Help Jean Fight
Organized by: Crystal Coleman
This journey speaks to a woman who overcame the obstacles of being a teen mom and enduring a decade of domestic violence but eventually found the courage to leave a marriage with virtually no skills. Jean was determined to change the course of her life and she later earned not one but two Master’s Degrees. Jean dedicated more than 20 years of her new life to a Human Services career until she became ill.
In 2012, Benign Essential Blepharo-spasm took its toll on her and eventually she could not continue to work. Jean was terminated from her position, after having exhausted all FMLA/Short Term Disability and still was not medically released to return to work. Two years later, Jean remains under the care of a doctor and still has not been determined healthy enough to return to work. When she applied for Social Security Disability (SSD), but unfortunately, her past success came back to haunt her as the government informed her “with your skills and abilities, you should be able to find employment”. When she applied for Unemployment benefits, she was also denied due to “not having the ability to look for employment and go to work.” The problem is that, Jean’s is unable to drive because Benign Essential Blepharo has left her functionally blind and with severe photo (light) sensitivity.
Feeling like she was headed for a train-wreck, Jean frantically made adjustments to her living situation; she has re-financed her vehicle and down-sized in every other area of her life. In 2014, Jean was delivered yet another blow and was told she was not eligible for any public assistance due to having a vehicle with a car note. The woman’s dire situation became a reality when she found herself with no income in March, 2014.
Jean has appealed the decision made in her SSD claim and has been forced to apply for her Social Security Retirement, as she will soon be 62 years old. She hopes to begin receiving payments at the end of 2014. Having exhausted all of her resources, she is currently dependent upon assistance from friends and relatives.
Despite all of her misfortunes and her health crisis, Jean is hoping to be released to return to work next year. In the meantime, I have offered to help her try to raise funds to help her maintain the basic needs of all of our existence---food, shelter, and medical necessities. In the face of adversity, many fold but Jean’s resilience is impressive.
If you would like to know more about, click here: http://www.blepharospasm.org/.
“A good motivation is what is needed: compassion without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy; just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their human rights and dignities. That we humans can help each other is one of our unique human capacities.” ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama