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49 Year Old MS And Leukemia Disabled Man Seeks Government Housing Grant

by Robert S. Strom
(Oakwood Hills, IL, USA)

I will be 49 June 2nd, 2010. I was one of the most dedicated and hard working individuals at Honeywell/HSM in their Security Division for 20 years before becoming ill.

I started at the bottom and worked my way into Management. I have the mind thought that there is always something to do or improve upon.

In my earlier years with Honeywell when there were no service calls, I swept the floor, just because I was getting paid and it was something to do.

Today, I would have some trouble sweeping that same floor also trouble keeping busy due to the fact that my energy level has been replaced with issues of fatigue and cognitive issues.

I worked my way into Management by leading by example and ethically. I eventually became the President of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA). The IESA was and I believe still is the State of Illinois' only Security Association. Its members were such as ADT, Brinks, Johnson Controls, Stanley Security, Honeywell, etc.

In June of 2006, my wife, friends and co-workers notice a difference in my behavior. My wife suggested that I see our family physician (Dr. Mehdi), and he had me checked into Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL.

At this point I was having strange symptoms such as spelling disorders, eating disorders and physical issues affecting my coordination and thought processes.

I was then sent to Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago for several days. There they performed a Brain Biopsy and detected numerous legions on my brain. Rushes Medical staff still could not confirm what my medical condition was.

At this point, I had lost approximately 60 pounds due to my smelling and eating disorder and could not identify my wife, three children or carry on, or participate in a conversation.

The same day that I was released from Rush Presbyterian Hospital, my neurologist Benjamin Nager (at 4pm) immediately made arrangements with Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, for the very next day for my wife and I to there at 7:30 am the next morning.

It was the Mayo Clinic that after several days or testing diagnosed me with having Multiple Sclerosis in what they explained was in an unusual manner.

Most individuals with MS have it physically where I had it mentally and with some physical symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic does not know what to expect for the future, but they explained that the lesions had gotten through my brain's protective lining called myelin, and the damage it had caused was permanent.

They said it could only be treated, not corrected. They further explained to my wife it was most likely that I would not mentally improve.

I was placed on a newer medicine for MS patients named Rebiff, which is to be injected 3 times weekly for the remainder of my life.

It was further explained that my disease is treatable, not curable. In most cases, individual's health deteriorates as MS attacks the central nervous system.

It was also explained that my past health records were researched and that I had minimal if any real sicknesses that caused my immune system to be utilized.

My immune system became so strong it needed to fight off some form of disease. So my immune was determined to be the cause, by attacking my own brain.

Dr. Bruce Cohen of Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago, IL is currently treating me.

Approximately 1-½ years ago, while being instructed to have weekly blood tests performed, I was diagnosed with Leukemia. It also has added to my fatigue and exposed at times some additional MS issues of concern.

Since my diseases, I have had to withdraw my 401K plan, my pension and cash in all of my children's savings bonds. We have exhausted all savings, are currently in foreclosure and $85,000 in credit card debt that was used to pay for my medical expenses, my children's medical expenses (my oldest on has ADD) mortgage payments, food, gas, heating bills, standard cost of living expenses, etc.

I am a person with a strong positive attitude. Medically, there are many people that have diseases or sicknesses that are far more devastating or even terminal.

I look at my MS as a possible blessing, due to the fact that if I was not diagnosed with MS, most likely my leukemia would have been discovered at much more advanced stage that might have been terminal at that point.

I believe that the reason for my mental recovery is due to working with my children on their homework, playing Scrabble, Sudoku and other mind challenging situations.

I am nowhere near where I once was mentally, as this letter took almost seven hours to complete, but I did complete it.

I ask that the Government issue a grant so that I may remain in my house and restore our lives to as normal as possible.

My medical bills will continue, but my children deserve what at one point I could offer them and now no longer can.

Thank you for your time and consideration and for any help you can point us to.

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Sep 15, 2010
Housing Grants in Illinois
by: Katina

Congratulations on making the effort to submit your story to Accessible.org.

With the publication of your story, you are now well on your way to:

1. Getting your story known to a wide audience that could help you.

2. Getting your story polished up and presentable so you can submit it elsewhere, including the White House.

As a disabled person myself, I can sympathize with your situation and I definitely understand your need for help.

I've done a bit of research and found these resources for you:

HUD Housing Assistance Illinois

National Resource Center on
Supportive Housing and Home Modification

Please let us know if the resources have helped you in any way.

Katina from Accessible.org

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