I am posting this message to seek your help in raising funds to go towards giving my wife, Kelly, a better quality of life. Those of you who know Kelly, will agree when I say that she is a strong-willed and courageous woman who, despite everything she has been through, still has an amazing zest for life, a beautiful and creative spirit, and deep empathy for anyone in need. Kelly needs an electric stairlift and we must raise $6,840.82 by November 1, 2020 to qualify for a generous grant from the March of Dimes to cover the rest of the cost (total cost is $15, 000}. We have set our goal at $7200. To account for processing and transaction fees. Let me tell you more about it…..
Kelly’s journey with JSIA Still’s Disease
When Kelly was just 2 years old, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Systemic Idiopathic Arthritis (JSIA) Still’s Disease. From this very young age her extremely painful symptoms, along with the need to wear full splints on her arms and legs, prevented her from taking part in the everyday activities that most young children are able to enjoy with ease. In her teens, she was blessed with some short periods of remission that allowed her to lead a more normal life. But, the disease took firm hold again as she neared her 20s and, before her 30th birthday, Kelly had her first surgery to replace her ravaged hip joints and sockets. That was the beginning of many surgeries that followed to replace various “parts” including in her right knee, repairs to her right foot (twice) and then another new set of hips when she was 45. She is currently on the waiting list to replace her left knee next and will need another hip replacement within the next few years (they want to hold off as long as possible since her damaged bone structure won't support any further surgeries after a third one.) Is it any wonder I call her my bionic wife? :)
How an electric stairlift can help
Very often, Kelly is unable to get out of bed because of her painful, swollen joints. And on those days where she IS well enough to be more mobile, getting down the stairs takes every ounce of energy and determination she has. Many days, she has to make the difficult decision to just forgo the trip down the stairs altogether and remain isolated in her bedroom away from her family rather than risk being completely laid up for days after making the trek. Her medical team has advised that she must limit her use of the stairs and having an electric stairlift installed would be a great help in a home with 17 stairs indoors.
Several months ago, we followed that recommendation and installed a stairlift that was given to us by a very kind and generous person who no longer required it. Once it was up and running it made a tremendous difference in Kelly’s quality of life, however, it can only navigate half of the stairs because it isn’t designed to accommodate the corner we have in our L-shaped staircase.
No government funding available
We feel incredibly fortunate to live in a country and a province that provides such wonderful health care and we don’t take it for granted for a second. Unfortunately, the system doesn’t cover all medical equipment - including the stairlift that Kelly needs to extend the life of her joints. We did a lot of research, but, there are also no provincial or federal programs that would apply in this situation.
In addition, many of you will know that every summer I supplement our family income through musical gigs and by busking at music festivals to help make ends meet. The pandemic made that impossible. Please know that I don’t mean to sound like I am complaining - I am acutely aware that Covid-19 has had devastating financial impacts on so many people who are much less fortunate than we are and I am very grateful to have been able to keep my regular job to pay for the basic necessities for my family.
The March of Dimes - HVMP grant
We also reached out to several charitable organizations and were very thankful to hear back from The March of Dimes. Through their Home and Vehicle Modification Program (HVMP), we are eligible to receive a grant of $8,159.18 IF we are able to contribute $6, 840.82.
How you can help
This is why we are reaching out for your help in achieving this ambitious goal. I know times are tough for many of us, and we don’t want to add to anyone’s hardship. If you do feel like you might be in a position to contribute even just a small amount, we would be more appreciative than you could possibly imagine.
Wishing everyone good health in these extraordinary times,
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