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.
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
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.