Alzheimer's Caretaker Needs Surgery

This is a story about a friend; a friend who remains cheerful and positive regardless of her circumstances.  A friend who is constantly giving to others in one way or another.  If she senses a need, she's the first one to do something to fulfill it-without being asked.  It could be cutting someone's grass, taking care of their kids, picking something up at the grocery store, or just bringing someone their favorite treat when they're having a bad day.  In all of this, she never expresses any needs of her own.  Well, she has a serious need right now and still hasn't reached out for help.
For the past few years she has been taking care of her elderly mother who has Alzheimers Disease.  She retired from her teaching job and moved into her mother's house (hers sits empty) to make it easier on her mom.  She is the sole caretaker and never complains about not having any time to herself, getting very little sleep , not seeing friends, and doing EVERYTHING to meet her mother's needs.  Her mom is a s sweet as she can be and sings all the time, repeats bible verses, teases people, and often acts like a little girl with a great sense of humor.  As with most people struggling with this disease, she can get beyond fiesty at times, but my friend handles it beautifully. She does it all cheerfully. 
The problem she's facing is serious.  In May, she has to have major surgery on the discs in her neck.  She's been suffering through pain in her neck, back, arm, and wrist (it's in a cast) for a couple of years now, but the doctor told her if she doesn't have the surgery now she'll end up in a wheelchair.  Her surgery involves having two discs removed, bone spurs removed, discs replaced with cadaver bones, a cage put around that, and a titanium plate inserted. The recuperation period is three months.  In that time she can't lift anything heavier than a milk jug or she'll be right back where she started.  This is a major problem since she cooks all the meals, does all the housework, does all the yard work at her house and her mother's house, and lifts her mother several times daily.  She helps her in and out of chairs, lifts her to help her in the bathroom, and lifts her to get her in the car for the daily rides she takes her on. Her mother also falls when trying to be independent and my friend has to lift her from the floor.
My Gofundme plea is an effort to raise enough money for her to hire someone to stay with her mother while she recuperates from surgery so she can continue in a position to help her mom in the last years of her life.  Her closest friends either work or are raising school age children.  We'll all help as often as posible, but that won't be enough for her to refrain from doing too much work or from lifting her mother.  
She'll be furious with me for doing this, but since I'm not in a financial position to hire someone for her, I just can't sit and do nothing.  I'm asking that you'll consider the sincerity of this request and contribute for the good of this wonderful person and her mom.
Since first posting this to Facebook, I've had many people remind me of other wonderful things Tina has done for others.  She's had a vegetable garden every year and she sells on the honor system.  She delivers free veggies to friends and neighbors and manages to keep them supplied all summer.  She took care of her aunt when she could no longer do for herself so the family was able to go to work without having to worry about their mom.She loves pets and dog sits when their owners are out of town.  She refuses to take any pay for it.  Tina's friends and family say they could write a book about all the selfless and wonderful things she has done without ever expecting any recognition.  This is just a wonderful woman in all respects.  

Thank you for reading my plea and I hope you will donate for such a a worthy cause and such a worthy person.    Mary Lou Belisle
  • Clare Hilemsn 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Linda Murphy  
    • $100 
    • 73 mos
  • Elizabeth T Denton 
    • $50 
    • 73 mos
  • Lila Price 
    • $250 
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See all

Organizer

Mary Lou Belisle 
Organizer
Spartanburg, SC
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