Words to describe Pam Jefferson: Energetic, Optimistic, Enthusiastic, Active, Athletic, a Loving Mother to her three beautiful children. When she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008, she was employed as a full-time health professional at a local non-profit agency and running her catering business. She and her children were also heavily involved in church and school activities. An avid runner, she had coached local high school track teams in the past.
In 2010, MS hit Pam hard. She tried to continue working from home, but finally her doctor told her, "No". She was forced to give up her job and business and apply for Social Security Disability. She had another relapse in 2011, and when she was released from the hospital she was no longer able to walk. This was a huge lifestyle change, but Pam has done her best remain active, positive and optimistic. With three great children in middle and high school, all of whom are heavily involved in various activities, she has no choice!
One of Pam's major difficulties has been getting her and her children to where they need to be. We live in a relatively rural area, with little public transportation. Pam has an electric scooter, which is great for getting around the house and her immediate neighborhood. But not being able to get herself and her children to medical appointments, shopping, church and school activities has been very challenging!
Pam's doctor suggested she look into adaptive driving equipment, which she has done. Knowing the importance of mobility in our area, NY State offered to provide her training and equipment that would allow her to drive. However, she would need to work for it! The closest training site was over 100 miles away, and she had to attend weekly sessions for over three months. It was difficult, but she did it - travelling over 2400 miles all together!
But, as anyone knows who has worked with the government, there have been huge amounts of red tape to get through, along with constant follow-up to keep things moving. But Pam has finally received the go-ahead to get the equipment!
The State will pay for the adaptive equipment, but will only put it on a newer van. Her 1999 catering van, with over 100K miles, won't fit the bill. Money is obviously tight - going from a full-time plus income to SSD has been a tough transition. Also, Pam was recently approved for Medicare, which takes another $100/mo from her budget. Plus.. she will need to pay for additional auto insurance to cover the equipment, as well as the vehicle.
Despite her current physical limitations, Pam is a "doer" and a "go-getter". Having access to personal transportation will allow her to take care of her family, but will also allow her to participate and contribute more fully in her community. She hopes to start working in nutrition and health education again, once she is mobile.
We are raising funds to help Pam with the down payment for her van. The more we raise, the less she will need to borrow! It would be wonderful if she did not need to get a car loan at all!!
Please help Pam get back on the road. Not only will you be helping her and her family, but also her neighborhood, church and community. Thank you!!!!
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