Header for Ability Mission

Handicap Van Grant To Help Single Mom With Multiple Disabilities

by Dawn Piercy
(Greenwood, Indiana, USA)

I am a 36-year-old single mother of a five-year-old child that has special needs.

I am struggling to make ends meet, as I am aware most of us are these days. Still, I am paying all of the bills on time.

I'm getting $16 in food stamps a month, which a lot of people say is nothing. For my son and me, though, it is a lot. It allows us to have a week's worth of milk, bread and fruit.

When you look at it as a positive, it makes life a lot simpler.

As of the moment, we are lucky to have $2 left in the bank for the entire month after bills, food, $120 in gas a month to get to and from doctors and medication not covered by insurance, which is over $140 month for my son alone.

My father recently passed away due to complications caused by Agent Orange, so I am unable to turn to him now for help.

My mother is a wonderful bright 77-year-old woman that has been struggling since my father has passed and I cannot receive help from her either.

She does watch my son when I have to go to my appointments to keep up with my health needs, which is a blessing that she is still here.

I live on faith and hope, and know in my heart that my trials and tribulations will make me stronger spiritually as well as strengthen my body and mind.

I strive and never give up, no matter what we go through.

I am a writer, love photography and once I am able to get through these trials I will rise up and show my son anything and everything is possible no matter what we go through.

Disability Issues

I am a child of Agent Orange. I am 36 years old and have had three TIA strokes that set me up to have full blown epilepsy, that is now controlled with medication.

I have polycystic ovarian disease and had surgery on a ruptured chocolate cyst. I also have Fibrocystic Breast as well as lymphomas over much of my body.

I have an allergy to dead skin cells, for which I have received allergy shots for close to 10 years.

I have recently also been diagnosed with open angle Glaucoma which I am on drops for.

I have had multiple surgeries, 12 sets of spinal neurotomy having a total of 60 nerves burned off at the root of the spine between L-3, L-4, L-5.

I had five nerves burned on each outpatient surgery, reconstructive surgery on my right ankle, carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand.

I have just been diagnosed with hazy white matter disease of the brain, which doctors told me they believe it to be from the TIAs that I have had.

I now have also diagnosed with sleep apnea, narcolepsy with cataplexy.

I have fibromyalgia and toxic idiopathic neuropathy, congenital deformities of the femurs in both legs, scoliosis in two separate areas.

I have seven herniated discs at the moment and one is cutting into my spinal cord. C-4, C-5, C-6 is slightly herniated with scoliosis as well as a hemangioma attached to C-6 vertebrae.

T-6 and T_7 are slightly herniated and I have scoliosis there as well. The discs are floating out and coming back in and hitting my spinal cord.

L-4, L-5 and S-1 have spondylosis and I have a narrowing of the neuroforamen.

Due to spine issues I also now have neurogenic bladder disease and have my kidneys checked every six months.

I have dysplasia of the right hip as well as right shoulder.

I also have atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, flow murmur as well as PVC and angina.

I get severe muscle spasms that are debilitating.

The doctors are working together to get my heart medication corrected so I may start full treatment for cataplexy with narcolepsy.

This is so my muscles may be strengthened enough to see if I am eligible for surgery on T-6 and T-7.

I was told that the other spinal issues cannot be fixed. I have also been diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) and Hashimoto's Disease.

I have borderline personality disorder with severe posttraumatic stress as well as schizoaffective disorder.

I have been getting help since I was five years old.

I am on Social Security Disability. I have just received a new electric wheelchair to get around the home. But my issue is, I also have a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as well as other special needs.

I need to be able to get both of us back and forth to doctors without further damaging my spine.

I have a vehicle, but I'm unable to walk more than short distances at a time. If I were able to have a handicap vehicle, the possibilities would be endless for the days I can barely walk, or not walk at all.

I also have bilateral knee failure in my left knee. My SSDI is based on physical as well as mental disabilities.

