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Grants For Ayah With Multiple Disabilities To Regain Health And Build Business

by Ayah Broome
(Northridge, California, USA)

Can you comprehend rapidly losing everything you worked so hard for? We never think it could happen to usโ€ฆ until it does.

My name is Tanisha Broome. I'm 35 years old and I am originally from the breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean. I migrated to the United States in 2004 to pursue career fulfillment, happiness and the American Dream.

With no husband or children, I felt I could laser focus on my dreams. After years of dedication and sacrifice, I launched my Brand Development Agency to help small businesses thrive. It was one of my proudest accomplishments.

Like most budding entrepreneurs, I did some things right and some things wrong. However, my innate desire to help others realize their dreams fueled my passion to overcome the obstacles and succeed.

Nothing prepared me though for the wrecking ball that came right at me out of the blue. I never imagined 15 months after launching my brand agency I would be forced to dissolve it. I never dreamt that I would lose my entire life savings and become homeless.

Out Of The Darkness Into The Light
Out Of The Darkness Into The Light

Disability Issues

Albert Camus said, "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." I wasn't aware of the true depth of the inner strength that lay within me until it was challenged.

My first acute symptom appeared on May 17, 2014. I woke up with both my eyes bloodshot red and unable to see out of my right eye. My vision was rapidly declining. Within 2 months I was diagnosed legally blind.

From there several other symptoms started to surface. I became very weak. Going outdoors became unsafe because my legs just could not support me AND I had extremely low vision โ€“ it was like trying to see in a dense fog.

As a result, I fell a couple of times. I started to experience excruciating muscle pain throughout my entire body and debilitating cramps in my fingers and legs. I started dropping things.

I continued to deteriorate rapidly. For months I went to several doctors but they were unable to diagnose what was wrong with me. My primary care physician eventually referred me to USC Hospital in July 2015.

For over a year I had no idea why I was deteriorating so rapidly but while at USC after several tests I received my first diagnosis of Myocarditis and Pericarditis, which is inflammation in the heart muscle and lining. I was at high risk for a heart attack and stroke.

I continued to decline and was transferred to a rehab hospital. I lost all sensitivity from the waist down and became paralyzed. I couldn't walk. I couldn't swallow well. A feeding tube was inserted. I started to experience bladder and bowel incontinence as well. A Foley catheter was also inserted.

I developed steroid induced diabetes because of the extremely high dose of steroids I had to take (and still do) as a course of treatment.

Myositis is inflammation in the muscles. This was one of the reasons that caused my weakness, severe pain, and why I was losing muscle mass so rapidly.

After several tests and a muscle biopsy I was diagnosed with yet another inflammatory disease called Myositis, as well as a rare autoimmune condition called Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder (MCTD), a rare condition where one person has more than one autoimmune condition.

I was diagnosed with possibly 6. I say possibly based on my understanding of what the doctors said. I have so many symptoms that overlap and my test results show I have markers for several but I'm not a classic case for any one. This makes it very difficult to diagnose me with absolute certainty.

The diseases I was diagnosed with are: Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromyelitis Optica, Scleroderma, Polymyositis and Raynaud's Syndrome. Although I wasn't a "classic" case for any, I still experience extreme symptoms for all.

I wasn't responding to the standard treatment for such conditions and eventually had chemotherapy as a last course of treatment. There wasn't as much improvement as the doctors had hoped. The pain increased immensely and I was placed on pain management and palliative care.

My doctors continued to try several other courses of treatment. I eventually started to improve. I did intense physical therapy to rebuild muscle and core strength. With much determination, after six months I was able to walk again.

The feeding tube and catheter were removed.

I was hospitalized 7 months from July 26, 2015 to February 29, 2016.

From there, I was discharged to an Assisted Living Facility because I am still not medically stable and it's unsafe to live on my own at this time. Since my discharge in February, I was admitted to the hospital again by ambulance for acute pain.

I still experience several flare-ups often. Some days are good and I can walk around indoors. Other days, I experience crippling pain and am bedridden or have to use a wheelchair.

My vision has not improved and I'm not a candidate yet for a cornea transplant because I am not medically stable.

My conditions are not curable and they are progressively debilitating. If that wasn't already enough on my plate, the financial hardship I'm experiencing also weighs heavily on me.

Financial Hardship

My life has drastically changed. I was thrust into extreme poverty and homelessness. At this time I do not have ANY source of income.

I do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

For basic items such as toiletries, I must depend on the charity of others.

