay overnight at hotels and eating out, it was very expensive and my mother's savings were wiped out.
My mother is the only one working in our household and while she can manage the household bills and mortgage, that doesn't leave much left over.
I am in need of assistance to make the move to another state, set up living arrangements (rent for some months, basic furniture, etc.) and have money for living expenses while I find a job.
I would like to eventually return to school and would appreciate any assistance with school costs -- tuition, books, etc.
I would like some sort of grant to help me out with my future plans. Anything would help really, including any work programs available to me as a disabled person. I'm a fast learner and very tech savvy when it comes to computers/editing/html.
My future is what worries me the most since Chemo took away a year of my life. I just want to be successful and live a comfortable life.