Disability Grant To Help Darlene Make Home Accessible For Daughter
by Darlene Cristofaro
(Melbourne, Florida, USA)
Hi my name is Darlene and I am writing this story on behalf of my beautiful daughter Dominique because she is unable to advocate for herself.
She is 25 years old and lives in Melbourne, Florida with her father and me.
We are a very close and loving family and would do anything to give Dominique the best quality of life she deserves.
Dominique was born with developmental delay and autism. She was diagnosed at 15 years of age with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
This syndrome is a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy that is characterized by frequent seizures, multiple seizure types, a resistance to medication and/or therapies, behavior disturbances and moderate to severe cognitive dysfunction.
There is no cure for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. Do to the severity of this syndrome she is now using a wheelchair and a modified walker. She has not been walking on her own without help for 10 years.
Dominique’s speech, cognitive, developmental and physical skills have been greatly affected by this syndrome.Financial Hardship
Dominique’s physical and mental condition continues to decline, as she gets older. When she was too old for the public school system’s special needs classes she was graduated from high school.
At that time her full time care became our sole responsibility. Thus I am no longer able to work another job.
Over half of Dominique’s disability check is used towards the loan payment of the handicap accessible conversion van. When she is being transported she is primarily wheelchair bound.
My husband’s income pays for the household expenses, but we have no other sources of income that would allow us to make such a drastic modification to our home.Income Efforts
Dominique requires my full time care and attention. It would be unrealistic to pursue another job, even work-at-home employment.
Thus we are pursuing the only realistic source of income at our disposal. The State of Florida offers a program called CDC+. The CDC+ program permits my husband to be Dominique’s Representative and actually hires me to care for her.Specific Needs
It is our desire to give Dominique the best quality of life possible. Our goal is to not allow her muscles to atrophy. Thus we want her to be able to walk independently with the support of her adult harness-equipped walker.
We would need the financial support from a grant to radically modify our home. This modification would include smooth hard floors, wide-open spaces, handicap accessible countertops and walls with padded protection.