Epilepsy Disabled Woman Seeks Disability Grant Money For Service Dog
(Rockland, MA, USA)
I am a 55-year-old widow of three grown daughters. I am a recovering alcoholic with 5+ years sobriety.
I have gone to school (online) to be a Drug and Alcohol Counselor over the past year and just graduated with a 4+ average.
My goal has been to better myself by returning to school and returning to the work force in a field that will help others as well as myself.
I have realized by completing my internship that getting back and forth to work is going to be a major issue.
I need a Service Dog and am looking for a grant to obtain a Mobility Assist/Balance Service Dog. I live on Social Security Disability right now and cannot afford one.
I have epilepsy and another neurological disorder that has kept me on Disability for many years. I have frequent neurological "attacks" where I do not have any control over my legs and if I am walking I fall and cannot get up on my own.
Sometimes a walker helps me but a walker cannot retrieve the phone for me or pick up dropped items.
I have been followed for a few years at the Brigham and Women's Epilepsy Center in Boston, MA and have an excellent epileptologist/neurologist that has been the first Doctor that has been able to correctly diagnose me after years of not knowing exactly what was wrong with me and why I experienced these "attacks."
I do not have the confidence that I need to leave the house on my own because my balance is not good and I have frequent falls.
I believe that a Service dog would give me the independence that I need to go out and be able to walk to and use public transportation.
I am beginning to get depressed because I had such high hopes while I was excelling in school. Now I am beginning to think that it has all been for nothing if I am not able to get myself to work and be a dependable employee.
I hate to think that after all this hard work I am destined to stay on SSDI for the rest of my life. I so want to be able to work and counsel others, I know that I have what it takes; I just need some help.
I believe that a Balance Assist Service Dog would give me the independence that I have spent years lacking. I love animals, especially dogs, and I believe that my medical need for help combined with my love for dogs would be an ideal situation.
More than anything else, a Service Dog will help me not be so terrified to leave my house. I feel like a recluse.
I spend days without ever leaving home because I always have to wonder if I'm going to fall while I'm out and have a stranger stop in the street to help me by giving me a ride home. This isn't the safest thing in the world, but when one has fallen in the street and can't get up, one doesn't have much choice.
My Neurologist has me on Clonazepam as a preventative medication (none of the traditional seizure meds worked. I was allergic to two and the others were not effective).
However I still have "break through" attacks so he gave me a small amount of Ativan to take away the seizure activity when the attacks occur. It is called my "rescue med" and only to be used during a full-blown attack.
For over three years, I've been on a waiting list to get into disability housing. My rent is three quarters of my disability check.
After I pay my rent, I have very little money left for anything else. Food Stamps and a SafeLink phone that I got from the government do help, but still, I live on very little money.
When I get housing, hopefully that will change, or when I can work, that will change. I am still living in a Sober House with over five years of sobriety.
I no longer need to be here but the owner says that I am a big help to her and to the new residents that come in with very little sobriety.
If I could get off of disability by being able to get to work, I could afford a place of my own to live where my children could come and visit me.
We cannot have any visitors in a Sober House. I have definitely outgrown my need to be here and I am taking up a bed that someone in need could desperately use.
The woman who owns the house just feels badly for my situation so she has not insisted that I move on since I really cannot afford to go anywhere else right now.
I have a supportive family, although they only have the ability to be emotionally supportive.
I have three grown daughters but they are not that old and are having trouble getting by themselves.
I have tried to help my youngest with what little I have because she has been having troubles of her own.
I have an elderly father that I wish I were in a position to help. I was raised Mormon but I have not gone to church in years, and I no longer believe in that faith.
I am on SSDI, and I am not eligible for SSI (I applied) so now I am trying to get a grant for the disabled.
I have set up a free web site to try to get donations but so far I have not gotten one donation.
I even offered to hand crochet hats and scarves for anyone who was willing to make a donation.
I am in need of a grant for $8,050 to be paid to Goldstar German Shepherds in Nevada. They sell advanced obedience trained dogs and Service Dogs.
I spoke to them on the phone and they said to train one of their dogs for Balance Assist and for Retrieval of dropped items in addition to what they are already trained for, the cost is $8,050, which includes shipping.
A trainer accompanies the dog to train me how to work with it. They are members of the IPDTA (International Positive Dog Training Association) and specialize in training their Service Dogs for Mobility and Balance impairments.
The cost is far less than many highly trained Service Dogs and they do not have the several years of waiting that many Service Dog Organizations have that offer their dogs through donations.
As soon as they receive a deposit, they start training the dog for Mobility and Balance Support.