Give Jeanne freedom!

This is my mom, Jeanne.  She beat Cancer 20 years ago but the fight was too much for any human body to handle and this has left her wheelchair bound due to Neuropathy.  

The full story on HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN!? is below but I want to get to the point first....Jeanne's freedom!! The sad truth about fighting Cancer is that you are not only killing the bad cells, you are also killing the good cells.   The side effects from fighting and beating Cancer steal more and more of Jeanne's freedom everyday but just like always, we are not giving in! She has done a great job of using the resources available to her but they mostly provide just the basics, which means limitations.  Jeanne is an amazing woman who deserves limitless joy and freedom! I know a ultralight portable wheelchair  would open the doors to many more trips out of the house with friends! Freedom! 

The picture above is Jeanne at the Abilities Expo in Boston trying out some new wheelchairs. The joy on her face is undeniable.  I want that for her everyday but the costs of these chairs make them unattainable and that is why I started this page.  If everyone gives a little or shares this page we can all see that contagious smile more often!  $20 bucks for 20 years cancer free,  $63 for her 63rd birthday (just last week), $14 for a Valentine's Day gift? or even just sharing this page would be a huge help. 

Yes, she has a wheelchair now that the insurance provides but it's big and heavy!  You need to have a big trunk and strong body to get this wheelchair in your car.  This limits her to only going somewhere with young people who have big cars.  What about hanging out with her friends!? Isn't that something you love to do?  Jeanne has this wonderful, tightknit group of girlfriends that often laugh till they cry when together, but like her, they are not getting any younger(sorry ladies, but it's true). Lifting this big chair is too much for some of them now and will be soon for the others.  This page is just as much for them as it is for my Mom.  Friendship should never be bound by limitations

One of the other resources she uses is TheRide.  For $3 they will give her a lift but they are not entirely reliable, they only go so far, you have to call in your request the day before, and you must stay wherever you are dropped for at least 2 hours.  Again the basics means limitations!  It doesn't have to be this way!  Help me change this and give Jeanne more freedom!

After much research I found a chair  that would fit her needs and is only 16 lbs with the wheels off and only 24 lbs with the wheels on!  That's lighter than most peoples luggage when going on vacation! (mine at least :)  If we surpass the goal, the possibilities are endless... A power chair that raises you up to eye level  with a person standing!  A compact power chair ,like the one she is driving in the picture above, or a new travel scooter

About Jeanne.....
Amazing woman, strong, happy and giving! 
Caring, always thinking of others
Proud, hates to impose on others 
Will probably be embarrassed when she see this

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN!?  How does someone beat Cancer and end up in a wheelchair years later because of it?  

At the age of 40 she was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer.  She had a radical hysterectomy but then the cancer metastasized to her spine.  The radiation treatments worked but they destroyed her intestines and she spent about a month in the hospital on nothing but IV fluids.  At the time, intestinal/digestive issues were the side effects we knew would effect her life going forward.  Small portions, low resistance diet and monthly vitamin D shots for the rest of her life because part of her intestines no longer work.   Little did we know, the bigger side effects would not show up for years to come.  This is another reason I'm writing this page... AWARENESS! 

The radiation treatments were directed at the cancer on her spine and they worked but the long term affects of radiation to the spine has caused all the nerves going to her lower body to slowly die off.  Peripheral Neuropathy.... at first it was slow moving , just some tingling and numbness in the toes and one foot.  It has moved quickly in the past 5 years and now the neuropathy has moved up to the knees on both legs.  This means she has NO feeling and NO control over her feet and legs and therefore cannot even stand on her own at this point.   If she wants to move her leg she has to bend over and use her hands to move them.  It's like having two 10lb bags of sand below you knees rather than legs and feet.  The lack of feeling is hard to understand for most, she has broken a toe, sprained an ankle,  got burns and cuts but feels nothing!  You could step on her foot or kick her in the shin, she would have no idea you did it unless she watched you do it.  

Although everyday poses struggles she keeps positive outlook, rolls with the punches and keeps moving forward.  She is my Mom and  my best friend and I want to give her the world!  I hope you can help by giving or sharing.  Thanks, Jessica
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Jessica Barry Holmes 
Quincy, MA