Disability Grants For Multiple Sclerosis Disabled Robert To Build Photojournalism Career
by Robert McLeod
(Greeneville, Tennessee, USA)
I am married to the love of my life. My wife is retired. We have two out of three children surviving.
MS Disabled Robert Seeks Disability Grants To Build Photojournalism Career
Our daughter died two years ago after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. She was diagnosed two years before it took her.
We have two sons who are grown and five grandchildren.
I love photography and writing. I read a lot of nonfiction in an attempt to counteract some of the effects of my illness.
I am also proud to be an Eagle Scout and a Veteran of the United States Army.Disability Issues
In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. I had a lemon-sized mass in my mouth between my left tonsil and my mandible.
After 45 radiation treatments and three Cisplatin chemotherapy treatments I am cancer free. I only have the side effects left.
While being treated, my Oncologist found another problem. She diagnosed me with a blood disease called monoclonal gammopathy of an undetermined source after doing a bone marrow biopsy.
This disease can lead to Multiple Myeloma, so I have blood work done every six months to rule that out.
I was also found to be anemic. This limits options for treating my Multiple Sclerosis.
To add to the list, I also have stage 1 kidney disease, drop foot, sciatica and peripheral neuropathy.
In November 2015 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after having a lumbar puncture. MRIs showed demyelination in my spinal cord. They also showed many areas of plaque or lesions in my brain.
All of this has changed the way I walk, talk and remember, or should I say forget things.
The whole right side of my body is impaired due to demyelination and axon nerve damage. I am right handed, but now am learning to use my left hand more.Financial Hardship
When I first got sick, I was working at Walmart making $12 an hour, $1200 per month, and barely paying the bills.
Disability for me is $1200. My wife took early retirement after being diagnosed with diabetes. She is receiving $660 per month. We are way worse off.
We are now trying to live as minimalistic as possible. There are many things we took for granted eight years ago when I made $63,000 per year.
I was laid off in 2008 and joined the ranks of the highest employment rates in recent history. I eventually took what I could find. That is, until I was diagnosed with cancer.
My wife now has a job watching an elderly man 10 hours a week.
We still dodge bill collectors occasionally and have gone a couple days without electricity.Income Efforts
As previously stated, my wife was able to secure part-time employment.
She has to watch her earnings as she is only allowed to make very little per month under retirement.
She also had glucose problems that zap her energy if she stands or works too long.
I am unable to stand without assistance. I can walk with a cane. Right now I am using crutches due to knee surgery.
I have oncology, neurology and primary care appointments regularly.Specific Needs
I am looking for any assistance in starting a photojournalism career.
I have retained most, if not all of my creativity and writing skills. I could however use some grammar and photography courses to improve these skills.
In addition, I would need a laptop computer with Microsoft word or equivalent, digital recording equipment, multipurpose printer and a professional digital camera.
I believe that I could generate additional income for paying life's monthly tolls, and also keep my brain healthier and keener in the process.
Any relevant publications, be they new or used, would also be helpful. I will be done learning when I die, maybe.Business Idea
I intend to start out my photojournalism with local stories about the history of the area in which I live. I want to be very in-depth with each story and include stunning photography of the people, architecture and landscape involved.
While interviewing, I also would get points of view from each interviewee pertaining to current affairs, religion and as many other topics as I can think of.
This way I can create additional topics to investigate later after more interviewing and compiling more focused articles.
I hope to eventually write my way into national and international arenas.
I believe that unbiased journalism is becoming an oxymoron. I would like to try to help resolve that.