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Cancer Surviving Amputee Needs Education Assistance To Rebuild Future

by Ashly
(Nottingham, PA, USA)

Celebrating 20 Years Of Cancer Survival

Celebrating 20 Years Of Cancer Survival

This year, at 25 years old, I'm celebrating 20 years of cancer survival. When I was just four years old I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and my right leg was amputated. After wearing a prosthetic leg for 16 years, I underwent yet another operation when I was 20. I've not yet been back to a prosthetic leg.

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As I manage to get along very well on crutches, I keep a full-time job in Delaware, receive NO assistance from state/federal/charity, and maintain my own apartment and car driving an hour each way commute to work.

Last week I was informed that with carpal tunnel if I continue to stay on crutches for the next ten years I will be in a wheelchair by that time, needing the surgery, and not able to go back to crutches ever - limiting my movements to that of a wheelchair. If, however, I receive a prosthetic leg I can double that time and then within 15-20 years switch between a prosthetic leg and a wheelchair instead of being confined only to a wheelchair.

At this point in my life, I am not willing to condemn myself to only life in a wheelchair and without a job receiving help. Right now I am an analyst and typing nonstop throughout the daily routine, so I have begun to recognize the only way for me to continue to be independent, keep my apartment, continue to work - is to pursue an education in an arena where I will not need my hands and feet. I am first and foremost considering the field of teaching with a possibility of counseling. At this point, I've not yet decided, as I do not have any funding for such an endeavor!

I am not sure what money is available to a single girl, living independently in an apartment, working a full-time job, choosing to undergo schooling? I cannot afford to lose my apartment as I will need a place to live, and while I make over the maximum required for state funding I still pay the bills alone and have less than $300.00 available after bills at the end of the month. I would need funding to either attend school part time and help with school supplies, or funding for school full-time and keep my apartment while I did not work.

This is the only way I can see remaining a contributing member of society for the next twenty, thirty, forty years. This is my last hope, and what an enriching option to attend college and help invest in the lives of others despite my disability! I am not satisfied to be on welfare or disability, I would much rather pursue a career and remain an individual that has not only beat the odds, but overcome them as well!

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