Medical bills wiped out my savings. And with no income, getting back on my feet and becoming financially independent once again is next to insurmountable.

My low vision precludes driving, so I rely on my case manager to take me to appointments outside the ACCESS service area.

I can't attend church or my Toastmasters meetings or any other social activities on my own because I don't have transportation. If I can't arrange a ride with a friend I'm stuck at home.

My desire to enjoy financial freedom is significantly thwarted due to my illness. Returning to work fulltime is not feasible at this time. I still experience several flare-ups, which makes it extremely difficult to plan my days and honor commitments.

My vision also impairs my ability to complete many tasks. Simple tasks that prior to my illness would take me 15 minutes to complete on the computer now take 2 hours, which limits my productivity.

Sometimes, I can't use the computer at all or any electronic device, even though I have enhanced the visual settings.

Income Efforts

Have you noticed how chronically ill persons with a positive attitude often experience faster recovery and enjoy a more fulfilled life? I did also and even though the obstacles before me are great, I refuse to adopt a defeated attitude.

I've submitted applications to the Braille Institute and the Department of Rehabilitation to work with their counselors. The expertise and resources available to me through these agencies are unparalleled.

My ultimate goal is to enroll on June 20, 2016 into an industry leading computer-programming course at a private vocational school. This skill once acquired will be pivotal in helping me relaunch my business and become financially self-sufficient once again. I have begun the application process and I'm researching possible scholarships I may qualify for.

In the meantime, I use my existing skills to make ends meet. During the tax season when physically able to, I filed taxes for some of my former clients and I also worked on smaller brand development projects for former clients.

Some churches asked me to share my story and I received donations.

I am currently working with my medical caseworker on some public speaking engagements to share my story, for which I will receive donations.

Of course, the money earned from these endeavors barely covers my expenses and is not enough to declare financial independence.

Specific Needs

First of all, I need a grant to pay for the computer-programming course. The cost of the program is $14,195, which includes tuition and related expenses such as a new computer and mobile devices with specialized software for low vision. My doctors and medical caseworker have cautioned me on doing too much at once. Therefore, a grant for school would allow me to exclusively focus on school without the burden of financing it on my own.

My second reason for wanting to secure a grant is to launch a home business after completing school. To get a jumpstart, I am currently working on my business plan. I signed up with SCORE and I've already met with a mentor to assist me in completing the business plan and developing a go-to-market strategy.

The third reason I need a grant is to cover the cost of supplements. I've done extensive research and with the advice of my doctor identified supplements that could improve my health. However, they are not covered by Medi-Cal and I have no other way to pay for them. To experience the benefits of these treatments, I must take them consistently each month and I need the finances to maintain this regimen.

Lastly, I am seeking advice on any additional benefits I may qualify for to help me accomplish my goals of higher education and launching my business.

Business Idea

I'm working on a plan for a business tentatively called "7 Figure Success," an online brand development academy based in Los Angeles County. It would offer coaching tailored to help home-based businesses develop brands that break the seven-figure barrier and experience longevity.

Comments for Grants For Ayah With Multiple Disabilities To Regain Health And Build Business

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May 24, 2016
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@ Vanessa, @ S. Tower, @ Sieglinde and @ Erin
by: Ayah

Hi Guys,

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Your support means a lot.

May 24, 2016
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: )
by: Vanessa

What a inspirational story. A positive attitude speaks volumes and will help you to reach your dreams. I have no doubt your inspiration will help others reach their own dreams. Never give up!

May 24, 2016
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Wonderful!
by: S. Tower

I have no doubt you will succeed with your business goals. You have overcome so much... it's just a matter of time :)

May 24, 2016
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Keep up the amazing work
by: Sieglinde

You are a true inspiration!! You go girl!! Best of luck!!

May 24, 2016
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Success
by: Erin

You are truly an inspiration to so many and I believe that you will be able to accomplish all the goals you have set for yourself. Stay the strong and positive person that you are. :)

May 23, 2016
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@, Angela
by: Ayah

Angela it means a lot to me that you took the time to read my story and share your thoughts. God bless!

May 23, 2016
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Great!!!
by: Angela

Ayah you're such a brave and strong person! I'm glad to be your friend and hear your story!

May 23, 2016
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@ Emerald
by: Ayah

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. I couldn't get this far without you.

You help me keep a positive perspective the days when I'm challenged the most with my illness.

