Ricci's Healing Journey
Hello, our names are Brandon Jones and Denise Parker, and we are making this account for Brandon’s mother and Denise’s soon-to-be mother-in-law, Ricci Jones. She isn’t the type to ask for help for herself, so we decided we would do it for her.
Ricci has always been a strong, confident woman, the type of person people go to when they’re in trouble, the type to help others when she can. At 57 years old, she’s been a mother for over 30 years now, and raised three wonderful children, virtually by herself. On July 30th, 2015, Ricci lost her middle child, Michael, very unexpectedly. He was only 24 years old. Ricci was overcome with grief for the loss of her youngest son and best friend, and so Brandon and I moved west to help her.
Her dream and goal has always been to travel, with the eventual goal of living in Europe. She and Michael had planned to travel the United States together, going to places they had always been drawn to, and when he passed, Ricci knew she had to follow that dream for the both of them. Her plan is still to eventually move to Europe, but she knows that, in order to heal, she needs to visit all the places she and Michael had planned to go and to scatter his ashes along the journey in places that were meaningful to him.
The problem is finances. Ricci is disabled: she was diagnosed with stage 2 multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and a debilitating spine disorder. They’re all under control, for the most part, but she never knows when they will flare up again, and cannot work. In 12 years Ricci has had 11 back surgeries, and no longer has any vertebrae in her neck; metal rods hold up her head. Since she can’t work, Ricci receives a disability check, and that $700 is what she lives off of. We support ourselves with Denise’s job, and Brandon is looking for work, and we’re doing okay, but there isn’t much room for saving.
Ricci’s plan is to buy a cargo van or 15-passenger van, outfit it like a little caravan or RV, and travel the United States while her health still allows her to, in order to heal from her loss and spread her son’s ashes. With her current expenses, if she saves what little amount she has remaining from her checks each month, there's no telling how long it would take for her to save up to achieve this dream, but with her health the way it is, we would like for her to be able to do this while she’s still feeling well. She'll be traveling to places around the country where she has family and friends and has a network of support that she can reach anytime, almost anywhere, so we feel confident that she'll be safe on her journey.
Any donations made to this fund will go toward buying Ricci a van that is reliable enough to make the journey, as well the things she’ll need, such as an inverter, a gas-powered camping stove, solar panel, a deep-cycle battery, and other assorted building supplies to make the van something comfortable for her to camp in.
Thank you for reading this, on behalf of Ricci, and thanks for any help you can give.