Susannah's Cancer and Business Fund

This is my friend, Susannah, single mother of an autistic 16 year old son, self employed in a new dog grooming business.  She loves animals, music, the outdoors, rockhounding, and elderly people. She always has a smile on her face and is kind to others. She is a good mother and takes good care of her animals. Susannah was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is waiting to schedule her mastectomy and treatment.  However, she has been put in a difficult financial situation because of her involvement with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, a federally funded program to help people get back on their feet and become gainfully employed and self sufficient.

In 2013 USOR made substantial financial promises to help Susannah open a small business. To be involved with the program she was required to drop her unemployment benefits(which she did). In October of 2013 they helped get her into a lease on a commecial property for her business. They promised equipment and supplies to finish the shop space and set up for business as well as rents to the landlord. But once she was in the empty shop space, they proceeded to do nothing to help her with the business. She waited and waited for the financial backing they promised but it has been over 16 months and the help has never come. As a result, she has fallen behind in her rent and utility bills as she had no savings or means open a business by herself, not to mention the unpaid rent in her still unfinished business.

Despite her challenges with USOR, not having the financial backing, and not having a finished shop or a sign or advertising, she has managed to get a bathtub hooked up, a table, used kennels and supplies, and has accumulate a good grooming clientele, just by word of mouth, in Coalville(she also attracts clients from other small surrounding communities), which is a small community with no other pet services available. She also has clients who drive from Park City, Heber City, and Salt Lake CIty. However, USOR , now tells her that she will have to go through the process of appeal if she wants the services that they originally promised but now, a year later, deny. An appeal could take another excessive amount of time that Susannah simply does not have anymore. She doesn't dare schedule her mastectomy surgery and treatment for cancer because her financial situation is so dire she feels she must continue to try to work, in order to keep herself and her son in their home. She has worked very hard to try to keep this business up and growing while waiting for VR to make good on what they promised.

Susannah will need some time off, 6 weeks minimum, to recover after her surgery and plans to try to work while receiving radiation treatments. She does not want to lose her shop because she put the very last of her resources into getting this business open making it work. She did her part. USOR did not. If she loses the business she will lose her only means of making money, not to mention everything she has invested out of her own pocket. She does not have any family whom she can lean on for support. And the local LDS church in her community has offered her no help or support, not even with meals after she comes home post op.

Susannah and her son have gone the last two years without Christmas, believing that the government would come through with the grant money.  They have completely let her down. She needs help. I am seeking funds to assist her not only in finishing the business(which is a potential gold mine as the nearest pet grooming services are over 25 miles away), and getting her rent caught up, but also the money she needs to maintain her scant living expenses while she recouperates from major surgery. She is aslo badly in need of a matress and box springs, clothing, and shoes.
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Steve Barlow 
Salt Lake City, UT
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