Grant Money To Help Woman Disabled By Car Accident Open Local Bistro
by Laura Gilbert
(Carterville, Illinois, USA)
My name is Laura Gilbert and I am a 49-year-old college-educated woman living in a rural town in southern Illinois.
I am the mother to a grown (25-year-old) daughter who lives in the next town over.
In 2008 I was struck crossing a street by a hit-and-run driver, who was later apprehended, charged and convicted of DUI with aggravated bodily harm.
I sustained massive injuries and was airlifted to a large St. Louis hospital for emergency treatment.
I had head and brain trauma, a Spigelian (flank) hernia, three fractures to my pelvis, a crush fracture to my right fibula (leg bone), severe damage to my right knee to include all three ligaments (ACL, MCL, PCL), fractured toes, and miscellaneous scrapes, bruises, and lacerations.
I now am left with a 10" rod and two 4" screws in my pelvis, one that connects my pelvis to my spine.
I have had surgeries to repair my hernia and to reconstruct my knee.
I was in a wheelchair for six months to allow my broken fibula to heal and had to learn to walk all over again.
I am left with nerve damage, circulatory damage, muscular atrophy/depletion and balance issues.
I walk with an assistive device (cane) in order to get around.
I am officially deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration and collect Disability Insurance benefits monthly.
I am in chronic pain daily and have been told that my injuries/deficits are permanent.
Due to all of my medical care and outstanding bills, my credit report has taken a severe hit. I am unable to be approved for any type of loan or financial account due to my low credit score.
I have trouble making copayments for Medicare visits to my doctor, student loan payments and day-to-day living costs, such as nutritional foods, utilities, Internet and phone bills.
Because of my disability, I had to seek a new career, since I could no longer continue the rigorous physicality of my former career as a surgical technologist.
I sought education and formal training and was able to attend culinary/pastry school.
I fought through my chronic pain and was able to work with the school's Disability Services Department and the administration and graduated with a degree in 2012.
I have applied for every food service job available in my area, and I even interviewed for positions 350 miles away from my home… all to no avail.
I now receive between $10 and $20 per week providing fresh-baked bread to a local market from my home's kitchen.
I am looking for help and/or leads in obtaining grants and/or financing for a new business, since I am unable to obtain a working position elsewhere.
I need help in my day-to-day living expenses and I would like to take my education and experience and roll it into a business that can provide me with more income and better peace of mind.
I am looking for start-up capital and/or a business partner(s) in order to create and run a small bakery/cafe/bistro.
I want to use my education and talent to create jobs for myself and my community, while serving great food and beverage to my guests.
I feel this could be a win-win scenario, as it would afford me a position with some added income and it would also bring a new business to my area that is much needed.
I'd like to be able to provide an income not only for myself (which would be very helpful), but also for others in need.