Bonnie's Babies

Hi, my name is Candy Geer Leary. My 4 sisters, and I, have Huntington’s disease (HD). (See a brief description of the disease below).  The first of my sisters diagnosed was Pam, in 2004.  Just weeks later, my middle sister Angee was also given the bad news.  We moved from Illinois to Florida to help support my sisters.  We sold our house, left our jobs, my husband’s family, and friends to support my family.  Since then, I have been taking care of Pam. Before she moved back to Illinois to be helped by another sister Debbie, I was also taking care of my sister Angee while they were in assisted living and nursing homes.  Sister Jenny was diagnosed shortly after the other sisters and later moved to Florida with her family to help us also.  In 2008, I finally decided to be tested and was diagnosed positive also.  Since then I have had to go to the doctor between 4-5 times per month, where I would pay co-pays for every visit.  I’ve had to see specialists and many times that made my co-pay higher. I’ve spend an exorbitant amount on prescriptions and multiple tests such as CT scans and MRIs, and several surgeries for other medical issues that I’m facing.  My oldest sister Debbie was later diagnosed with HD as well.

After I was diagnosed, I continued to work.  Originally, I was supported in my issues by my manager John, he was wonderful.  But later, he moved to a new position, and I was assigned to a team leader.  In 2012, I was forced to leave my job due to this new team leader not understanding my rights, and our H.R. department not supporting me.  I had hoped to work several more years, but I didn’t get to make that decision.  Having to go out on disability caused my salary to drop to 60% of what it had been.  With my 4 sisters and I having this condition, we were unable to continue our careers.  Prior to moving to Florida, we were doing well financially.  We had good jobs, a very nice house in a great neighborhood, and we were still able to contribute to savings, even funding our retirement plans.   Since we made the decision to support our family, our savings have been exhausted, and we’ve had to tap into our retirement plans just to pay our bills monthly.   

Having a mental illness is a lot different from other disabilities, as many people cannot recognize others in this condition. I’ve seen this first-hand.  My sisters and I have been discriminated against for our disability. People can be really mean and hurtful. On the other hand, we’ve also seen people treating us with respect and trying to maintain our dignity and embracing us even though we have this disease.  It’s those times that you pray for.

We named this GoFundMe page as Bonnies Babies.  Bonnie was our mom.  She passed away in 2005 from breast cancer.  She was a very beautiful, and strong woman.  We all miss her and the spirit she had.  I am thankful she hasn’t had to watch all of her children be diagnosed with this horrific disease, and watch our physical and mental declines at such a young age.

If you or your family are suffering financially please don’t feel obligated to make a donation, just send prayers and positive wishes!  If you choose to contribute to our family, all donations will go to Bonnies Babies.  All funds will be used to assist any of the sisters needing help.  Our picture shows the 5 of us prior to knowing what was to come.  From left, Debbie Geer Dickerson(54), Pam Geer Thompson(52), Angee Geer Hainline(51), Jenny Geer Palmer(49), and Candy Geer Leary(45).  All 5 of us will continue to need more and more care, and prayers as time progresses.

Huntington’s Disease is a fatal genetic disorder of the brain. It diminishes the individual’s physical and mental abilities. Symptoms can range from personality changes, mood swings, depression, forgetfulness, impaired judgement, unsteady gait, involuntary movements (muscle spasms or tics), slurred speech, and difficulty in swallowing as well as significant weight loss. There are only 30,000 known cases in the U.S. at this time. There is however a 50/50 Chance of the offspring of the carrying gene holder to get this disease. This is a fatal disease with no cure. Patients with HD can experience rage, psychotic episodes, and can lead to schizophrenia. For more information on HD please follow this link. http://hdsa.org/what-is-hd/

Donations

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  • Kim Hopper Graham 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Marilyn Hopper 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Kelly Brown 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Troy Brown 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
  • Lisa Boulay 
    • $100 
    • 49 mos
See all

Organizer

Candace Geer Leary 
Organizer
New Port Richey, FL
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