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Disability Grants To Help Paraplegic Shanlonder Get What She Needs To Live A Fulfilling Life

by Shanlonder Aiken
(Marion, South Carolina, USA)

Hello, first of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my story. My name is Shanlonder Aiken. I am a 38-year-old woman on Disability.

I had one daughter but she died when we both were in a car accident. I am from Marion, South Carolina and I live with both of my parents and nephew.

Disability Issues

On December 12, 2004, I was in a car accident. I ended up with a T-11-T-12 spinal cord injury, which means I am a paraplegic. Since then, I have struggled with many obstacles in my life but still I persevered through them.

On a daily basis, I often deal with great pain in my lower back and nerve pain that starts from my back and goes to my feet. I take pain medicine for these problems but it really doesn't help much. I also deal with high blood pressure and I take medicine for that as well.

I did file for Disability and was approved and awarded SSI.

Financial Hardship

The amount of SSI that I receive is under $800 a month. I do receive EBT benefits in the amount of $137 and I am thankful for that because some people do not receive as much.

Even though I live with my parents, I still have to pay my share of the bills in the home. I pay rent, electricity, house insurance, car insurance, cable, water and taxes. I have my own telephone that I pay for and I also have Internet that I pay.

When times got very hard for me and I couldn't get the things that I needed, I applied for a couple of credit cards. I was approved; now I make payments on those cards as well. It seems like I have more bills than I do income.

At the end of the month, if I have any money left, it ranges from maybe $49-$89 and that is not including when I buy personal items for myself.

Income Efforts

A few years ago, I wanted to work from home. I applied for the job, passed the test, and vocational rehabilitation was going to back me but it didn't work out for me. Because I live so far in the country, my iInternet connection was not good enough to do what was required.

I tried other work from home jobs and it was the same problem with all of them.

However, last year, even though I still had the same problem, I tried a call center job. It worked out okay for a couple of weeks but when the weather got bad, I had no connection. I was dropping calls and was having bad service.

The reason why I was trying to work from home is because of how bad my back hurts sometimes and I cannot sit up for long periods of times without giving my back some type of relief.

Specific Needs

What I am really in desperate need of right now is home modifications. I live in a mobile home with my parents and nephew and I don't have enough space to maneuver around like I need to. I need to add on to my bedroom.

I have a small area where I can move around in the wheelchair. I can't even go to my closet. I lay clothes out on a chair or box because I have no room. I think if I'm in my room, it can hold only 2-3 more people somewhat comfortably.

I'm also in need of handicap transportation. My mom has a van that I ride in but it's not handicap accessible. I have to use a transfer board and pull myself up in it if I want to go anywhere. That gets very painful for me sometimes and I just choose to stay home.

My parents are both disabled. My dad suffers with an awful back and my mom suffers with terrible arthritis among other issues. They try to help me out as much as possible but I don't want them to continue to hurt themselves by lifting my wheelchair in a van or car.

I would like to get my own transportation with the hand control and ramp lift because I can't get modifications done on that van because it doesn't even belong to my mom.

I am seeking enough funding to make life just a little bit simpler for me. Just to have the freedom and independence that I once had before. Just to be able to have space and move about just like everyone else in my home and not feeling like I'm confined in a jail cell.

I am also seeking enough funding for a handicap accessible vehicle. This will help me so that I don't have to hurt as much like I do now while trying to get out and do some of the things I need to do for myself.

I'm just a 38 year woman who realizes after 12 years of struggles, I want to start living life to the fullest again. I want go and enjoy life without having to depend on people who at most times are not very dependable because of what's going on in their lives.

I want to go to church without putting myself in more pain before I get there. I praise God for everything that he brought me and the strength that he gives me every day!

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Oct 31, 2017
Thank you Christel
by: Shanlonder

Hi Christel, thank you for reading and commenting on my story. I have been looking into the Reeve Foundation for years now and never received any help, but there's still hope. I know that sometimes it takes a long time for people to reach out to other people because there are so many people out there that needs help just like me. Thanks again for showing interest in my story...my life.

Oct 25, 2017
Hope this helps
by: Christel Wintz

Sorry to hear about your struggles. The first thing that came to me when I saw your post is I was wondering if you heard of or checked out the Christopher Reve foundation to see what it might have to offer?

Oct 25, 2017
Use the workbook
by: Don from Ability Mission

Hello Shanlonder,

Congrats on getting your story published! In doing so, you've acquired valuable hands-on experience in responding to precise instructions, the very kind that you will encounter when applying for help of any kind.

You've now earned the right to access the Workbook, which shows you how to use your story as a springboard to getting the help you need.

Don Coggan

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