Help The Swymer Brothers

Hello, My name is Karen Johnson and I am 1 of 3 older sisters to these two young men, 16yo Tony & 12yo Nick. Tragically their mom, Renee Atwood Swymer, passed away suddenly in the evening on December 9th 2017, with no known prior heart issues the lethal heart attack shocked us all. With our father unable to take proper care of the boys due to ptsd, my husband and I decided to take them in to avoid them being placed in foster care. Sadly these young men are no strangers to heartache, as they've lost one great grandfather, one grandfather, two grandmothers, and now their mother. Their special needs only complicate their grief more as they sometimes struggle to convey their thoughts and feelings. My husband and I have all the love in our hearts for these boys, but that's not always enough, especially when medications alone can run as high as $400 a month per child, that's with Medicaid. My husband and I were renting a room when tragedy struck so we were in no position to take them in immediately and had a week to find new housing for all four of us. Thankfully my loving nana co signed for us to get an apartment so that we had safe and adequate place to call home for these guys. We are able to take what we want/need from their mothers home so most of our material needs are met. Unfortunately until we can get assistance (can take up to 3 months) in place to help us properly take care of the Swymer brothers we have to pay out of pocket which is adding up quicker than anticipated. Food especially has been harder to manage on top of medications, gas to go to and from dozens of doctors appointments, taking a lot of time off to do proper paperwork, and just basic needs. As hard as it is to ask for help, I have to set aside my pride and do these guys right no matter what. Since no other family members are able to take them in it's literally we make this work or they go to foster care which would crush them and us for not being able to manage this task on our own. When foster care was mentioned to the boys Tony immediately expressed that Nick wouldn't do well with his diagnosis and that he would manage the foster care system if it meant nick being safe with family. The fact that at 16 he is willing to selflessly sacrifice himself for his younger brother makes my heart hurt more for them both. Please help us give these boys the childhood they deserve to have, without worrying if we'll be able to make rent, or bills or be able to put food on the table. It's not their fault these terrible things have happened and that we weren't financially ready for such a big undertaking. Thank you all for the outpouring of love and support,
  • Susan Heekin  
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Paul Vesely 
    • $100 
    • 41 mos
  • Patricia Harper  
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Stacy Tolbert 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Daniel Jones 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
See all

Organizer

Karen Swymer Johnson 
Organizer
Louisa, VA
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