The addition of a child to a family is a gift regardless if that blessing is through a birth or an adoption. Hannah, our first adoption and fourth child, is no exception. This precious little girl arrived at our home a few days before Christmas in 2001. She had a beaming smile and captivating demeanor; yet, she was in a battle against the perils of Cystic Fibrosis. Our blond little girl had received an early diagnosis which is significant in fighting the harsh effects of the disease; however, she had not been given the prescribed medications or adhered to the intense treatment program. As a result of the poor care Hannah was very ill. It is at this juncture our family embarked the crash course in understanding Cystic Fibrosis, a deadly disease with no cure, and seeking medical intervention to stabilize her condition.
In the first few years after Hannah came to our family, she endured abundant hospital admissions, a multitude of surgeries and an intense home treatment program. Slowly her condition began to improve. Hannah was able to enjoy many activities and play dates! It was a treasured blessing that our child had reached a point where she could be a child opposed to a patient even though she still had to adhere to a strict treatment and medication regiment.
Sadly, in the last 8 months Hannah has been in the hospital on 6 occasions for a minimum of 7 days. Our hearts were heavy and the tears were countless as our ears listened to the words that we dreaded to hear. Hannah was not going to get better despite the intravenous medications, the treatments or the latest program. Her shortness of breath, frequent illnesses and numerous hospital admissions was her new best. Her lower left lung has failed to function properly and the upper half has sustained profound scar tissue damage, of which neither condition will recover. Hannah is no longer able to participate in her beloved dance classes or other activities due to her medical decline. Although a lung transplant may be an option in the future, Hannah must endure the harsh realities of her disease for now. Her lungs function in the 40% range and organ failure (30% function or less) is required for a transplant. I stay home with Hannah and two of her siblings as she and her youngest brother (and last adoption) require 24 hour care. It is enough of a battle for a child to struggle with a life threatening disease and for a family to wrestle with the heartache of watching a child suffer. It is further compounded by the purchase of a property that was infested with mildew and mold but was left undisclosed. It is highly speculated that these entities are contributing to the health decline in Hannah.
We purchased our Mountain House property on September 13, 2013. We made several visits to the new property, with the contractor and architect, to fine tune the remodel plans prior to our move in date and ensure we would have adequate funding. Once we took possession of the home we submitted plans to the county for our project. It is at this juncture our dream of owning land began to seem a bit frightening. We were informed that the septic tank was not "newly installed with permits" as was declared on the real estate disclosures. Almost $10,000 in engineering, septic evaluations/inspections and county fees proved the system was acceptable and we were permitted to move to the next department. It was also during this time frame we discovered black mold, rotted flooring and rodent infestations. The contractor informed us that the mold and rot would increase our expenses as the repairs were extensive.
As we moved through the planning and building departments more expenses accumulated. Each department charged for review of proposed plans and a permit fee upon approval. We learned that there is a fee payable to the local school district for all construction. There are also construction fees payable to the Alameda County Fire Department for the review of building plans. The fees skyrocketed beyond our budget as were the medical expense for Andrew and Hannah.
Once the plans were approved and the fees were paid demolition began. More issues were presented at this juncture. There would be a $5000 expense payable to PG&E for the engineering and work for new electrical requirements! We discovered there were 5 layers of roofing on the roof leading to compounded issues with mildew, mold and mice. There were two layer of siding on the house. One rotted layer covering another rotted layer! This also proved troubling in multiple ways. The bathroom tubs leaked into the walls destroying all that the water saturated for a long duration. The windows were in such ill repair that when the wind blew dirt, rain and debris whistled through the breaches in the seals. The trouble list continued to grow as did the expenses. We are in desperate need of funding, building materials and/or labor.
I contact you on behalf of our non-profit organization, Team Hannah, established on behalf of Hannah and her special needs siblings to request a donation for the Riding for Hannah horse show. We are in need of silent auction and/or snack bar donations to make this event a success. We have adopted four of our seven children to provide medically fragile children a family but we need your help to give them a home.
(925) [phone redacted]
Please view the video of the Team Hannah story on the Juan Carlos Films Facebook page! There is also an article on the Livermore Patch with more of the event details.
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