Some doctors have told me my disabilities are due to being a child of Agent Orange. Others are unaware of the effects that being a child of Agent Orange can cause.

Financial Hardship

I am on SSDI for my disabilities and bring in $714 a month.

My son is on SSDI and brings in $675 a month and draws $55 a month off of my SSDI.

Rent is $350. We pay the electric bill. Renters insurance is a necessity for living in Section 42 housing.

My son has medical expenses of $140+ a month and we are going through $120 a month in gas plus paying to park each time I take him to children's hospital.

We have no major credit cards to pay and after bills we sometimes are lucky to have $1 a week left over.

I cannot even take him to McDonald's unless the electric bill is lower for the month.

I have to pay my medication costs out of pocket and a couple of my medications are not covered.

I have a small 2007 Kia Rondo that I pay $185.98 a month for. Although I switched Insurance to save money, we are still struggling to make ends meet.

I usually have $150 a month for food. I have to buy lactose-free milk for my son, which takes $60 a month out of the $150 I have for food a month.

I do go to food banks to keep the pantry full. I have also had to buy special things for my son's Autism needs that are not covered by his insurance.

I need to be able to get my son back and forth to hospital as well as myself to keep up with my medical needs.

Not being able to take my wheelchair has been a challenge due to not able being to walk far.

I need a smaller handicap van with a lift to fulfill our needs.

As of the moment we are in a two-bedroom apartment and are currently on the waiting list for a three-bedroom unit to lock medical supplies out of my son's reach.

I have orthotics I am to wear daily but am unable to reach.

Income Efforts

I am on Social Security Disability.

I go to churches for food pantries, clothes and other needs we may have.

I have gone to college but my mental health case manager told me that even if I made a six-figure income, we would still be broke due to medical expenses.

This is my first attempt at getting a grant for help. I tried selling Avon two separate times and mentally as well as physically could not handle even that. I try though.

I did go to college for creative writing and am making a choice to work on a book series now.

Due to my spinal issues I have gotten through chapter one. It has taken me a year to finish it, yes just the first chapter.

I am still working on it though. One day I will get it finished. I have faith.

My friends do not financially help me, nor do I have family that can financially help.

When we move into our three-bedroom apartment though, the church will help with that.

Specific Needs

I am only writing for a simple grant for a disabled single mother to get help with obtaining a handicap accessible vehicle with a lift for my wheelchair.

It does not need to be brand new, just reliable. My Kia Rondo LX is not equipped, nor strong enough to carry my heavy-duty electric wheelchair.

I was not expecting these spinal issues to become as they have.

Comments for Handicap Van Grant To Help Single Mom With Multiple Disabilities

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 08, 2013
To Angel
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much. Yes, all things happen in God's good time. I have learned to have a lot of patience through these trials and tribulations.

Aug 08, 2013
by: angel lacorte

The Lord will look down and see your turmoil. He will bring it to pass on His time not yours. Be patient and believe. I believe Donald Coggan of Accessible.org is the angel sent from God to help us help ourselves stay strong.

Jul 30, 2013
Thanks for the updates!
by: Don from Accessible.org

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for the updates.

Are you getting the email Action Items? If not, you can sign up for them here:


When you sign up, you get the free Disability Help Guide as well as the Action Items. The Guide describes how to tell your story. You've already done that so you can ignore that part and just follow up on the Action Items.

Hope this helps!

Don from Accessible.org

Jul 30, 2013
by: Dawn Piercy

I forgot to add I also have Aspergers Syndrome.

Jul 01, 2013
Thank You!
by: Dawn Piercy

I wanted to say thank you so much for posting my story. I had a difficult time writing about all of my personal business, but decided it was for the best that I had been completely honest in what I have written. I used to be very fit and even used to teach strength training exercises at a dojo. Martial arts was my passion growing up and I have a hard time putting my shield down and telling the truth. I need help desperately. It is said that God helps those who help themselves. I am gathering acceptance as well as moving forward step by step.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to US Indiana.