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Share the Season: Woman seeks help after heart diagnosis, death of mom

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, at 5:42 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at 3:03 p.m.

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.

About a month after losing her mother to heart failure, this woman found out she was “dying from the same thing.”

“It was pretty devastating,” she said. “It makes you appreciate each day and the little things.”

She was 32 when doctors discovered her heart was functioning at less than 20 percent. Although she now has a pacemaker, she visits the hospital about twice a month and can hardly work at her now part-time customer service job. Yet, she is not ready to take disability.

“My mom always taught me hard work pays off and to overcome adversity life sends your way,” the woman said in her application to Share the Season. “I refused to give up.”

The family’s situation took another turn for the worse when the woman’s father was evicted from his home and the family lost everything: photo albums, clothes, the mother’s obituary.

“Thank God I was working,” the woman said. “I had enough money to get a place for me and my dad so we could start over.”

Workers were able to return her mother’s Bible and some other personal items. She cares for her 55-year-old father, who is legally blind. They take care of each other, she said. But they need assistance with funeral, utility and medication bills.

“I am not the kind of person who looks for handouts,” she said in the application. “I am a firm believer in individual responsibility. But the events that have taken place are out of my control and any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.”

So far, Share the Season has raised $220,017.

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

To donate online, go to www.sharetheseason.org.

Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous.

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