Let me explain.
My name is Rene. I live in Riverside, California with my fiance, Erik and my twelve year old daughter. Both Erik and I are disabled and not able to work. We managed to get our apartment in September of 2013 by paying all we could, six months rent, ahead of time. Soon after, Erik applied for disability and we hoped that he would be approved by the time the lease was up, or his condition would have improved enough for him to work. (I am unable to stand, sit or walk for verylong doe to injury and illness.) We have been barely able to make ends meet through my SSI benefits, CalFresh, and the generosity of friends and family. But it has been so very difficult and there has been no way to save up.
We have been trying to make and sell our hand made jewelry at our Etsy store, But there haven't been enough buyers. So now we turn here.
We are asking to try to raise enough to cover three months rent in advance by mid February so we can negotiate a new lease for three months. By then we will know more about Erik's claim. If he is approved, we will be able to cover rent and bills with enough to buy groceries and cover a few medical costs. (I need to bandage my foot twice a day and MediCal doesn't cover the costs for that.)
We are willing to make jewelry for those who donate. But, Even if you cannot donate, we would appreciate you sharing this page in anyway you can. Or even share our Etsy shop link. If you wish to see some of our product, please visit our shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhimsyAndArt
Update: we were able to get a monthly lease approved! Even though we didn't have the funds to pay in advance, thanks to all of you, we have kept our apartment! Erik's disability claim was denied, but we are appealing the decision. My SSI hearing is on June 19th and things don't exactly look good. we are doing our best and are still making necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants. Also, we are now trained in face painting and balloon twisting for parties. (For limited durrations, of course)
Things are still difficult, but we are working hard to become self sufficient. If you want a more personal update or more details, please feel free to get a hold of me.
If you are interested in hiring us for your party, please reach us through facesofwhimsy.com.
Thank you all!
Update to the update: We are still in the same place. Things have gone from hard to plain impossible sometimes, but thanks to you all, it has been easier to get through. My disability hearing was postponed due to needing further tests. Which was good. But for the bad. We have not been able to pay bills and sometimes have had to rob Peter to pay Paul. We have more than once had to borrow money with no idea as to when we will be able to pay it back. And there is the constant knowing that, at some point, that hearing will call and there will go our rent.
Erik now has MediCal, so he will soon be getting tests and, with luck, treatment. We are hoping that this will bring in the disability payments we need so desperately to survive.
There is also a deeper need. We will soon need to move from our li1ttle home that we have tried to save. The building is old and the neighborhood is becoming too much for us to handle. Last week, one of the mentally disabled people from the halfway house down the street tried to froce his way into our front door. He would have gotten in if Erik had not braced himself against the door when he had his episode. The scary part after that was the man then tried for the back door which would have only taken a rock or something thrown through the window to bypass. We have decided that our family's safty is worth the move. But we do need to survive in the meantime.
We still make necklaces and earrings. We still twist balloons. We still paint faces and I still do everything I can to bring in what I can to help us survive. Lately, however, I've slowed and cannot think clearly. The doctors are playing with my medications to help me with all sorts of medical problems that seem to be cropping up one after the other. So it has become more difficult to do. Plus, as money has been so tight, gas has been scarce. Getting to and from gigs has been a challenge.
One very awful irritant was that I had my clothes stollen from the laundromat. Right out of a machine! So now I an trying to teach myself to sew in order to turn clth and bits of this and that into wearable clothing for myself and Natasha. It is slow going, i am not going to lie. But I am hopeful.
I know this is a lot to take in, but this is how it has gone.
Some of you have questions and I am willing to answer them if you ask. Some of them are:
What is the disabilities the two of you have?
I am diabetic and have had extensive surgeries on my left foot as well as retinopathy that has greatly reduced my vision. Walking, standing, sitting in chars, ect, is difficult and very painful for me. As well as bright lights. There are other problems, but those are the ones I can list at this moment.
Erik has been, tentatively, diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplaxy. I knkw a lot of you are thinking that narcolepsy is that disease where you just sleep all the time and that people work all the time with it, and you are kind of right. What you also don't see the effects it has on the brain. The hallucinations, the actual lack of rest a narcoleptic can have from sleeping at odd times and waking at odd times. The not being able to control when you are so overwhelmingly tired that you must sleep NOW. Most narcoleptics also have a disorder called cataplexy. This is an entirely different animal. This looks like the person either fainted or had a seizure. No. What has happened is the brain, in response to emotional peaks, ANY emotional peak, releases a chemical into the body that causes it to go into sleep paralysis. But the person is awake. Wide awake. It can be anything from a slight moment of weaknes to complete loss of function for hours on end. And then sleep attacks can hit durring these cataplectic episodes, causing horrible hallucinations, night horrors, audio hallucinations, just all sorts of nasty.
His can happen at anytime, for any reason.
He cannot ever be alone.
Scary stuff, huh?
Anyway, there is more, but I will update more later. Please feel free to email me and ask for more information.
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