Posts tagged "help"




On May 28th, my sister, Edna, turned 31.


Her mental age is about three years old. She loves Winnie the Pooh, Beauty & the Beast, and Sesame Street. Even though the below picture is unconvincing. 


Edna and “Cookie.” I think she was trying to play it cool. 

My name is Jeanie. I’m Edna’s younger sister. I’m also her guardian and caregiver. 


That’s me on the left. (Hey, you never know. After a year of writing a blog about online dating - Jeanie Does the Internet - I’ve come to learn that there are A LOT of fools on the internet.) 


ANYWAY, I’m not “doing the internet” anymore. I’m taking care of Edna full-time, after completing my MFA in Writing for Screen & Television at USC.


May 16, 2014. I wanted a picture. Edna wanted breakfast.

In case you’re wondering where our parents are, they’re dead. Our mom died of breast cancer when she was just 33. 


Us with mom before she died. (Obviously.)

As for our dad, he peaced-out around the time my mom got sick. His loss - we’re awesome. 


Here we are being awesome at the beach. Pushing a wheelchair in the sand? Not so awesome. 

In case you’re wondering “What’s wrong?” with my sister - as a stranger once asked me on the street  -  NOTHING. Yes, Edna has a rare form of epilepsy - Lennox-Gastaut syndrome - but I don’t know if that’s anymore “wrong” than people who don’t have manners. 

Basically, Edna was born “normal,” and started having seizures as a baby. They eventually got so bad that they cut off the oxygen to her brain, causing her to be mentally disabled. Or impaired. Or intellectually disabled. Or whatever you want to call it - except “retarded,” because in 2010, President Obama signed Rosa’s Law into effect, replacing that word with “intellectually impaired.” 

Which is cool and all, but services for the disabled and the people who care for them are SEVERELY LACKING. Also, there’s a bunch of people working in taxpayer-funded positions who are supposed to help families like us, but don’t. (Big surprise, I know.) They just fill out paperwork (whenever they feel like it) with asinine statements like this: 


YUP. I transport my sister down the stairs in her wheelchair, because that is not only safe, but TOTALLY PRACTICAL. Why doesn’t everyone in a wheelchair just take the stairs, for God’s sake? Stop being so lazy, PEOPLE WITHOUT WORKING LEGS! 

But, as it says above, Edna’s legs do work. Whether or not she wants them to, is another story. 


Edna refusing to go inside. 

These are the stairs that I have to carry her up - by myself - on a daily basis. That is, until one of my legs break and both of us are just sitting at the bottom of the stairs, helpless. 


For six months, I have begged - BEGGED - the State of California to help my sister, which they are required by law - The Lanterman Act specifically - to do so. But they’ve told me “these things take time” and that I “need to amend my expectations.” (That was said to me when I refused to place Edna at AN ALL-MALE CARE FACILITY. Because yes, that was an “option” that was offered to me.) 

Prior to Edna moving in with me in my one-bedroom apartment, she was living with her amazing caregiver, Gaby, back in Tucson, where we went to high school and I did my undergrad. Edna’s reppin’ the Wildcats below. 


But back in November, Gaby also died from breast cancer. (FUCK YOU, BREAST CANCER!) This picture was taken a month before she died. She never even told me she was sick because she didn’t want me to worry. 

By the way, we were raised by our grandma. Edna and her were very close.


She’s dead, too. Surprise.

She died when I was 20 and Edna was 21. That’s when I became Edna’s legal guardian and Gaby stepped into the picture to help me out with Edna. 

So, six months ago, after Gaby died, I moved Edna to California, where I tried to get the folks over at The Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center to help me. I’ve told them I’m worried about our safety - that one of us could get hurt on the stairs -  I’ve told them I can’t afford to pay the private babysitters $15/hour because the ones social services sent me who make $9/hour were unreliable (they didn’t show up on time or at all so I could get to school and work), untrustworthy (one of them let Edna go to the bathroom in the kitchen and then took her into the bathroom because “that what I thought I was supposed to do.”) 

