new roof, home repairs, medical bills

$110 of $40k goal

Raised by 2 people in 32 months
Diana Burrell-Shipton  HUBBARD, OH
I was/am so embarrassed to have to ask for help like this as I have always worked very hard all of my life to take care of my own problems - often working 2 jobs at a time. Back in my days as a single mom with 2 kids, I went to Penn State full time and made Dean's List every single semester/ran a few clubs/helped out at HeadStart/had a huge organic garden to have healthy fruits and veggies for my kids... and helped my neighbors...
The last several years has been horrible for us with my Mom being so ill and dying from cancer and then Dad having serious heart and lung issues. So, I stepped up to help out wherever I could physically and then emotionally as well when most of her loved ones were too busy to stop by and thus broke her heart and am still helping Dad with whatever he needs.
My brother would have been there in a flash, but he died when he was only 30 years old from an aortic dissection due to our family having a genetic mutation called Marfan's Syndrome (or similar) - I have it and so may my kids.  We have lost a few Aunts and Uncles and some cousins as well    I am supposed to be checked every 6 months, for that stuff and then on my Mom's side of the family there are other heart issues and so much cancer - but had no medical insurance for years so now that we do have it, the doctors are doing everything now and the co-pays and portions that insurance does not cover are getting crazy !
And, now a leaky roof and ruined belongings was just the last proverbial straw.

These days I can barely walk and have a few other health issues going on, but I still work here at my gift shop from 7am until 5pm on most days and just cannot keep this up for much longer so I had to break down and ask for help to save my old house - one of the oldest homes in Hubbard, Ohio - please read my page about this wonderful, old house and then tweet/post/share this if you are so inclined. 

Here's a portion of a page that I wrote a while back about why saving my old house is so important to me:
I love this old house that was built in 1825.
My Grandparents bought it in the early 1940's and had to put in the windows and doors... as the house had been abandans for years and got abused.
I would love to semi restore it
BUT, I’m sure it would take much more than I could possibly do in money and time.
So, I've been doing what I can here and there to just keep it standing.

I want to restore some of it like putting in a fireplace/wood burner and getting rid of the awful aluminum siding that was put on in the back when folks couldn’t care much about preserving looks or historical integrity… as much as feeding kids and survival so they used what they could afford.

I want to do these things while updating other things like discreetly adding solar panels on the roof, adding hidden electrical outlets and adding a deep well for washing clothes even in a drought.

I keep hoping that I will someday be able to help cover the costs of adding solar panels and having the electronics installed to convert the power into electricity and to store the extra power in batteries and whatever else is involved in this process.

I am trying to keep the look of the house in a cross between close to how Grandma and Grandpa had it and how it would have been when it was built.
A tough call for sure because I have no photos of the house before they bought it and I want it to be earth friendy too.

We had to tear down the old garage as it was falling over and getting dangerous.  The breezeway is in bad shape too and needs replaced as well.
More good news (insert scowl here)  The fuel oil tank is so old that it can't be used so we've been using a few of those raditor style electric oil-filled heaters for a few years which is getting expensive.
I want to put in a combination wood/solar/electric heater as we are in the woods so it would be cheap during the cold, Ohio Winters and I would use solar when available and electric when needed or whan we are away.

Update, March, 2013:
I’ve had to put my dream on hold for these last several years as my Mom’s cancer came back and I took over her little gift shop to keep it open for her – glad to do it as she was happy to come in whenever she could – we lost her this month.

Update, June, 2014:
Well, my health has not been good for a few years now and I have a ton of doctor’s bills to pay and more tests and things to get done – so even more bills will be on the way :(
On top of all of this, business has been slow at the gift shop and I found out that we have a hole in the roof.
Of course it is over the room where my precious few antiques were so most of them are ruined.
Hubby has gone up 3 times to try to cover the hole/holes, but the roof is still leaking.
This must have been going on for some time because the wood under the shingles is rotting in several places. This roof hasn’t been touched since my Uncle replaced the shingles 40+ years ago so I was hoping to have a really good year in sales because we do not make enough in wages to cover it – even without all of the medical bills.
We had to tear down the old garage that was falling down and the breezeway will have to be next as it is in bad shape too.
I don’t want to lose this old house :(
Friends suggested that I start a GoFundMe page so here I am  :)

I'm sure I'll need more than I put in the "goal" box to pay the bills and get the house repairs done, but I have no idea of what it will be and didn't want to ask for too much.

