The Lemonade Garden

Hello my name is Michelle Willis.  I have a longtime friend named Q, and right now she needs some help. This is her story: 

One day in 2012 I was taking a shower and the next moment I had fallen and could not get up. Embarrassingly, I called for my 10 year-old child to help me get up. When I couldn’t rise with his help, or with the help of a friend who was called a few minutes later, I had to call the paramedics.  My legs gave out again a few days later. I called 911 again and told them they would have to break in through a window because I was alone and couldn’t crawl to the door to open it.  I thought, “I’m in a horror film, when do they yell ‘cut’?”
After many weeks of tests I was diagnosed with polymyositis, a multiple dystrophy disease.  It is incurable but treatable. The time away from my job led to me being dismissed. There went my income and my insurance.  Finances were already tight, now it is day-to-day survival for myself and my child.  I am intelligent, a USC alum, with a home and child yet staring homelessness in the face.  
My child is the main reason for this plea. I tried to maintain some semblance of normalcy for his sake, but as my funds diminished, so did our standard of living.  He learned about living in a house without electricity, having to do homework only during library hours where he could sit in a place with light and computers.  He had never known living without a refrigerator, stove, or hot water.  I sold family treasures to feed him and get the utilities back on.  I admittedly held on to one last remnant of normalcy…I kept him in the Catholic school he has attended since Kindergarten.  I had looked at his parochial education as a necessity; now I realize it is a luxury.  My son did not get his report card in June because I still owe the school money. The stress and fear of seeing my beautiful son homeless sent me to the hospital on June 21, 2014 with heart palpations and a blood pressure over 200.  I was back in the hospital over the July 4th weekend after my kidneys started to fail.  I went on a job interview last week but must have looked as sick as I felt as I did not get a call back.
I am a few weeks away from the bank taking our home, the home that has been in my family since I was a child.  I ask for your grace and generosity to help me get back onto my feet. I need $12,520 before the 1st.  A few days ago, my formerly happy-go-lucky son said, “I hate my life.”  I was devastated.

Writing this for public consumption has been difficult, but my mom always said, "the truth shall set you free."

Thank you.
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Michelle Willis 
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