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Degenerative Disc Disabled Mother Seeks Grant For Handicap Home And Vehicle

by Dawn Hobson
(Middleton, Idaho, USA)

I am a 36-year-old divorced mother of two beautiful children. Richard is 11 going on 12 this summer. Jenna is three going on four, also this summer.

I have two older sisters and an older brother who are there when they can be, as well as my mother who is still living, but they have their own families to attend to and worry about.

Also in my life is Jenna's father Jon who has been taking care of me for the past four going on five years even though I'm not his responsibility. That's why I love him so.

I officially became disabled December 30, 2001. That was the day Doctor Curtis said I couldn't work anymore. She sent me to a specialist, Doctor Handscome (who was a spine surgeon), who did more tests.

It turned out that I had ruptured a disk in my spine. I was born with a case of severe spinal stenosis. They had told me I was the youngest case in the United States.

They said I was lucky to be walking at all. They were surprised that I wasn't wheelchair bound because my spinal cord might as well be tethered to my spinal column.

So needless to say I had a discectomy and a laminectomy to correct that, but problems didn't end there. Over time I have switched doctors from Handscome to Jorgenson due to Handscome retiring or moving. I'm not sure which.

My spine has continued to deteriorate due to degenerative bone and disk disease of the spine. I also suffer with degenerative bone disease throughout my body. I've had my right hip replaced and my left hip has been broken. I also suffer from osteoporosis and AR.

On April 26, 2012 I had my fifth back surgery where I was on the table for eight hours. The doctors practically bent me in half with a pick line in my neck because my veins weren't working.

The incision wasn't just down my back this time. There was also one on my left side from them going in and lifting up the vertebra and pushing it back into alignment, because it had collapsed forward.

Going through all of this and trying to remain positive is hard. I take Prozac, Effexor, Abilify and Valium for the depression and the anxiety.

I'm really concerned because my body has built up a tolerance to pain medication over the past 10 years. I feel like all I take anymore is psych and pain medications and it's hard to feel good when you do nothing but sit home and waste away, literally.

Just being asked to describe my financial hardship brings instant tears to the eyes. I'm borrowing the laptop I'm using to write this. I don't own anything in my name.

The last thing I owned was a car that was a standard that I could no longer drive, so I traded it in for an automatic. It had to go under Jon's name because my credit was shot due to past medical bills.

Since the birth of Jenna in 2008, I have moved once or twice a year. I've lost everything except clothes, blankets, towels, kitchenware, a walker, cane, wheelchair and lift seat for my toilet.

I need a handicap vehicle to get me to and from doctor appointments, a service/companion animal for emergency help and a home that is handicap accessible.

At this point in my life I'm desperate. A family of three doesn't go far on $800 a month. I don't include my son. I can only see him part-time due to finances. He is with his Father in Pocatello, Idaho.

Here in Middleton, a small town NW of Boise, the rent for a low-income, two-bedroom, one-bath apartment is $515. This doesn't include gas, electric and phone bills.

There is also my car payment, and gas to drive to and from doctors' appointments. I can only dream of going somewhere and doing something. More so than me... It's my children who suffer.

I currently receive $762 minus $100 for Medicare plus $63 each for Jenna and Richard. Jon is unemployed at 49 years of age and can't find a job. Although he just received his EA, he isn't getting anywhere in accounting due to age, even though he keeps trying every day.

Every time we start to get something or it looks like we might have good news on a job for Jon, we end up with bad news.

We do try... we even took our taxes and paid down bills, stretched out funds and invested in coffee to sell. So far out of $500 we put out, we made back $29. We have come close but close doesn't count in something like that. You either do or don't.

As for grants... This is the first time I have found something that might help and I pray that it does. I've been sitting here now for a couple hours, pain from the waist down but I'm still typing. No pain, no gain right? I'm not sure about that. Maybe it sometimes does more harm.

As for specific needs I just lost my QMB benefit for no reason. I went into Health and Welfare and they said I qualify but for some reason it's showing closed that it is most likely a glitch. I need my QMB benefits back for my medical.

I need grants for both an accessible home to live in and a handicap vehicle (like a minivan that would hold my wheelchair and self in it) to get to and from doctors. I also need a service animal that can help me, in case of an emergency.

I need someone for advice and to advocate on my behalf, someone who can speak with me, for me, counsel me. I want to live again despite the pain.

I want my children to have a decent life, especially Jenna who is only three and has a chance to get it right.

I know it's asking a lot, but I really do need help. Anybody that can and will help please do. I need you at this point in my life.

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May 27, 2012
Don't give up.
by: Sara Cunningham

I did a Google search for you and found a nonprofit that may be able to help you get a van. Go to:


I hope this will help you in some way.

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