Assisting A Former Student

Dear Friends, many of you only know me as a practicing, licensed psychologist located in southwest Michigan. Long ago, before I returned to graduate school, I taught in a self-enclosed special education program for emotionally impaired and learning disabled high schoolers. Over the years I have had occasion to meet and catch up former students and see how they are doing as adults, and then we usually go our separate ways. This "going our separate ways" pattern changed about two years ago when I encountered Rickie, now in his 40's, and struggling with so many aspects of everyday life we continued our relationship. I would occasionally meet with Rickie, provide advice and emotional support, assist him in finding and locating community resources, and finally helped him through a complicated and arduous disability appeal process. As Rickie has a life long history of PTSD from childhood abuse and now adult mental illness, borderline intellectual functioning, numerous learning impairments, chronic physical pain from underemployment in physically demanding jobs and financially unable to obtain consistent health, his obtaining diability status was a turning point in his existential salvation. His mental illness is stablized now with regular psychiatric and psychological treatment and many of his chronic pain issues have been corrected and eased due to his access to quality health care (thank God for Medicare!).

Yet while Rickie's life quality is vastly improved, he continues to suffer from one of life's most difficult challenges, especially for those suffering from a life-long disability: loneliness. In spite of the help and support disability has provided, that income is extremely limited, and keeps Rickie well below poverty levels. His social life is limited to his visits to churh, which is across the street from his current home. He lives in a rural area and he has no transportation presently and has no license to drive due to losing his license more than 12 years ago when he was spiraling out of control with mental illness. He is isolated in ways most of you, my friends, have never known. But love happens! Rickie through his modest abilities to navigate the internet was able to met a woman in another part of the world. A decade ago, prior to his slide into deeper mental illness he traveled to meet her, and since they have maintained contact. Impoverished and unable to obtain a divorce or annul her abusive marriage, she has only been able to distance herself from her abuser. So, Rickie's special friend has remained trapped in a difficult life. Rickie is very limited in his ability to assist his friend; he tries, but is just able to sustain himself. He dreams of being able to be closer to her; he fears for her safety; he wishes he could legally bring her to the US. Big wishes from a lonely heart. Such dreams are not impossible with proper funding. Every cent will go toward assisting Rickie's friend and I have volunteered to help him and manage this funding effort. The amount requested is far below what is needed, but this request is a start and I want to see how this first stage evolves. Because of Rickie's cognitive limitations and learning disabilities, I've written here about Rickie's journey and needs, and hope you'll be willing to contribute something.

Donations

 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 52 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 54 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 54 mos
See all

Organizer

Dennis Waite 
Organizer
Berrien Springs, MI
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more