Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Son's medical problems put mother in dire straits

by Sal Dimiceli

May 30, 2013

Dear W.C.,

This is a very difficult letter to write, I am so embarrassed to ask for help.

My son has been struggling with kidney disease since he was a child. Over the years they prescribed many medications for him. Now 20 years later he struggles from the many side effects. He has developed diabetes, seizures, hypertension and many bone problems. He can no longer walk and must use a wheelchair.

He has had some medical expenses that were very expensive. We set up a payment plan, but it is a real struggle. It is just my son and I. My husband left years ago, and I never had any other children.

I am only able to work part time because I am afraid to leave him alone for too long. If he had a seizure when I was not home what would happen? At this time I am behind on rent and our utilities. Can you please help us get through this very stressful time?

Worried Mother

Dear Readers,

I went to visit the mother and son. I found them both in the backyard of a small house. The son was in a wheelchair watching his mother plant a small vegetable garden. When I walked up they both looked at me surprised that they had a visitor.

I introduced myself and the mother said, "I am so happy to meet you. I am sorry if you tried to call me, but my cell phone has been disconnected." I told her I had indeed tried to call but when I realized the phone was disconnected I decided to visit. She shook my hand and introduced me to her son. He seemed to be in his late twenties. The mother told me her son had suffered some growth retardation due to the medications. I could see the sadness in his eyes. The many years of constant medical care had taken a toll on both the mother and the son.

The mother pointed to the small garden she was trying to plant in the yard. She said it was her hope to have some fresh vegetables in the summer.

She said she was trying to cook only fresh food with no added salt to help him be healthier, but most of the time it was nearly impossible with the food they could afford.

She asked if I would like to go talk inside as it was getting chilly outside. She did not want her son to get a chill. I watched as they both struggled to get the nonmotorized wheelchair up the makeshift ramp the mother had put in.

I offered my help and after getting the son up the ramp realized how much easier this would have been with a motorized wheelchair or scooter.

The son told me he was able to use his arms, he just did not have much strength in them. His leg bones were too frail for him to walk.

The mother said they had tried to get an electric scooter but they could only get partial assistance with purchase. Since they did not have nearly enough income to survive on they could not afford to purchase their portion of the scooter.

We went into the small rental house. I could see it was older and they had done their best to make it accessible for the son. It was such a small house there was not much space for him to move around in.

There was a kitchen, living room and two small bedrooms. The mother showed me around. She told me I was welcome to take a look around. I looked in the refrigerator and cabinets and found them nearly empty.

We sat to talk at the kitchen table. The son and mother both shared with me his long struggle with kidney disease, his dialysis treatments, the many medications he had been on since a child and the effects they had on his body. They shared how he was not a candidate for transplant and they both knew his time left was very limited.

The mother looked away with tears in her eyes as she said, "I don't like to talk about this. I can't think about life without my son in it." I saw her try to hide the fact she was wiping tears from her eyes.

The son said, "Mom, please don't cry again. You will be fine without me." My heart broke for them. Such a hard life they both endured yet they found comfort in their love for each other. I told them both, "We do not know how long any of us have on this earth. We cannot dwell on that fact. What we need to do is make sure both of you are living the best life you can live right now. You need to have food, shelter, utilities and a reliable vehicle to get you to your dialysis treatments."

They both agreed we needed to go over their budget. Not all the son's medical expenses were covered by his assistance. He was on many medications for his kidney disease, diabetes and other maladies.

The mother had also paid for an expensive repair on their car as she admitted to being constantly worried they would not make it to his dialysis appointments or doctor visits. The mother only worked part time. I could see why she did not want to leave the son alone longer.

I asked if they had anyone else in their family or friends to help.

The mother said, "We only have each other. My family is long since moved away or deceased. Neither of us ever had time for friends." I asked them, "Would you like to have some friends that would love to help you? I can introduce you to caring and sharing people that like to help. I have many friends I could share with you."

They both looked surprised to hear this.

The mother said, "But I don't have time or money to go out with friends or entertain. This is what my life is like every day." I went on to explain about all of you, how you all contribute to our circle of caring and sharing, how you make it possible for The Time Is Now to Help to offer assistance to people like them every day. I told them we have many volunteers that like to provide food, daily necessities and companionship. The mother said how much that would mean to her when she had to work.

The mother said, "If someone could stop by and spend a little time with my son while I'm at work I would be so relieved." I promised to arrange this for them.

We paid their overdue rent, utilities and paid for a cell phone for the mother and son. I could not imagine being in their situation without phone access in case of an emergency.

We shared some gas and food gift cards, to allow for transportation and the son to eat healthier. They were most excited over the electric scooter we provided thanks to a generous donor having given us one. This one piece of equipment would make their daily life so much easier and life in the world was now open for this young man to explore.

Upon our first adventure exploring the young man stopped the scooter. He was quiet, looking around him, feeling the freedom of being mobile, thanks to our help with the scooter. He looked at his mother and began to cry. I asked him if he was okay. He looked at me, unable to speak, and reached for my hand. I grasped his hand as his mother hugged him.

He said, "I am so happy. All these years only being in our yard, house, hospital and doctors offices. I'm finally able to explore outside and appreciate all of God's wondrous creation." He turned, smiled and said, "Please thank everyone for making this all possible and also for helping my dear mother."

My dear friends, our help and the simple act of getting this young man and his mother out for a true adventure of simple life. A walk, a visit to nature... we have made their life so much better by our caring and sharing compassion. God Bless "You" and everyone.

With this assistance they were able to improve their quality of life and ease the pains of poverty. This small family had more pains of poverty than most. They were living with the daily struggle to not only financially survive but also physically survive. My prayers are still with them as the son continues on even with his ever-declining health.

Together we do good works, as we continue to remove the pains of poverty for those in desperate need. Together we restore hope and faith in the goodness of creation.

Health and happiness,

God Bless everyone,


Please help

Presently the Fox Charities have stepped up to offer a $25,000 Matching Grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another, doubling your help to those in need, removing their pains of poverty.

Please note, we have a new mailing address

Make checks payable to:

The Time Is Now to Help,

P.O. Box 1

Lake Geneva, WI 53147

The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.

Thank yous

Fox Charities, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Mark and Natalie Reno, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Petco Foundation, Southeastern Monitoring, Gregory Swanson, Larry Bartell, Adam Quam, Kevin Bobb, Estelle Reader, Gerald and Marilyn Wilkin, Carolyn May Essel, Robert and Patricia Davis, Marilyn Kolovos, Norwin and Gloria Watson, Joan Murphy, The Cagney Family, Randall and Margaret Smith, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.


Kathleen Rohleder-Griebel in memory of William Perkins.

Chris Ann's Resale Shop

I will continue to ask Chris Ann's Resale shop for furniture and household necessities to help our poverty stricken fellow Americans. If you have anything you would like to donate please call (262) 348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, in the old Floor Store building across from the Next Door Pub. Look for the American flags.

Desperately need cars

Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities.

Please visit