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.
Three months and four surgeries later, this 27-year-old woman is struggling to find normalcy.
It started last summer. Her 8-year-old daughter began feeling pain in her legs, which doctors said were just growing pains. After the girl’s knees began swelling, her mother turned to more specialized doctors until they discovered an autoimmune disease.
Meanwhile, the woman got sick with what was believed to be meningitis. In the past few months, she’s had a hernia, had surgery to remove her gallbladder and had more surgeries after getting an infection in the incision.
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"The past couple of months have been so stressful," she said. "Even if I get a sniffle, (my daughter) freaks out and says ‘Mom do you need to go to the hospital again?’ ”
In addition, the aviation-related company she worked with for a year and half had to let her go after her Family and Medical Leave Act time ran out. The family lost power, gas and water, so the two have been staying with family members.
"My parents have helped me out so much," the woman said. "…There’s no way I could do it all."
She is hoping Share the Season will help pay for electric, gas and water bills while she begins to focus on finding a new job.
"Having that off my shoulders and knowing that we’re going to have heat this winter and not be at my parents’ house," she said, "and have a normal routine again."
So far, Share the Season has raised more than $186,912.
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.