April 24th, 2018 My name is Herb, and I am a 70 year-old man who was born with a severe case of Cerebral Palsy. Since I couldn't use my hands, my mom fed and took care of all my needs until she died 5 years ago. Since I wanted to live independently and not waste away in a nursing home, I continued to live in my house.
The state pays part of the cost of my caregivers, However, they don't pay for all the hours I need to take care of my needs. Here is a list of my yearly out-of-pocket expenses that the state doesn't cover.
Caregivers $ 33,000 Medical $ 10,000 Transportation $7,000
With cutbacks to the Illinois budget, the small pension I get isn't enough to pay the Personal Assistants I require to help me eat, drink, bath, use the restroom, and all of my basic human needs, my rent, and the vehicle I require to go to my doctor appointments and church. As it stands now, I can only afford to pay my P.A.'s to be with me 18 hours a day, and I still have a $1,500 per month deficit in my living expenses. Despite my condition, I am healthy and hope to live many more years. However I know that many people who are placed in nursing homes die within 6 months just from the loneliness and neglect. I do not want to be one of these people. Please watch my video to learn more about my life, and if you can, make a donation towards my $18,000 goal. This will afford one more year of living independently, and not dying alone and forgotten like my friend Bruce.
ABOUT MY LIFE
I have spent my life confined to my wheelchair, unable to use my hands or to walk. However I did learn to control my wheelchair with a joystick, write, type, and eventually use a computer mouse using only my left foot. I attended college and worked for the National Weather Service for 34 years. I lived with my mother until she died, and with her help, and state paid personal assistants as my care takers, I have lived a dignified and productive life. Though I do not have the freedom that comes with a healthy body, I am free in the next best way possible, I have my independence and am not left to whither in an institution. (Please read the story in Update #3 section about my friend Bruce, as it was he who inspired me to start an organization to assist the disabled so that others wouldn't have to suffer as he did). The links to the 2 organization that I co founded are ;