Grant Funding Would Help Stroke Disabled Woman Build Aquaponics System
by Margaret Corbett
(North Bend, Oregon, USA)
I'm a 53-year-old mother of two fantastic adult daughters from my first marriage to an Oregon guy in 1984.
We eventually ended up in a small Oregon town where we raised sheep, cattle, goats, pastured poultry chickens and of course our two wonderful girls.
He and I split in 2001 and in 2005 I married my absolutely amazing husband of seven years. (I got it right the second time!)
He is 71 but looks younger. He is a wonderful musician and works some locally in that regard. We met at a bluegrass festival. I used to play bluegrass banjo before my stroke.
We're living happily in a small rental house in the country outside of Coos Bay, Oregon.
I can honestly say that we would still be on our honeymoon had I not had a stroke two years into our marriage.
We still laugh together (and cry some too) but it's not like our first two terrific years.
I was working for a local Independent Insurance Agency until my car accident with resulting stroke at age 47.
My left side is paralyzed from the stroke. I can walk with a quad cane, but my left hand/arm is useless, so I've adapted to using only my right hand.
My husband has stuck by me although it's been very hard on him. Not many ever sign up originally to become full time caregivers.
I can bathe myself now, but he does all the laundry, most of the cooking, and deals with the bills, shopping, and taking me to doctor appointments.
When I lost my income as an insurance professional, it threw our finances into arrears. It added to extra expenses incurred from my condition,
We ran up a credit card debt of about $21,000 that is now hanging over our heads. We had to stop paying on it, but I would like to get it paid off.
I no longer have a driver's license so my husband drives me wherever I need to go.
My husband and I are both on Social Security and Medicare, which brings in about $2300 a month.
A family member also helps out which brings our monthly income to about $2600 a month.
After paying rent, insurance premiums and other household bills, there just isn't enough left.
I've tried to find a suitable "work-at-home" job as I do have a laptop with good DSL Internet, but all I've found is a bunch of scams.
My husband built a lovely little raised garden bed on our deck, which I can use from my wheelchair.
He also helps with my small freshwater aquarium although neither that nor the garden interests him in the least.
I am looking for enough money to get a small greenhouse and help to set up a small aquaponics system.
Aquaponics is the raising of fish and cycling the fish water through a garden bed with plants to both feed the plants and purify the water to go back into the fish tank.
This would effectively combine my passion for aquariums and gardening, which I've had from the age of 10.