Don's Transportation Fund

My name is Kennedy Beck and I am a senior in high school. For the past few months, I have been volunteering time to help Don and Penny Kice with their move to a new house.  This move occurred due to Don's ongoing medical situation, and their resulting financial difficulties.  I am now going to share Penny's letter regarding their current need for a wheel-chair accessible van.

I'm writing this to tell you about my husband of 31 years, Don Kice.  For the past ten years Don has experienced many catastrophic health issues.  In March 2005, at age 65, Don suffered a massive stroke, during surgery, which left him paralyzed on his left side.  He also suffered partial vision loss, in both eyes.  After months of physical, speech, and occupational therapy, he managed to walk again, but lost the use of his left hand (he was left-handed) and also lost the ability to perform his job as a systems programmer.  After retiring from my job of 36 years, I became his full time caregiver, as he required assistance bathing, dressing, and performing daily functions.  In May 2006, Don had a stent placed in his heart.  Things were going along okay, until August 2011 when Don suffered a fall at home causing a brain bleed and requiring over 30 stitches in his head.  From that point on, he had blood clots in his legs and lungs, a case of MRSA (which was very difficult to cure), and in December of 2012 suffered end-stage kidney failure.  This left him unable walk.  He went to the hospital in December 2012 and did not return home until June 2013.  Don requires 4.5 hours of kidney dialysis three times a week.

We both worked hard all of our lives and we saved for retirement.  However, because we had to live on our retirement funds, they have been exhausted.  We have sold our home which we could no longer afford, but ended up walking away with nothing.  We recently had our leased auto repossessed.  We could no longer afford the big payments and fell behind, due to moving expenses.  Don takes the township bus to dialysis and local doctor appointments,  but he is unable to get to other appointments more than 20 miles away.  He is also unable to go anywhere other than home because he cannot get into the car from his wheelchair.  He is in need of another procedure to put a new catheter in his arm for dialysis.

We are very much in need of assistance to purchase a wheelchair van for Don.  We do not have any funds other than enough to pay rent, utilities, insurance, food, and medications.  We have been told of a wheelchair van for sale for $8,500.  The man who is selling it lost his wife and wants the vehicle to go to someone in need.

When we were working, and our life was good, we were very generous to others in need.  We helped family members who were about to lose their home; we took in Don's mother when she was dying, were her 24 hour caregivers, and she survived.  We also cared for my mother until her death.  We contributed to many charities and also to the food pantry.  We never thought that we would be in this situation.  

Now we are asking you to find it in your hearts to help us.  The van will give Don a better life.  If you can help us, we will pay it forward when we no longer need the van.  We will see that another person in need of transportation receives the vehicle.  We thank you for your consideration and kindness.

-Penny
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Organizer

Kennedy Beck 
Organizer
Woodstock, IL
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