Linda Lane Pontiac, IL 13,390 Votes
Kayleigh Perez was born 9/26/05, we all knew she was our miracle. Born severely disabled, mentally & physically; cCMV limits my niece. My sister, Tiffanie, knew she was going to have a long road ahead coping to the needs of her little girl. Another speed-bump in the road came in July of 2007 though, when Tiffanie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Without hesitation, my parents Robert and Linda moved Tiff & Kayleigh in with them. They were already living with my then 87 year-old grandmother, she was dependent on help with day-to-day activities. Being the caretaker of these 3 ladies became a full plate for my mom so, eventually she quit working so she could give them the security of being there at all times. My dad works long hours and never passes up over-time in order to support my mom & the girls. He has stood by their sides through everything and supports them anyway he can! It’s been a tough road for my family, and one can only wonder if things are ever going to get better.
Symptoms of MS already cripple Tiffanie’s range of motion, cognitive skills, and things some moms take for granted when raising their children. She has difficulty picking Kayleigh up and doing routine things like driving and diaper changes. As my parents grow older, Kayleigh is also a growing girl(currently 4ft/40bs.) Not only is Kayleigh getting longer, heavier, and stronger, but as she grows so does her equipment and wheel-chair. My mom drives both girls most everywhere. She’s taking Kayliegh in and out of her car seat & loading/unloading the wheelchair for daily activities, sometimes several times a day. Doing this for several years has taken a toll on my mom, as Kayleigh grows it’s only getting harder.
MS is known to eliminate the ability to walk/stand for even short periods of time. Tiffanie already uses a wheelchair, but at some point is likely to need it more often than not. My mom is the rock for these two amazing girls and she can’t risk lifting so much weight for much longer. An accessible van is a necessity for the sake of my parents backs/wrists and the mobility of my family in general.