But the people over at the FLRC don’t return my calls, they don’t file the paperwork on time - and the first caseworker that was assigned to us actually LAUGHED AT my sister when he came to our home to evaluate her. When I reported him to his supervisor, she told me, “That’s just [insert name of said jackass].” 

He was one of the two caseworkers that contributed to the report I mentioned above, which also included this: 


So let me get this straight - I have to feed, bathe, dress and help Edna in the bathroom and you can’t deduce whether or not she is able to vote? What in the fuck?!

Now I realize I seem angry. And you can bet your balls I am. I’m also sad. Sad for those who don’t have family to stick up from them and who waste away God knows where, monitored by no one. Or monitored by people who physically and sexually assault them

I’m also sad for the caregivers who are SO EXHAUSTED - trying to take care of their loved ones - while also trying to take care of themselves and battling a system that is supposed to help, but does nothing of the sort. And I know a lot of people give up. They let their dreams, their marriages, their friendships slide. All while trying not to resent the very person you’re doing it all for.


Edna wanted to sit next to me the other day while I was writing. Clearly, she’s not impressed. 

Here’s the thing: I REFUSE TO GIVE UP. I’M NOT GIVING UP ON HER OR MYSELF. I’m going to pursue my dreams while taking care of her, AND while ensuring that the people paid to do their jobs ACTUALLY do them.

That’s where you come in. I need you to help me get my story out there. Because I know I’m not alone in this. I want to connect with families who are in similar situations and also show people who have no idea what it’s like to care for someone with a disability (or even a loved one who is sick) that it can be rewarding. Super fucking hard. Exhausting. Painful. Isolating. But, rewarding. 

I’m going to get help for my sister - and others. My hope is that by sharing our story, I can bring awareness to the lack of services and help for the disabled. 

Thank you, 



Twitter: @EisforEdna 

This made me cry

Boosting!  Have inothernews and newsweek seen this yet?

Signal boost.

As an update to you all since I haven’t been on here in a couple of months: Bob got better and had the tumor removed and seemed almost cancer free a couple months ago, but the doctors wanted to check again. Then the cancer “score” kept going back up. Now his belly is swelling and he is on pain medication 24/7. Without a major change, prognosis obviously does not look good. Your thoughts, prayers, vibes, and assistance is much, much appreciated.


Donations can be made via paypal to  If asked, please mark the purpose as being a donation or other to stop your donation from being taxed on Melissa’s end.  The other option is gofundme, however, its fees include a few dollars from every donation which is why paypal is preferred. 

Octavius Lamb was the student of Melissawrites.  When she learned the news of Octavius’ death she wrote this post. Her school recently learned that there would be no funeral or proper burial, and Melissa has asked me to get Tumblr’s help:


I hate to reach out to you especially under these circumstances, however I don’t know anyone with a stronger voice.
As you read, one of my students was killed on New Year’s Day.
This is a student who was a leader in JROTC and student government at school. When I student taught at the school I am currently now employed at he started a petition to help get me hired. He once reported that someone stole a pop from a fundraiser to me. He was a good and honest young man. 
His family cannot afford to give him a funeral. His mother is homeless, his sister (another former student of mine) just had a baby at 17 and is living with her boyfriend, his other brother (and yet another former student) is locked up for the next 15 years. This young man was his family’s only hope, as mentioned on my blog he had a full-ride to school and turned it down to take a job (as a dishwasher of all things) to help provide for his family. He was not gang affiliated. 
As a school we are attempting to provide a funeral for him, because if we don’t, no one else will. If the funds are not raised in time he will be given as what’s known as a pauper’s funeral in Chicago which leave him with an unmarked grave and no service. He doesn’t deserve this. 
I’m turning to you to see if you can help me put out a blast to raise the funds for this incredibly sad event. I know that you do so much in the Tumblr world, however I don’t have nearly the followers that you do. I hate having to turn and beg for something like this, but if you could help in any other way, it would really mean the world to me.
Thanks so much,
Melissa, there’s no need to beg.  This is how a community helps one another.
Melissa is under a very, very tight timeline.  Her principal meets with the family on Monday.  The cost of the funeral and burial is $5,000.  Melissa’s goal to raise is $1,000 before Monday morning.  I am hoping we can exceed it.  
Donations can be made via paypal to  If asked, please mark the purpose as being a donation or other to stop your donation from being taxed on Melissa’s end.  The other option is gofundme, however, its fees include a few dollars from every donation which is why paypal is preferred.   Melissa realizes this means asking for a considerable amount of trust, but I can vouch for her honesty.

