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Disabled Naval Reserve Vet Seeks Grant Or Scholarship For Nutrition Education

by Janet Potts
(Naperville, IL, USA)

I am a 53-year-old former Naval officer living in Naperville, IL. I share my home with four rescue cats as well as a varying number of foster cats and kittens rescued from a variety of adverse situations (abandonment, animal hoarders, etc).

I rehabilitate them until they are old enough and healthy enough to go to no-kill shelters to be adopted.

I also volunteer for a non-profit, low cost spay and neuter clinic working to eliminate the problem of unwanted animals and helping families in need with medical services and providing pet food to local food pantries.

Disability Issues

I was disabled on a drill weekend with the Naval Reserve, breaking and dislocating my right ankle. This required surgery to implant a metal plate and screws leaving me with a permanent 10% disability rating.

In addition, I have a recessive-genetic hearing impairment that has resulted in a 50% loss of hearing and the need to use hearing aids.

Several years ago I was also diagnosed with non-Celiac gluten sensitivity that was the source of decades of ear infections, migraine headaches and systemic inflammation.

Financial Hardship

Although I was given a 10% disability rating, because I was given a severance from the Reserves as a result of the injury, I receive nothing from the VA monetarily.

The effects of the inflammation resulting from non-Celiac gluten sensitivity that my body suffered with for so long have left me with a large debt so that I have reached the end of my financial rope.

I live paycheck to paycheck and have no room on credit cards or loans to cover any additional costs.

There were dozens of doctors, countless lab tests and medications that took their toll year after year, none of them solving my underlying health issues.

Once I discovered gluten was the root cause, I adopted a gluten free lifestyle, which has improved my health tremendously. It has launched me into the study of food and the role nutrition plays in our health.

I no longer get migraines or suffer from the side effects of system inflammation. However, the damage to my finances was already done.

In addition, my job at a high tech company was eliminated leaving me unemployed for a while, using up whatever savings I had.

Income Efforts

I was eventually able to get another job as a technical writer though opportunities have been limited ever since the financial collapse in 2001.

I have continued to seek other, better paying jobs but most employers are not willing to pay for experienced writers and are, instead, seeking less expensive, freshly graduated young people.

My disability hasn't been enough to qualify me for most programs such as SSDI nor do I qualify for the VA educational benefits. I make "too much" to qualify for low income, though not enough to get out of debt.

Specific Needs

I am seeking a grant or scholarship for approximately $6,000 to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in order to become a health coach.

I want to turn what I've learned in the pursuit of my own health into a career helping others see their way through to a healthier lifestyle.

The income potential of such a career move would enable me to not only pursue my passion but to free myself from debilitating debt.

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