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Cancer Disabled Single Mother Seeks Grant To Help With Mortgage And Utilities

by Lisa
(Elizabethton, TN, USA)

I'm a 41-year-old cancer disabled single mother with three stepsons -- Joey, Daniel, Matt -- and a daughter, Alisha.

I got divorced 15 years ago due to mental abuse from my spouse of three and a half years.

I have worked for 20 years to support myself and two of the children. I love to hike and I enjoy my family a lot.

I have had cancer twice now. The first time was an HPV-related strain, which my ex-husband transferred to me. Thank God I survived and also did not transfer it to our daughter.

In 2004, our congressman Phil Roe did a great job on the surgery for that first cancer. I walked away with no treatments other than the surgery by his hands.

The second cancer is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This one was more of a health risk to me. It was wrapped around my heart and lung with no possibility of surgery. I did not want to die leaving a 13-year-old daughter.

I learned to fight hard. Seeing my daughter graduate was my focus. I looked at this cancer as I do a job.

Starting in 2009, I had six sets of R-CHOP chemotherapy, 18 days of radiation and one and a half years of maintenance R-CHOP.

This cancer has caused me to not be able to do my job because of nerve damage in my left hand. I can't hold heavy materials anymore without dropping them to floor.

I have lower back pain every day due to a bone marrow test they did. I am working through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the stress caused by the chemotherapy.

I have been on Social Security Disability since March 23, 2011. My doctors will not let me go back to work, not even part-time, due to the radiation they did to the top of my left lung, where I have a touch of COPD.

If I get to this September, I will be clear of cancer for three years. Dr. Matthews said he will not consider me in remission until I make it five years. My last CT Scan shows a spot on my liver and a spot at the top of the stomach.

I have used up all my meager retirement savings getting my hospital bills out of collections, and also paying for my daughter's doctor bills.

The worst financial hardship is keeping home and utilities paid. There's little money left for medications or equipment for the COPD Machine. They took one machine back and the bill is up to $156. I haven't been able to pay anything on this bill.

I have not worked since May 4, 2009. My daughter is trying to get a job to help us. We get SSDI. Churches give us food only do to they took my food stamps away.

I was getting child support from my ex, but as of March 15, 2012 he stopped paying and moved out of state and gave me the wrong address so they don't find him.

My mother helped me out to keep the lights on just in the winter months when the bills are so high. Also Neighbor Services helped me with my mortgage in 2009.

The only upfront money we have comes from Reflections Massage Therapy.

I need grants that could help with the utilities, mortgage or mostly my daughter to be able to go to school. The school she wants to go to doesn't accept FSA.

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Jun 05, 2012
Getting burnt in Tennessee
by: Ken

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear of your circumstances. You've got a lot on your plate. I am wondering though why you can't get your ex-husband to pay you child support. Have you tried using the government resources? Here is an address in case you haven't:


They can usually track them down by their Social Security Number.

It is hard to believe how hard it is for you to get what you need from your SSDI claim. (I'm so glad to be Canadian right now.) I have been searching for quite some time now trying to find out how you can qualify for your COPD machine and all I find is lawyers' numbers. Insane! I found good information here:


Does your daughter get any payments? Have you gone to a lawyer? It just doesn't seem right. When you're down and can't afford a lawyer, the government should help, but it seems like they don't want to let you know up front what you are entitled to. Call your congressman Phil. He helped you before. Maybe he can give you some advice now.

Here's another address for free help:


Good luck Lisa,

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