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51 Year Old MS Disabled Woman Seeks Grant Money For Wheelchair Vehicle

by Rhonda
(Bend, Oregon, USA)

I'm a 51-year-old woman that has been married for 33 years. I have three grown daughters and nine grandchildren.

I worked for a major computer company for nine years, from 1988 to 1997 when I started experiencing early symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis; like burning feet and muscle spasms in my hands and legs.

This led to me either taking early retirement or getting fired from my job. I chose early retirement of course and eventually we lost our house.

The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, so I wasn't diagnosed until 2005 after we had been homeless off and on for eight years.

I'm now at a point of progression where I'm limited to using a walker in the house, and go-go cart outside of the house.

I can't use my electric wheelchair, the one that the government pays for, because we have no way to carry it around with us.

It weighs more than five times my body weight, which makes it impossible for friends and family to give me rides anywhere.

We have been living on my $990 Social Security Disability check and my husband's school grants and loans.

Social Security Disability has paid for most of my medications and equipment related to my disability, but transportation has been a big problem.

Getting to my appointments has proven to be most difficult. The state will pay half the cost of Dial-A-Ride but getting them to pick me up has caused me to miss several appointments.

My husband has been unable to drive because of unpaid tickets so my daughter drives me when she can and only on the days I have enough strength to use my scooter.

I can't work because of my illness. My husband is going to school because he can no longer plaster which is what he did for nearly 30 years.

We get food stamps and just don't spend money unless it's necessary. So we live on Social Security Disability, Government school grants and loans.

We need help paying off my husband's old tickets and possibly an ergonomic car or van that can carry the electric wheelchair the government paid for to help me stay well and get to all of my appointments.

It seems like such a simple thing -- paying off a bill and purchasing a used vehicle that I can get in and out of easily -- but it's proven to be one of the most difficult life problems we have ever experienced.

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Nov 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

Have you tried to contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to see if someone can direct you where you can get help? Good luck!

Sep 06, 2011
I feel like...
by: Rhonda

My story doesn't show the seriousness of not having a car. My neurologist says that my monthly infusions are absolutely necessary to my health, but because I have been unable to get a ride I have been missing my treatments.

The stress of that is causing my health to decline. It just seems so unfathomable to me that this is possible in the USA today, but it is. What else can I do? I've called every agency that I can think of and they all say they can't help. Does anyone out there know what else I can do?

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