My family and I have quietly dealt with our situation for many, many years. For those of you who may not be aware, I am the oldest of four children. The other three are triplets, two boys and a girl, all three with Autism. They also have epilepsy, and my sister suffers from a rare kidney disorder, that caused kidney failure in the past. This is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg that my family has dealt with.
My parents for many years, tried to keep their struggles from me, but it became too much to hide, and provided some moral lessons along the way. I've have witnessed not only the total segregation of my siblings because they are different, but also the terrible treatment my parents have received. I have been treated with pity, and surrounded by whispers my entire life. I don't often like talking about our struggles and pain, but after some of the things that have recently gone viral, things need to come to light.
I have bad news for you. You know that letter to the mother with the Autistic child, telling her to have him euthanized? This has happened many times over to my family, but has never once been publicized. In fact, once we had a local paper call us and send us a letter they received and refused to print, as it named all three of the triplets' names and attacked them, urging the community to rise up and run my family out on a rail. It was never published, but the mentality has continued to exist.
My parents spent the first 17 years or so of the triplets' life advocating for them. Fighting for the triplets to get the best life they possibly could. My father worked and barely paid our bills. My mother stayed at home and poured herself over research, Individualized Educational Plans, tools and aids to help the children learn and cope with the world beyond what the school district was willing or able. My family, sad to say, has always been well within the limits of the poverty lines. My parents fought hard to make sure we didn't go without. We ate a specialized diet, Celiac to be specific. We had a roof over our head, family pets that brought us comfort and joy as children, toys and even computers. Never the top of the line, but enough to get done what needed to be done.
As I neared my college years, my mother began to do small side work; cleaning houses mostly. Eventually, as the market crashed, my father lost job after job. Soon they developed their own business of handy work. Both mom and dad worked as many hours as they could, while the triplets were at school. Work piled up, both at home and with clients. Bills weren't getting paid, so work with clients became a priority, just to keep surviving, and keep the triplets comfortable.
This is the case to this day. My parents are in their fifties now, and working every day they can. My mother hasn't had a day off in months, working every day, with torn ligaments and possibly broken bones because some clients refuse to let her have time off, and the bills are still waiting to be paid. My father works during the day and then comes home to get the triplets off the van from their day-hab program, as they are beyond the educational cut off age, and takes over making dinner and basic household chores that haven't yet been accomplished by the one personal care attendant (or what ever the title is now) who steps in during the day.
As one may imagine, if you were to work from 7am until midnight everyday, and you have certain priorities due to your children's health concerns, certain things may fall to the wayside or to the back burner. Sadly, that means that the curb appeal of the home, the yard and porch of the 100+ year old home is starting to want attention. There are people within the community, that have some sort of prejudice or agenda against my family, who have reported my parents to the local authorities. I mean they have called the town hall, the police, the fire marshal and even the department of social services. My parents have been contacted by the local authorities, and given warnings. Now the warnings have escalated to threats of demolishing the home and taking away the triplets.
My parents are hard working, honest people; Kind people, perhaps to a fault. They have nothing in savings, no chance to retire, and are merely trying to get by and provide for their family. That's all they have ever done, and I dare anyone else to try to accomplish what they have done.
If there is anyone who can stand behind my family, most especially my parents, in this difficult time; I beg you, stand up. Share our story, stop by and give my parents a hug, if you can help with anything, please help. Whether it's being willing to help should this go to court, to help them get junk to the junk yard, to help them with anything at all would be appreciated. Prayer, support, and love is what they need right now. Everything they've ever worked for is teetering on a razor edge. Please, please don't let us become a forgotten story. Please don't let us become some terrible statistic. Help.
Your Neighbor, Friend, Niece, Sister
PS: Any money raised through this will go towards materials for Porch and Fence repair, dumpster/dump fees to remove debris from repairs and clean up efforts!
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