Elaine's Life Support Fund


My life changed dramatically on October 4, 2012, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am currently in remission, but the debilitating side effects, from which I now suffer, have not allowed me to go back to work.  The chemotherapy and radiation treatments I endured took their toll on my body.   I struggle, every moment, of every day, just to take care of myself and my dog.  I have also been diagnosed with cumulative and post traumatic stress disorders.  I have very little tolerance for stress and suffer panic attacks daily.  I CAN’T BREATHE!! 

Because I have not been able to go back to work, I applied for Social Security Disability on August 1, 2013.  After the standard 2 denials, I appealed for a hearing.  I finally got in front of the judge on March 3, 2016!  Because I am turning 50 this year, he started my disability on January 1, 2016; therefore, cutting off 38 months of back benefits!  I am now appealing the “date of onset of disability”, but there is no guaranty.

While going through this stressful, drawn-out, bureaucratic process, I used my life's savings to survive.  Due to the Great Recession, my retirement funds took a 40% hit.  The lower value, plus the penalties and fees for early distribution, meant that my savings didn’t last long.  …I didn’t get a bail out, like the banks and auto industry…  In order to slow the depletion rate, I sold most of my assets, but the process just took too long.  I ran out of money last November.  I CAN’T BREATHE!! 

I was dedicated to my career and, for 28 years, I saved aggressively for retirement.  I moved all over the country and sacrificed so much to make something of my life.  Now, without my health, everything I worked so hard for is gone.  There are no words to express how difficult my journey has been – to go from rags to riches and back to rags again!  The reality is that I am no longer young, energetic and healthy.  …I NEVER planned for any of this…  As every day passes, I lose a little bit of myself. 

I will not see my first SSD check until JULY 20th, which is a VERY L-O-N-G time to survive without any income! 

Now, all I have is my 10 year old car and my home, which has equity.  Without income I cannot access this equity; therefore, I am officially broke!  In February, I was just days from triggering the foreclosure process on my mortgage, when I received my 2015 tax refund and a personal loan from a friend.  However, if I do not make another payment before May 15th, the foreclosure process will begin.  I can’t lose my home and the equity to the bank!!  Someday, I may choose to sell, but it needs to be on my terms.  Before I can consider any major changes in my life, the stress needs to lighten up, so that I can think more clearly.

Have I mentioned … I CAN’T BREATHE??

What I have shared with you, is just the tip of the iceberg!  Since my cancer diagnosis, my life has been in constant turmoil.  I feel like I am drowning.  I need to come up for air.  The stress has been so overwhelming…I CAN’T BREATHE!! 

I have exhausted all options and have no way to pay my bills until the first disability check arrives on July 20th. You are my last hope.  Please help me to BREATHE again.  Help restore hope back into my life.

I am a very proud person and asking for your help has been a very difficult decision for me to make.  I need to find a way to bridge the gap between now and mid-year to avoid losing my home.   Your LIFE SUPPORT is urgently needed!  I know I can make it through this with your help, of which I will be extremely grateful.  If not, your positive thoughts and willingness to share this message with others mean just as much to me.
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Elaine Malara 
Wausau, WI

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