Love you lots! ๐Ÿ˜‰

May 23, 2016
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You Go Girl!
by: Emerald

Hey Ms. Ayah! So proud of you and the strength that you found within you by God's grace to push through these challenges. You are a natural at writing:-) I am so happy to learn that you were accepted to the Bootcamp this June! I am excited about your future. You go girl!! Love you lots! xo

May 20, 2016
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Acceptance Letter for Programming Course
by: Ayah

Dear Ayah,

We're pleased to inform you that you have been formally accepted into Coding Dojo's Bootcamp beginning June 20th 2016 in our Southern California location. Through your admissions process, you have shown that you possess the traits and skills to succeed in our course. We're very excited to have you as a part of our class and equally as excited for the things you will build!

In order to secure your seat and open up the pre-course work material for the June 20th course, you will need to submit a $1000 deposit by May 30, 2016 through our online payment system...

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I am very excited ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜! This proves no matter what obstacles we face as disabled they can be conquered. I am confident I will receive the financing.

May 20, 2016
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@ JC
by: Ayah

Thank you for sharing. Prior to this experience I took many things for granted also that I don't today. I'm glad my candor about my struggles and ambitions is motivating you in your pursuits.

May 20, 2016
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Moved and Inspired
by: JC

Ayah your story is truly moving and inspiring and really gives perspective to those of us who might take our everyday blessings for granted.

Stay strong and much success to you in all your endeavors.

May 19, 2016
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@Good Samaritan
by: Ayah

I'm glad I helped give you the courage to pursue your dreams. I look forward to celebrating your graduation soon.


May 19, 2016
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You're inspiring to me
by: A Good Samaritan

Ayah, we inspire each other. Because of your story you gave me the courage to take on 2 majors in school in 2 completely different work fields and further my education at Cal State University ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€,,

May 19, 2016
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@ Daisy
by: Ayah

You are so kind Daisy. Thank you for encouraging me, especially those nights I was in excruciating pain AND for the late night candy:).

We inspire each other. I am here to support you in any way I can as you continue to pursue your goals.

Your friend Always,
Ayah

May 19, 2016
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You are inspiring to me!
by: Daisy Hinojosa

Great job on your story. You are one strong motivated person. You will be stable and in good condition. I have faith in you. When I met you at RLa I was there for a week already bummed that I wasn't going home yet and that I was getting dropped from classes that I'm in at school. But you came and spoke to me and I was was amazed on your story when you 1st told me it and very proud of you,. You inspired me to continue in life and never give up no matter how ill I am or what restrictions I have and I thank you for that. You will always be in my heart. Good luck on your goals I know you can do it!

Sincerely,
Your friend for life Daisy Hinojosa

May 19, 2016
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More About The Business
by: Ayah

Hi Don, Thank you for sharing my story. Here is some more insight into the business.

Recent statistics reveal only 66% of small businesses will survive their first two crucial years, the main cause being a lack of experience.

My solution is to provide my clients with proven brand tactics by offering online self-paced courses. In addition, I will also offer support by one-on-one mentorship on an as-needed basis.

My target market consists of: 1)Network marketers seeking to grow their direct sales business; 2) Baby-boomers with home-based businesses as a source of retirement income; 3)Veterans or disabled entrepreneurs working from home

I am making progress on the business plan. Iโ€™m getting assistance from my SCORE Mentor. I donโ€™t have a final figure yet, since we havenโ€™t completed the financials.

However, the funds will be used to cover such expenses as (but not limited to): registering the entity, setting up a home office, hiring sales staff, hiring a marketer that specializes in creating positioning strategies, online and offline advertising, producing written and video course content, and build coaching website and platform.

The main sales channels are: Search Engine Optimized website; Internal sales team; Joint Venture partners; Utilizing top-tier direct sales networks; Utilizing networks that serve veterans and disabled, etc.

Some of the marketing activities will be: Write and position a homebased business blog; Register with agencies that serve veterans; Attend top-tier network marketing events; High-end direct mail pieces; Advertise on social media.

I hope to launch by November 01, 2016. I am currently in the process of curating a dynamic team to help me build and realize that goal.

Working towards this next chapter in my life is liberating and very therapeutic. I hope it inspires other disabled persons reading my page to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacles.

May 19, 2016
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Inspiration
by: Good Samaritan

Your story is inspiring; thanks for sharing.

May 13, 2016
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Next step... the Workbook
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hello Ayah,

Wonderful job on your story! Now to work on your future...

With your story published, you can now access the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story as a springboard to the help you need.

All the best,
Don Coggan

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