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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Severe arthritis disables mother from working

By Amy Renee Leiker
The Wichita Eagle

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

After 31 years, this Wichita woman’s husband retired from policing in April. She worked a dream job at a hospital, with enough pay to make ends meet. The couple and their two daughters, 14 and 18, bought a house and lived comfortably — with “no extras,” she wrote. “We thought that we had it made.”

The 45-year-old woman had lived for 11 years with rheumatoid arthritis, managing it with medication, injections, braces and splits.

She beat an eight-month flare-up — taking three months off of work — and headed back to her position at the hospital over the summer.

Then the severe pain returned in August, forcing her to quit work.

Now she’s without a job, medication and insurance.

“The pain is so bad that I am only able to be up for 1 ½ hours (to) three hours at a time,” she added. “I have no medication for the inflammation and to stop my spine from fusing together.”

Her husband, 51, is hunting for a job that offers insurance benefits; in the meantime, this family of four is asking Share the Season to help. They need money for basics: food, electricity and taxes. A wheelchair would help her mobility, too, she wrote.

“If there is a way that we could get food or keep our electricity on, we would be so blessed.”

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

Donations also can be made through PayPal online at www.wichitacf.org. Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous. For more information, call 316-264-4880.

To apply for help: Download an application at www.sharetheseason.org, or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market, Wichita. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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