I’m 55 years old, and I used to be a successful Wall Street trader and consultant, but have since spiraled down into depression, despair, mental and physical illness. My wife and children need your help to stabilize our situation.
Having worked in and around the World Trade Center for most of my life, (1981-2010), I believe that being at Ground Zero impacted my health. I actually returned to Ground Zero just five days after the terrorist attacks on the WTC on 9/11/2001 to trade on the Comex as a futures trader and remained working at the CME building until 2010.
When I left the CME Building, around 2010 my face began to feel numb. By 2014, I had full-blown peripheral neuropathy that the doctors could find no cause for. It has since gotten slightly better and I’m functional but it impacts my day-to-day when I am not medicated. Currently, I can no longer afford medication.
In 2016, sadly, I was also officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It has plagued me my entire life but has more recently dragged me down further due to the serious nature of my and my family's current life situations. Finally, bipolar disorder and peripheral neuropathy in combination, have impacted my ability to perform work as well as I had in my youth, but I haven't given up yet.
Ultimately, my personal finances have been devastated. Please read on to understand how and why...
I am unemployed and cannot find work in my field. I was last employed with a boutique consulting firm on Wall Street, approximately 1.5 years ago, but after losing that position, I have since been unable to find work. I got tired and frustrated with rejection letters where I was seeking out work in both New York and Florida, and finally gave up, recently removing my entire 35-year professional work history, and replacing it with a blurb out about a book I wrote called False Highs True Lows.
Last year, June of 2017, after I lost my position, I studied quickly and received an insurance license. I gave selling insurance 100% until December, but it was not enough income. I am not lazy. In January of 2018, I switched up my approach - I have since worked as a cashier in a food store, delivered pizzas, worked for Uber Eats, and for rideshare as an Uber and Lyft driver; but, these combinations of jobs have never been enough to satiate my family’s basic necessities.
We live humbly and have few material items left. I’m unable to buy anything for my children including; the things they continuously ask for, a puppy, bicycles, a television, or these days, even new clothes, shoes, a dentist visit, a pizza or a trip to the movies. We have little in our food pantry, but by the grace of God and with a little help from a local church, and from some loving family and friends, we still have shelter and enough to eat this year, so far.
We are only hanging on day to day, with sometimes less than $100 left in the bank.
Kick Us When We're Down
This past summer, my wife, Rosania and two children, Maria Oliva and Joseph were living in New York with me, until our landlord was found to be in violation of some building codes. With no money in the bank, and in debt already, we were forced to move from our Long Island apartment. That expense was the last straw. Moving is not cheap, nor is coming up with security deposits that one does not have.
Now we have shifted to the Orlando, Florida area because the rents are cheaper. Without money to move any of our items, we sold off the furniture and other belongings that we could and downsized further. Now, we are living without furniture, and my children have nothing much to speak of except a shared room, mattresses on the floor, and a small suitcase worth of clothing. My wife and I sleep on an air mattress. Our backs hurt and we wake up in pain every morning. Both of us work for around minimum wage, 15-20 hours days. Uber and Lyft pay approximately 20% less to drivers in Florida, so nothing has changed for me. My income as a driver is not nearly enough, and I’m afraid because our October rent is due and I can see that we are on a path that may lead to a bad outcome for my family.
In New York, after my loss of employment, we were trapped in the lower middle class, but more recently, our income level is near or below the poverty line for a family of four.
We have no health insurance or dental insurance and do not qualify for any type of assistance, including unemployment, not having lived in Florida for a year yet.
I recently called the auto financing company to move one payment to the end of my loan but they would not, due to my poor credit score, so my car is now in jeopardy of being lost and that is my only source of income currently other than my wife’s salary which goes for food.
We have no family or friends left to lend us money, although we’ve borrowed little, we don’t have any additional network to reach out to.
At this point, I live with constant depression and need mental health assistance, as bipolar disorder triggers with such severe stress. I also need to address my physical condition but that will improve with a normal job schedule and some sleep, I hope. There's no no end in sight without a jump start from your donations.
Please help my wife and children to remain in their home, and help me to stabilize this unfortunate situation.
With the money you fund us with, we’ll pay the rent and make the next two car payments on time, and maybe buy another mattress. The rest will go towards one large unexpected bill due in October. After that, we’re back in God’s hands.
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- Stephanie Waite
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