Even the smallest of donations will help.  Octavius Lamb deserve a 
fair-well worthy of the life he lived.  I believe that the magic and love of Tumblr can help accomplish this.  Please show Melissa the same love and support you’ve shown me over the years.  Spread the word, reblog (and reblog again) — using the text post so it shows all the info), post it on facebook, tweet it, and tell your mother. 

Thank you.

I would like to think Tumblr can do so much more than just pay for his funeral.




Help My Uncle and Aunt pay unexpected medical bills and make it to their daughter’s wedding!

Here is the flyer about my Aunt and Uncle’s fundraiser.

In case you missed my post earlier, my Aunt Karen has been unemployed for a while.  When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she lost her job because she had used up all her sick leave and needed more time to fight it.  She had been working there for over 20 years — and had an excellent record (at the time she was a regional manager).  She has found some temporary work here and there, but it hasn’t worked out long term.   She is just not very good at telemarketing (she can’t push people to buy things).   Her unemployment for telemarketing just ended last week.

Her husband, Jimmy, recently had an accident which resulted in him needing a titanium rod put in his back.  He was at risk for paralysis.   They did not have insurance at the time because the cost of the premium through his work was too high for them to still have money to live on.

Obviously, they have some high medical bills to pay off

Additionally, Jimmy is not allowed to work until the end of June at the earliest (he repairs different machinery at dry cleaners, restaurants, etc.).

Jimmy’s daughter (Karen’s step-daughter) is getting married soon.  They plan on driving from Florida to Ohio, but honestly, I know it is not in their budget.  

Any help with medical expenses or gas costs would be greatly appreciated.  I know money is tight for many.  If you don’t have the funds, prayers, good thoughts, and reblogs are appreciated!

The two of them have always been there for me, and their upbeat attitudes in the face of everything has been a constant source of inspiration.  Checks or gift cards can be mailed to:

Jimmy Mowery

c/o P.O. Box 224

Litchfield, Ohio 44253

Feel free to contact me with any questions.  I could also give you my paypal account if you’d like to send funds that way.

Reblogging this in case you missed it yesterday.

Signal boost for a good, nay great Tumblrfriend.

The flyer design is quite hideous, but don’t let that stop you from supporting a good cause in any way you can.



The One Million Hours of Service campaign celebrates the collective power of youth. Follow your passion and use your hours to better our world. For people, animals, and the environment. Help the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots global network in achieving One Million Hours of Service. Visit the Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots campaign website for resources, inspiration, and to record your service hours. This video was created by Denali Kikuchi and Adrienne Bermingham.

I just love Jane!

Click here to visit!

(via cornersoftheworld)



This is not me complaining, I want to make that clear before I begin.

This is my Amazon Classroom Wishlist.  I could really use the help.

I started the school year almost a month ago.  We’ve received one pay check which was really wonderful to get (considerably more than I was making before).  However, I spent more than half of what I made this month (from my new job and my old one) on school items.  

My students are first generation immigrants from Mexico, Haiti, and Cuba.  Every single one of them are ELL’s.  They do speak English well, and they all work very hard.  Like any classroom, the have a variety of different home lives which I am still learning about.   My students come from low SES households.

