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Disabled Couple Seeks Housing Grant To Rehab Habitat For Humanity Home

by Ralph Hughes
(Rossville, GA, USA)

I am 50 years old and so is my wife, Donna. I have seven children, five of my own, and two from my marriage.

The kids are all grown up, except for one who is 11. We have seven grandchildren as well.

Donna had breast Cancer. After 10 years of lying dormant, it showed up in her brain three years ago.

We had it removed. She went through 39 full body radiation treatments, and 15 treatments on her brain.

Sadly this has left me with a wife that cannot partake in many normal family life experiences. She has trouble with reading and speech and other daily items you and I take for granted.

We are proud parents of three young men who are now on active duty for the United States Military. One of them is Army and two are Marines.

Our 18 year old just went into the Marines. We are very proud of our sons doing this for our country.

We have been disabled for the whole time we have been married. I lost my eyesight in the summer of 1999 due to several blows to the head.

Donna's disability is from a brain tumor that had metastasized in her brain. The tumor was over 3.5 cm long and 3 cm wide and it took a big toll on her brain.

The tumor was on the left side of her head slightly behind her left ear. It's the place they say that controls how you remember things.

We cannot drive and so we use a Trans-Aid bus when we can to get some items like going to doctors.

Getting our meds is the hard part. Most of them I have delivered through the mail. The rest we must go to and pick up at the pharmacy.

For us to do this we need to ask others to help. Mostly my family can do it for us when we need it picked up.

Now as to our money, we both draw around $1650 a month and we have tons of bills to pay out of this.

We live as of now in government housing, which costs us $308 a month plus our gas, lights, and other utilities.

We spend over two thirds of our check just on bills. The rest goes for meds and groceries. Then we must do without the rest of the month.

We cannot get help like food stamps because we make too much money. What a joke.

We have tried everything possible to manage. Calling agencies doesn't help because they want you to come in and fill out paperwork. I cannot do this because I can't drive.

So we are just left off the list.

But my wife and I have been chosen for a "Habitat For Humanity" home, which we hope to move into soon.

What we are looking for is help to rehab our new home from HFH. We will need to make it ready for people in wheelchairs, with such things as:

- Roll-in shower for two
- Wider doorways
- Wheelchair ramps
- Handicap furnishings

We will also need a new computer to do our bills online and to take online education courses to increase our income prospects.

We also need to make our place safe enough for my wife to be able to go outside and not get lost. This would include fencing and a GPS tracking device on her clothes.

If I could get a large enough grant, it would help me buy items from a company named Maxi-Aids, to help me organize my home.

I was a chef once in my life, and I plan to return as a consultant one day, after I get my home life under control.

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