CareGifters: Give to Allison


CareGifters: Give to Allison

GetImage2.aspx_ Tarl visiting Christopher during one of Christopher's recent hospitalizations.

Through our CareGifters program, we fund caregiving solutions, one family caregiver at a time, as often as we can.

This month, we're funding solutions to help Allison (@aobrien907) who cares for her husband, Christopher, as they raise their 6-year-old son, Tarl. Christopher suffers from a rare genetic disorder which causes degenerative brain damage. He had a stroke almost eight years ago when Allison was two months pregnant with Tarl, which led to the discovery of this disorder. He is partially paralyzed on the right side of his body and has neurogenic bowel disorder, urinary incontinence, severe chronic pain, dementia, and encephalopathy. Allison is currently a full-time online student at SUNY Empire State college pursuing a degree in Human Resource Management.

Our goal is to send $500 to help Allison manager her most pressing concerns. Allison is the 17th family caregiver we've been able to help through our CareGifters program.

You can help by donating via the donation button at the bottom of this post. Your donation is tax deductible as our CareGifters program is part of our non-profit organization, The Center for Family Caregivers. You also can help by purchasing a copy of our latest book, A Caregiving Day, a book of poems. Proceeds from the sale of our eBook and print book will go directly to Allison. You also can purchase a book at the bottom of this post.

Thanks so much for your help!

In her CareGifters application, Allison details how she will use the $500: Tell us about your three most pressing concerns.
Allison: My three most pressing concerns at the moment are:

1. Staying strong, motivated, and determined to finish my degree plan so that I can obtain a position that would provide my family with the financial support and benefits that we so desperately need. Words can not describe how we have struggled the past several years with our financial situation. I have had to come up with ways to make sure the bills get paid, provide food for our family, make sure that Tarl has proper clothing, shoes, boots, etc for every season and for how fast he has been growing, making sure that Christopher has everything he needs such as medications and supplies that are not covered by his health plan, and pay for dental work that we all have needed over the years along with many more things that would take a long time to list.

2. Taking better care of myself so that I can be the best caregiver, wife, and mother that I can possibly be. I do not get the proper amount of sleep which causes me to struggle daily with fatigue, depression, and irritability. I need to find time to re-build some friendships and have some time to allow myself to have some fun and join a social club. I actually am an active member of the Rochester Astronomy club, but I have not attended a meeting in over a year! I have been a member for three years now, and every year there has been an anonymous member who has paid for a family membership for me. (The membership is $110 per year). I used to be able to attend meetings every few months the first few years, but Christopher has required more of my attention this past year, and my parents are having a harder time caring for Tarl for more that a few hours because they are getting older and have health problems of their own. My mother-in-law, has not been able to come and visit as often due to health issues as well. She was coming here for a week every two months the first year Christopher was back home. She has not been to visit since July due to health issues. I can not hire a babysitter because our finances are so tight we barely pay our bills every month with a little left over for gas, paper products, clothing and other household supplies, prescription co-pays, car repairs, and saving a little for Christmas and birthday gifts for Tarl when it is possible. I have had to ask family members on many occasions for financial help, but that is no longer an option because they all have their own financial situations. I have a therapist I have been seeing once every other week for years, and I have really been working on ways to reduce my stress and anxiety by practicing meditation mostly by listening to guided meditation CDs at bed time.

3. Trying to become better with managing my time so that Tarl has the opportunities to start sports and take music lessons. Organizing our tiny apartment and keeping it clean to make sure there is adequate space for Tarl to play and have friends over as well as helping to create an environment which will reduce the chances of Christopher tripping over something and falling. When he falls, he goes down so hard because his right side is so weak. He has had many instances where he has fallen and hit his head very hard. He was just in the hospital this past weekend due to a bad fall from slipping on the icy sidewalk while walking to the car. He can walk short distances with a quad cane, but since he suffered a major concussion from this fall, I use his transport wheelchair to get him from our front door to the car. I am trying my very best to maintain a routine as far as family meals, making sure Tarl does his homework every night, and keeping him healthy and motivated to do well in school. He is so smart, but he worries about his dad so much! He has been through a lot in his little life, and he is a very sensitive, sweet, and caring little boy. How will receiving $500 help you?
Allison: If I were to receive $500.00, it would help me catch up on a few bills that I have fallen behind on, allow me to purchase new tires that our car desperately needs, buy a new printer for my computer (which is absolutely necessary for continuing my school work this semester), and allow me to hopefully have a little left over to put toward an air conditioner because I know that the one we have had for several years now is not going to work this summer. Christopher suffers from severe, chronic headaches. It is imperative for him to be in a quiet, dark, and cool environment. Our little apartment is like an oven in the summer without an air conditioner because we are not allowed to put a screen door on our front entrance door. This prevents ANY cross ventilation or breeze to enter our apartment. We used to have two air conditioners that cooled off the entire apartment, but one completely broke last summer. If I have at least one small one that can be put in our bedroom, Christopher would have an area where he could relax and be cool. Tarl and I can go swimming on hot sunny days, and would be fine with using the two fans we have to stay comfortable. I am pretty good with making money stretch as far as possible,and $500.00 would allow me the ability to obtain most of the things that I mentioned which we so desperately need!

Thanks so much for any help you can offer. Purchasing our eBook or a donation of $5 can make a huge difference toward reaching our goal of sending $500.

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