Dad Disabled By Lyme Disease To Use Grant Money To Improve Home
by Anthony Belville
(Bradenton, Florida, USA)
I am a 41-year-old male. I have three children, ages 14, 13 and 9. I have custody of them. Their mother lives on the street behind us but has little or no contact with them. I am raising them on my own with my disability check.
I was one of the first patients in Pennsylvania with Lyme disease when I was about 17. Nobody knew what we had, so a whole floor was evacuated and dedicated just to us patients. Many passed away before a cure could be found, some were cured, and I was the only one allergic to the cure.
I was in a coma for six months and then rehab for another year. I had to learn to read, write, eat and walk again. The reading and writing part I never fully regained. I worked for a few years until it got unbearable and I could no longer move.
The disease eats away at the cartilage between my bones and makes it very painful to move. I have been on disability and Social Security for more than five years now and will be for the rest of my life.
I have a pain pump surgically inserted inside me that pumps medication on a constant basis. I also have a back stimulator that was put in about three years ago. I am now 41 and hope to be around to watch my kids finish growing up. I will defy the odds for as long as I can.
I live with my fiancée. Without her things would not be possible. We live barely paycheck-to-paycheck. There are many issues with the house that I can no longer fix or afford to hire someone to fix it.
I have a wheelchair but cannot leave the house because we do not have a lift for our car.
I get my monthly check from Social Security. Food stamps don't go very far for three growing kids and me. I go to one food bank that I know of and that is only allowed once a month.
My mother can no longer help me since my father passed away in August. The rest of the family does not speak to one another.
I am looking for grants or free help to finish small projects around the house that I can no longer get to. There is crown molding to be put up and our bathroom not finished. Our outside fence needs replacing. It is rotting and falling over.
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