I know I don’t have a big readership, and some of you have already seen me talk about this on other social media sites, but I need to take a moment to talk about a dear friend of mine who really needs help. I’ve never done something like this on my blog before, and I rarely even post these sorts of things on FB where everyone does, but this situation is overwhelming and my friend and her family could use every bit of help they can get.
Natalie and I met in high school and have remained friends ever since. She currently lives in Houston with her husband, Chris. Her parents live in San Antonio, across town from where I live, and her disabled younger brother lives with them. Natalie and her family lived at Camp Lejeune for a period of time while her father was in the Navy, and unfortunately, they were exposed to toxic water while they lived there. The toxic water situation at Camp Lejeune is well-documented and many lawsuits are in process, with settlements slowly going out to vets and their families. However, due to this contamination, Natalie and her family have suffered many health problems over the years. Her younger brother, Paul, was born at Camp Lejeune and is severely disabled with several different neurological and functioning disorders. He needs full-time care. Her mother has had multiple brain tumors/surgeries and now lives with a shunt. Her father has developed myelodysplastic disorder, which basically means that his body isn’t making red blood cells, so that he is really weakened and must get constant transfusions.
So far, Natalie’s family is still waiting for their settlement re: Camp Lejeune, and with the recent myelodysplastic diagnosis for her dad and another stroke for her mother, Nat’s parents now need someone with them full-time, especially as they still care for Paul. Nat and Chris have been planning and trying to move to San Antonio this summer. Nat is a home-health caregiver who works out of Houston and San Antonio, and she’s trained in the care her parents and brother need. Sadly, Chris is having trouble finding work in San Antonio. He has a two master’s degrees in math and chemistry and has spent years both working in chemical research labs and teaching college, but he’s had no luck in getting a job here. Chris’ mother began a gofundme to help keep them afloat while they make the transition and he searches for a new job in San Antonio.
Unfortunately – because when everything goes wrong, everything goes wrong, right? – Natalie took a fall last weekend and shattered her left hip. She underwent a hip replacement on the 25th, and is inpatient-bound in San Antonio for the foreseeable future. Chris must stay with his current job in Houston for the insurance – he can’t resign and come look here, as originally planned – and Nat won’t be able to act as a caregiver for her parents and brother for quite some time. We’re hoping that she’ll be able to apply for disability and medicaid, but as with anything government-related, these things take time and you’ve got to get through a lot of red tape.
Long story short: My best friend and her family are suffering and they need help. Nat is a proud woman and I’ve never known her to ask for financial help once in over twenty years. But she needs to be with her family, and she needs her husband with her, and these are just too many burdens for five people to bear. If you can help, if you can donate anything or share her story with others, it would mean all the world to her and to me as well. Thank you.