ASAP Moving Fund for Maux's Mom

My mom is 81 and has Stage 3 COPD, which is a combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The lung damage makes it hard for her to breathe, and she is on oxygen because her heart is not pumping enough to her lungs. She also has congestive heart failure. She recently moved from Minocqua, Wisconsin, where she was very isolated and far from good medical care, to Naples, Florida, where my cousin owns a duplex. My cousin has medical issues too, so the plan was to kind of help each other out and be there for one another.

Unfortunately, it was not until after she moved in that they realized her place was not able to give her the air quality she needed. She is presently sleeping on her living room couch, as the current AC units do not reach her bedroom, despite my cousin recently adding a stronger unit. There is also not proper ventilation and her lungs have revolted. She is being tested this week to see if she is now in Stage 4 COPD. We are praying it is not. In short, she has to move to a new place--and fast.

For those that don’t know, I was an addict when my daughter was born. Without my mother’s intervention and refusal to give up on me getting sober, Anna would have been in the Tennessee foster care system, and I would very possibly not be here. My mother helped me keep Anna, and for the first six years of her life, she helped me raise her. Now, both Anna and my sobriety are 14 years old and going strong.

Besides helping me, she has helped countless kids and adults learn English as a Second Language, which she specialized in after getting her Master’s Degree at 55. Growing up, she was my junior high English teacher and she made sure I knew I could be and do anything, and helped me have the confidence--and the skills--to become a writer.

She sacrificed a lot to help me during my life, and right now, she is in crisis and needs my help in a way I am not able to give. One thing I have learned in recovery, though, is to be humble, let go of my ego, let go of what people might think, and ask for help.

The amount of work that would need to be done to make her current place safe and healthy for her particular condition is more than can be invested at this time. And even if the resources were there, the time it would take is not something my mom can tolerate. She needs to move to a new apartment as soon as possible. She is only going to get worse as the weeks pass.

Her recent move wiped her out financially, and family is helping as much as they can. For some horrible reason, the Illinois Teachers Pension doesn’t allow her to collect all of her Social Security benefits, so her income and budget is limited and stretched thin. She has gotten as much help as she could from other family members, some of whom paid for part of the move and new furniture, but now she is facing the prospect of a deposit, first month’s rent, and moving costs, without the funds to cover it.

She is looking for a place in Naples, Florida with central air and heat. She likes Naples and wants to put down roots, as there are a lot of people her age in the community. If you can donate, or if there is any help, ideas, or prayers you can give in helping me move my mom to a safe and healthy place as soon as possible, it would mean everything to me--and to her. Thank you so much.


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Maureen Herman 
Los Angeles, CA
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