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Disabled Veteran Couple Seeks Grant Money To Help With Daily Struggle

by Jack Willeke
(St Marys, Ohio, USA)

I am a 39-year-old veteran married to my wife Kendra who is 45. She served in the United States Army from 1986-1989, while I served in the United States Navy from 1995-1999.

We have three kids. Two still live with us. Our youngest, Danny, is about to graduate from high school and hopes to go onto college this fall. Our other child, Alyssa, that is living at home, is hoping to go to college this fall too.

In January of 2004 I was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy due to a virus attacking my heart. I was then referred to Cleveland Clinic for further evaluation.

In February of 2006 I had to have a heart transplant. Three years later I was diagnosed with rejection because my body is still rejecting my new heart.

With the heart transplant I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety attacks now.

I am able to function with some limits put on me. I cannot carry more than 10 pounds at one time.

My wife is also getting Social Security Disability for chronic pain, depression and panic disorder. Kendra's disability started in August of 2000 due to a surgeon messing up her gall bladder surgery and nicking her bile duct.

This all led to her having lung surgery because bile from her bile duct had leaked to the area around her left lung causing scar tissue. The lung surgery happened in March of 2001.

She then had to have her bile duct reconstructed because her original bile duct was too messed up to function correctly.

She had various procedures before the bile duct reconstruction in hopes of opening the bile duct to where it would function right, but it never worked and that was the reason she needed the surgery for her bile duct.

We are currently having troubles making our rent payments, buying food for our family, paying for school fees for our youngest son, and rarely give our kids any spending money to go do anything.

I am getting my medications through the Veterans Administration and the bill for the medicines that I get can be almost a couple hundreds dollars a month.

We pay for extra insurance through Anthem for both my wife and myself and we get my wife's medicines through a local pharmacy that cost about a hundred dollars a month.

I have to go to Cleveland Clinic every so often for checkups for my heart transplant. We live about 200 miles one away from Cleveland and sometimes have to stay the night before if I have an early appointment.

We both currently receive Social Security Disability. I have been trying to go to school, but sometimes I miss too many days because of the side effects of all the medications I am on and am unable to attend classes.

Then when I miss classes I get too far behind and have to drop out of school for this reason. I am still trying to go to get an associates degree in a medical field.

Right now I am going to start this summer quarter for respiratory care therapy. I will not be able to get into the real program until the Summer of 2012 right now and then it will take me about two years to complete the degree.

We are looking for grants to help us pay for our rent, food, electric and our gas bill. We use gas to cook with and to heat our house when it is cold out.

We are not looking for any kind of business grants in order to start a business. We just need some help with the things I mentioned before.

Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated and used in with the items that I mentioned before.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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Jun 03, 2011
by: Don P.


We met back in 2009 when you were at CCF. (I'm a MendedHearts volunteer, and heart transplant recipient).

Off the top of my head, I'd recommend this site and see if they might be able to help. The social workers at CCF can be a valuable resource as well.


You might also want to check with veteran groups in your area.

I wish you well.

Don P.

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