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Disability Grant To Help MS Disabled Colleen Make Kitchen More Accessible

by Colleen Everhart
(Tampa, Florida, USA)

I am a 49-year-old woman, living alone for the first time in my life after my mom died in July. I'm a divorced mother of one, and have family living in the area.

My brother and sister (along with their spouses) do what they can to help with upkeep of the house when they have time.


Disability Issues

My disability manifested after I was rear-ended in July 2003. After three months of no improvement, tests and specialist appointments revealed my Multiple Sclerosis, diagnosed in October 2003, which is responsible for my paralysis.

The MS has been slowly disabling me, starting with fatigue and narcolepsy and paralysis in December 2008.

I have limited control over muscles, which limits my ability to cook, clean the house and do anything with the yard. I have not been able to drive since 2008.

Financial Hardship

I've been on Social Security Disability Income since 2009, cutting my income in half.

With my fixed income, the changes needed in the house for me to function more easily cannot be done without help.

My brother works for a concrete company, so his knowledge helped put in a ramp for me to use, allowing me to leave the house on my own for appointments, tests, and lab work.

I have nine doctors and seventeen medications to help manage my MS. With co-pays and monthly bills, there is no left over income.

I have had to pull money out of my retirement funds to pay for some medication co-pays and specialized equipment.

Income Efforts

I am unable to work because I fatigue easily and I have narcolepsy.

I do volunteer eight to twelve hours a week for my church, depending on activities performed and my energy levels (they understand my suddenly falling asleep for a few seconds or minutes at a time).

Specific Needs

I need new kitchen stuff and appliances: cabinets and counter tops at a level better for wheelchair use, a built-in drawer dishwasher, a stove with front controls and a refrigerator with freezer on the bottom.
Colleen In The Kitchen That Needs Renovating
Colleen In The Kitchen That Needs Renovating

My mom did all the food prep and cooking. After she died in July 2015 I have been struggling to use the kitchen as is.

I also need a privacy fence for the back yard and a front load washer/dryer with controls in front.

Comments for Disability Grant To Help MS Disabled Colleen Make Kitchen More Accessible

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May 17, 2016
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Thanks
by: Colleen

Rebecca, I don't know God's plan, none do; however I know He is with me. I thank Him every day for the time I was allowed to connect with my mom, and I have 2 of my 3 sibling in the same city. They check on me every day, pick up my groceries (I use Walmart online shopping), do lawn care and help with other tasks I'm not able to do any more. He has blessed me in many ways, and He uses me for His glory. May God bless you and all who help those in need.
Colleen

May 17, 2016
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Colleen
by: Rebecca Nakanwagi

My dear sister, I am so sorry for what happened to you but God willing you will soon get assisted. I have nothing to help you. I wish I could but we are in the same struggle. Please thank Ability Mission for putting your name online. May God keep you safe.
Rebecca

May 16, 2016
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Thanks
by: Colleen

Thank you, Will, for the suggestion of the MS Society. I hadn't thought of that. I'll start working on this asap.

May 16, 2016
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Great advice Will
by: Don from Ability Mission

Will,

Thank you so much for that great advice for Colleen!

Best,
Don Coggan

May 16, 2016
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Steps to take
by: Will F. Williams, Jr.

Hello Colleen how are you? Have had MS for thirteen years and I know what you're dealing with because I'm dealing with it now. Call the National MS Society and talk to a navigator and explain the modifications that you need in your kitchen. Ask them about the application that you will need to fill out first for financial assistance, a letter from your doctor indicating that you need the modification plus the year you were diagnosed with MS on official letterhead paper or a xerox copy of your prescription, three estimates (from contractors) for the modification of your kitchen. Look on homeadvisors.com. It is free and already verified about contractors that have their license and that are bonded. Furthermore, the MS Society has limited funds, so you will have to contact the MS Foundation and fill out another application and provide the same documents that you did for MS Society and Bike MS do the same. Stay positive and keep fighting, get your three free estimates and doctor's note now.

P.S. May God Bless You!



Sincerely,

Will F. Williams, Jr.

May 11, 2016
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The Workbook is your next step
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hey Colleen,

Congrats on getting your story published! It was a big step.

Your next step is to get the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story as a springboard to the help you need.

Best,
Don Coggan

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