To read more about this, go to:

To read more about
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Update 15
Posted by Diana Burrell-Shipton
15 months ago
Great news !
I have been able to get my lower legs down quite a bit thanks to the foam wraps and short-stretch bandages from EZ Medical Wraps.
It is tough to know that I can never go without having my feet and legs wrapped up like a mummy (which takes a good hour - twice that when I wash and lotion them up too) or else the lymphedema will go crazy again in them and lead to those terrible infections and constant pain, but I am grateful to at least have something that helps me to be able to function.
I do need to get another set though as I need to wear these everyday and so they are getting quite a bit of wear to them.
Still no progress in getting my roof fixed as I am trying to work on everything else.
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Update 14
Posted by Diana Burrell-Shipton
20 months ago
I have lymphedema; venous insufficiency; macular degeneration; either Marfan Syndrome or its cousin genetic connective tissue disorder/disease Ehler's Danlos Syndrome; had my gall bladder and a small part of my liver removed; and had lumps taken from both breasts so far that were suspicious (all were benign so far, but Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma all had a few "female" cancers so my doctors do not play around) + a few other surgeries and minor things.
Yes, there are days when it is all just too much :(
But, with everything that I've been through with watching my Mom die and losing my brother to our family's genetic connective tissue disorder and know that I have it and so do my children - I cannot allow myself to wallow even on those really bad days when I really want to do so :)
Thank you to all who are sharing my story and trying to help me and trying to help save my home !
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Update 13
Posted by Diana Burrell-Shipton
20 months ago
Thank you to all of you who are spreading my link everywhere !
I still have a long way to go, but with wonderful folks like you helping by donating and sharing - I know I can get there.
I know that there are people who are worse off than me, but for me this is getting desperate and I can't climb out of this hole alone.
All of the rain in Ohio over this past month has made my home worse and I have lost many things to mildew that weren't already ruined due to the rain leaking through my roof.
My legs are worse and my toes are almost always numb now and a few toenails are loose, but I am fighting it as best I can with what I have to use.
Please tell my story to anyone who might care to listen.
Thank you all !
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Update 12
Posted by Diana Burrell-Shipton
26 months ago
I was just talking to someone who didn't know how my brother died and how scary it is for the rest of us in the family. So I did my best to explain: 'The doctors are not sure if it is Marfan Syndrome or a form of Ehler's Danlos Syndrome as the Burrell family seems to have both the deadly and the disabling which has never been known to happen. Of course - LOL - we can't have an easy to research case. We have had several Aunts/Uncles/cousins... who died in their late 30's or 40's. Then there are many, like me, who lived longer but were disabled by the time that they were in there 40's. We have seen geneticists and other doctors at both Cleveland Clinic and Children's in Pittsburgh. In all known cases, one disorder or the other was the culprit. In our family, it looks like we either have both disorders or an unknown genetic connective tissue disorder. My oldest has shown some signs of it since her 20's. My son hasn't yet, but he has the look of the disorders as he is 6'5" and has many other of the signs. My youngest has a few signs of it, but I am hoping that they are just "growing pains". '
I wish I could still work like I used to do. I did everything in the house and gardens - even many of the home repairs. Now, I can barely walk the length of my yard - on a good day.
Please help by sharing my GoFundMe link so that I can get the needed repairs done before I lose my home.
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$110 of $40k goal

Raised by 2 people in 32 months
Created July 26, 2014
Diana Burrell-Shipton  
28 months ago
30 months ago
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