Subject: Help for family that has a child with special needs
We have an unusual situation and have been praying for some understanding, relief and simply a miracle so we may be able to care for our son the way he should be cared for.
We are looking for assistance with:
- Clothes and shoes $300
- Special Equipment to help with his home therapy $2500
- Car repair $3200
- Place to live - rental we need help with deposit and moving costs approximately $3000
(We listed $4000 for the minimum amount to be raised. That would cover clothes and car repair. We actually would need close to $9,000 to get everything listed.
The most important thing right now is for his clothing & shoes, and our car to be repaired so we can take him to his doctor appointments and therapy.
Quick background: My name is Karen Gerwin. My husband is Adam and our son is Steven. Adam and I were married Aug. 1, 2000. We knew each other in high school and fate brought us together in 1999. We were both working full time jobs and my son Jim was 2 yrs old and in daycare. (Jim is now 19 and resides near Cincinnati.)
Our story:Our son has been diagnosed with PWS since birth. It has been a terribly rough ride. We are contacting you today because we just found out that his school's resource department cannot help us with Christmas. We are homeless, living in a cheap hotel. We barely have enough money for food, rent and gas.
Ever since Steven was born in 2002, our life went from 2 incomes and raising my then 2 yr old son, Jim; to both of us not working for an entire year and raising both Jim and Steven. He was in nonatal ICU from birth to 6 weeks. He had a G-tube for his 1st yearof life.He has had 6 surgeries before he was 7yrs.
Since May 2002 and currently, only 1 of us could work at a time because Steven requires 24/7 supervision and care. He goes to a regular high school and has an IEP plus very strict rules regarding his diet of 700 calories/day. He has PWS, hyperphalgia & Apraxia. I could go on for hours about this life destroying disorder and our struggles that we have encountered and are still facing. I'll try to give you the shorter version.
(see also http://www.pwsausa.org/basic-facts/ )
As far as the kitchen area, we went from a simple chain around-the-doors of the fridge to having to buy a customized locking refrigerator, locking up can openers, scissors, knives and any pop-top cans, boxed or bagged (like instant potatoes) foods up.
With his special 700 calorie/day requirements, needless to say, we haven't had any luck with anyone watching him for like even an hour so we can go grocery shopping. We had tried many times with family and friends - but they always feed him when we tell them specifically not to feed him or it's too challenging for them to watch that he doesn't get into the food.
As he gets older, that urge to need-to-eat gets stronger. He is at the stage now where he "dumpster dives", rummages in the trash cans to find food, and currently has been stealing food at school, the library and when we go shopping. Most recently, he walks across the road to Speedway and steals food. UGH it’s all because of that dang Prader-Willi Syndrome.
I know this is lengthy but it really is the short version. We are not looking for sympathy. I am sharing this with you so you will understand why I am trying to reach out.
We don't have a college degrees so we don't make much money and even less since only 1 of us works. Right now I am facing applying for disability for myself due from a work related accident. (We are still fighting them- I have an attorney) My husband currently makes minimum wage, we get some money from SSI for Steven and very little in food stamps. Anyways, from 2009 - 2012 and from June 2014 - present, we have been homeless. We have been staying at a hotel since 2014. May 2014, I was injured and not able to work for 2 weeks. Resulting in us losing our town-home and later our vehicle.
We need to keep him "safe" where he can't sneak out to get food from neighbors or steal from the gas station across from us. We have to find somewhere that will be somewhat isolated and not near stores; and certainly not any food stores or restaurants. We qualify for HUD but no-one will rent to us because of the eviction and us still owing them money. Needless to say- our credit is stinks.
Adam & I are good people. Our only vice is ice cream. Heck, we couldn't afford to have a habit of drugs, tobacco or alcohol if we wanted to. Before you ask why my family or his family doesn't help, my mother and father passed in 2004 & 2005. My sister has her own drama going on and lives in TX we did stay down there for a couple years but only through a veteran's housing program that TX has. His parents are gone too and his brothers and sisters haven't had anything to do with us since Steven was born. We tried for Habitat-For-Humanity but they require you make at least $30,000/yr and have good credit. Heck, if we made that much and had good credit, we would be able to get our own house!
We have a 2001 Crown Victoria and it needs over $2000 in repairs to make it safe according to the Firestone shop that gave me an estimate for repairs + needs some transmissioon work.
If you could help out with anyof this, we would be most appreciative.
Please contact us at [email protected] We are blessed that we at least have the basics (food, clothing, shelter) no matter how little and a ton of love to get us through. I thank you for your time and generosity. God Bless you and yours.