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Government Education Grant Money To Help BGS Disabled Former Geologist

by Steve
(Reston, Virginia, USA)

I am 47-year-old man who is experiencing a "mid-life crisis" -- but not one of his own making.

It's a crisis brought upon by a simultaneous onslaught of medical conditions, which I have been battling aggressively since 2003.

To this day, the doctors I have seen have been unable to pinpoint the cause of my debilitation, but only the resulting conditions, which they have endeavored to treat.

This initial bout left my system susceptible to Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), Cushing's Syndrome, Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Over time and with diligent adherence to medical advice, observation and personal perseverance, I have been able to reduce the threat of heart disease, remove the active threat of diabetes, and as well as bring the threat of Cushing's under control through ongoing medical observation.

The effects of GBS, though, are lasting. I am not one of the lucky few who could walk away from the experience. I no longer can run or climb but walk with a cane. I am thankful for this achievement because there was a time when I was confined to a wheelchair.

Through long, tedious physical therapy, I went from wheelchair to crutches to canes. If I go on extended walks or exercise, I still require two canes, but I now function with one cane quite well, but will do so for the rest of my life.

I realize this would be a blessing to most, and I am grateful to have made this progress to date, but this is the best I will get.

As a field geologist, my career is over, since I can no longer function in that capacity and will be restricted to an office/classroom environment.

With age and the constant threat of a second bout with GBS and/or Cushing's, I know I still have to be prepared for a second round!

While I am in remission, I still have to look to provide for my family. Having been on disability leave for so long, my position where I worked has long since been filled without possibility of return due to the nature of the outdoor environment in which it requires me to traverse.

Again, due to the length of time on disability pay, any savings I had has been depleted and only through financial support from family, and the occasional charitable donation, have we been able to meet our cost-of-living expenses.

I have been active in pursuing gainful employment in my chosen profession but along with my physical limitations, comes a hiatus in practical experience and/or education.

I was in the process of advancing my education, but had to withdraw with penalty when my medical trials began. Now that I seem to be in control of most of my faculties and am physically mobile enough to pursue further education, I no longer have the financial means to do so!

I do not enjoy living off of charity, nor do I feel it is the proper mindset for my children to have as I try to teach them self-sufficiency and hard work are the keys to success.

I just cannot seem to find any reasonable means to afford the education I need to be marketable in today's employment "depression," nor do I think it is responsible of me to plunge my family into even more (and considerable) debt to pay for a competent graduate degree which would give me the chance to work once more.

I believe it was the driving force behind the visionary implementation of Franklin Roosevelt's campaign to bring dignity back to the common man, whose only desire was to have a chance to provide a decent living for himself and his family, while providing a sense of hope for the future of this great country.

I humbly request your assistance in obtaining that dignity and hope, providing me the means to return to school and to obtain the credentials that will help me obtain a career choice where I can be productive once again.

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Mar 26, 2010
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Finiancial Aid -- Forgiveness
by: Katina

I read your story today and was so impressed with your motivation to regain your mobility. That is a miracle! When people face great odds, they often feel hopeless, and alone. You are not alone, and your situation is definitely not hopeless. I'd like to let you know about the financial aid loan program (forgiveness). It is a program that was created to help people who became disabled in the midst of obtaining a degree, and/or soon after graduation.

You can call your university and ask for the form to be mailed to you due to having a permanent disability. This doesn't mean you won't be able to return to further your education at a later date; it does help while you?re getting your illnesses under control, without the worry of going bankrupt and losing your home while trying to pay a monthly student loan bill.

Geologist huh? Have you ever been to Cincinnati, Ohio to check out the Ordovician rocks? I went with a geological field trip and got into a little trouble because I brought my own tools for digging, which is not allowed :) I love rocks! I have pieces of fossiliferous limestone that have great full body trilobites in them. If it were not for my passion of creative writing, and disability studies I might have gone into a geological program instead. I had a lot of trouble with the maps in this course.

What type of training are you looking for? Let us know with a comment here and you're more likely to get help from visitors.

There is a lot of help out there for adults returning to finish a college degree, or beginning a new career.

Have a great day. And don't give up; you'll get there!

Katina from Accessible.org

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