Many of you might recognize Don, as he was the lead singer in Ventura County's Dezmo's Blues. They played at the Ventura County Fair, Concerts by the Park, Frescos II, The Watermark, Rabalais, The Banana Festival, and many others.. The band won Best Blues Band of Ventura County a week ago. What you did not know is that behind the cheerful music, a silent tragedy was unfolding. Already dealing with Judy's illnesses (c-diff (an extremely painful and life threatening illness) which was for many years misdiagnosed as Crohn's Disease, and ultimately colon removal over fourteen years requiring dozens of hospitalizations and excruiating pain, which because of two huge hernias at her surgery site, she still experiences and will require another operation. Judy also has a heart condition, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and psoriatic arthritis which makes anything more than short distances require a wheel chair. Most of the time, Judy is bed bound and in extreme pain, and after twelve years of attempting to receive SSDI disability, she somehow fell through the cracks and does not receive disability. Before her illnesses, Judy, who holds a master's degree in Public Health from UCLA, worked as a hospital administrator and Health Education Manager for over 25 years. Even in her pain, she is still concerned and tries to help anyone who is suffering. She would do anything she could to take care of Karen all these years, while suffering. But even with Judy's chronic health problems, the Fates weren't finished, Don suffered a stroke last November while working three jobs to meet expenses and keep their house which they rent. He was graphic artist, security guard with overnight shifts and singing in Dezmo's Blues and solo acts. The stroke forced him to leave his two jobs. He can still sing for a short duration before becoming exhausted and mentally confused. He has his good moments, but has been diagnosed with Stroke induced Dementia. All savings, retirement plans, etc. have been exhausted. Temporary disability checks and weekly visits to the Food bank helped them barely survive this past year. But next month, in November, that Disability will end. Permanent disability takes at least four months, usually much longer to be approved. That is at least four months without any money to pay for rent, food, or anything else
Karen is a top achieving student at Ventura County High School and has taken honors and AP classes every year. She is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. She has endured and weathered in her 17 years what many of us will never have to deal with in a whole lifetime. Since she was 4 years old, she has almost lost her mother on several occasions, seeing her go once again by ambulance, and not coming home for one to 3 weeks. Karen also has been diagnosed with scoliosis, a painful condition affecting her spine. She endures many painful and challenging therapies, most not covered by Medi-Cal. The main goal of this campaign is to keep Don, Judy and Karen and cats (Bear and Angel ) in their rented house at least until June so Karen can graduate. She plans to go to four year college and study Psychology. She loves people and wants a career helping others. Any extra funds, after rent and utilities and food, will be used for car repairs (the family has just one old car), eyeglasses, dental care, and continued treatments for Karen's spine.
If you can please help contribute anything to this fund (they would even be grateful for even $10) you will be a blessing to his family and help give them hope for a happier ending.
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