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Family Of CP Disabled Child Seeks Government Grant Money For Basic Needs

by Bobbi Geddes
(Coalhurst, Alberta, Canada)

My name is Bobbi Geddes I'm a 27-year-old mother of 3 (Kayla. Kristy and Kaden) and I'd like to tell you the story of my son. Kaden Galenzoski.

He's two years old and has cerebral palsy and underdeveloped lungs and narrowing of the airway.

His stepdad Mike Klein and two sons Jayce and Riley also live with us making as a happy family of 7!

First I'd like to talk about his narrowing airway. It might sound like it's not to limiting but that's so wrong.

Kaden struggles often with his breathing. In the wind, it's next to impossible for him and living in southern Alberta it's windy a lot!

On these days we are housebound causing him and me (or mike) to miss many family things. Both Kayla and Kristy play soccer and we miss a lot of games due to wind.

He is on daily treatments with a nebulizer to keep his airway from swelling and closing, as well as puffers in case we are not home and he starts to struggle. There is no cure for this.

He was born at 32 weeks gestation and his adventures began. Labor was extremely fast and unexpected from both the nurses and myself.

Because of this, the neonatal intensive care unit was not able to properly set up and prepare in time.

Kaden ended up being run down the hall from the delivery room to where the neonatal intensive care unit was located and he was intubated for the next 4 days.

As far as all the doctors felt he was doing very well and normal for a 32-week-old baby. This is how we feel he ended up with cerebral palsy.

We are finding out in a big hurry just how hard it is having a disabled child! There are so many hidden costs and unexpected corners we have to learn to adapt to.

Our latest issues consist of letters and letters asking for help. Just like this letter.

We are a low-income family in social assistance with little left over every month for needs never mind wants.

Kaden is now in need of a wheelchair. The basic chair is covered and will be no cost to us because we are on assistance.

For the extra medically needed equipment, we have started an application with Presidents Choice Children's Charity to see if they can help.

But with all this needed equipment we have to have a way to take the family shopping, to and from school, fishing and just out in general.

We have a minivan now and there is no way at all any of the medically needed items will fit in the van with the family.

We make $1200 from child tax and $1128 from assistance for a monthly total of $2328.

Mike is not working at this point because the company he was at wanted him to transfer to BC and work 10 days away and 4 days home.

With Kaden's medical demands and appointments and 4 other kids it was just unrealistic.

Rent is $950 and utilities average $350 per month. Add phone, Internet, car insurance, gas and food for a family of seven and there's nothing left for extras ever.

Mike is looking for work but with the constant appointments it is hard to find something that is willing to work around this, so we have someone with the other kids not in school yet.

We really want to go off social services but the medical cost for everything he needs would be so overwhelming we choose to live with less for Mike and I so Kaden can have his daily living needs met.

We have applied for loans and bad credit has had us declined every time.

As for transportation to and from the doctors, school, soccer and so on, we frequently borrow from friends and family and we walk the ditches for bottles to take in so we can meet all the needs of our family.

Truthfully there are times we have cancelled outings, school trips and appointments because we don't have the money for gas.

Our landlords are wonderful people who know we love the house we are in and one day want to buy in hopes our mortgage may be less then the rent to help free up money for other things that are needed.

They have offered to keep the house off the market so we can buy, but we feel there will be very little hope as we don't know how we could ever save up a down payment.

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