They are the students that didn’t laugh when I missed my chair and fell on the ground.   They are the students that were dedicated to curing my hiccups.  Can you tell? I’m already in full blown love with my class.

In my first teaching position, I had students that were special needs and came from some pretty rough backgrounds (I am not saying that my students now do, I’m not commenting on that on here ever).

Many parents were unable to provide classroom supplies.  The school I taught at gave me nothing to work with, I even had to provide my own desks.  So, you can imagine that I spent a lot that year — even more than the usual new teacher does.  I was able to do that because I lived at home and didn’t have many bills to pay.

I’ve moved now on my own, so I actually have to be able to support myself.  However, I still want to provide my students with everything they need to learn.  The school district gave us a lot of school supplies to begin the year, but that is about where it will end.  We got one ream of printing paper (we can put things in production, but there’s a narrow line of what will and will not be approved).  More than half of my students didn’t bring in binders that they need for writing, so I bought them for them.  I’ve bought things for science experiments, writing, pencils, and on and on.

I have added some basic classroom needs to my Amazon wishlist, which I’ve never really needed help with before.  I know most of my followers are teachers, and I absolutely do not expect/want you to spend your money on me when I know you’re spending out the butt on your own classroom.   I would appreciate it if any non-teaching people would look at the list to see if there is anything they’d be willing to provide.  And if you are unable to help, a reblog of this post would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

Basically, I am constantly trying to grow my classroom library.  I need more non-fiction books, books with characters my students can identify with, books that are beginning reader books, basic classroom supplies, etc.  Any help you could give would mean the world to me.  I’ll write a whole post about you if you want to say thank you.



If you can help, please do!

We seriously still need your help if you are willing and able. About $152 or so would keep us up on fuel, heat, and insurance (which is canceling soon if not).

We could also use suggestions on an abandoned house or some space to move into.

Thank you to everyone who has helped in the past.

One of the greatest things I love about social networking and “Web 2.0” is the aspect of greater numbers of people helping people greatly with less effort. This is exemplified by the outreach of support and monies to help the victims of yesterday’s natural catastrophe in Japan.

Another excellent example of this are three small businesses reaching out to help a local individual with stage 4 cancer.

The person in question, Chaz, is a friend of my wife’s cousin Mandy, so I”m confident the need is legitimate (it’s stage 4 cancer, after all). The businesses I do not know, but they aren’t asking for much in my opinion, so I’m more than willing to do as requested. All these companies are asking for in return is for people to “LIke” them on Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, your help would also be appreciated. And yes, these likes would be even more appropriate if you actually lived in or near Melbourne, Florida, but that’s up to you.

The owner of Southern Photo Supply, a printing company in Melbourne, Florida, has offered to donate $1,000 to Chaz’s medical costs. All you have to do is go to their page and click “LIke”. They do have a goal of 20,000 followers by April 16, but I don’t think that is a prerequisite for their gift.

The second business, The Joint Melbourne, is a chiropractic operated by Dr. Daniel Weber. He has offered to donate $500 for 1,000 new “Likes”.

Finally (so far), there’s Jamie Salup Photos, which is donating to the fund with every new “Like”.



2011 Sendai Earthquake / How To Help: President Obama released a statement earlier announcing that “[t]he United States stands ready to help the Japanese people in this time of great trial.” Below is a list of charities and relief organizations you can donate to in order to help bring aid to those affected by the worst earthquake in Japanese history.

  • The American Red Cross has set up a special designation for disaster relief efforts in Japan. To donate, click here, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to instantly donate $10.
  • International Medical Corps says it is putting together relief teams and supplies to aid Japan “and other affected countries.” Donate here.
  • Click here to donate to AmeriCares’ emergency relief response.

[image: quoteskine.]

Earlier: TDW’s Breaking News post on the 2011 Sendai earthquake with live updates.

We seriously still need your help if you are willing and able.

We could also use suggestions on an abandoned house or space to live in.

Thank you to everyone who has helped in the past.s