Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's A Small World After All?

Becky's dream of going to Disneyworld is certainly well-timed.  

The state of New Mexico is making drastic budget cuts, like most states are this year.  Unfortunately, the state of New Mexico has decided that cutting back on programs for the poor and disabled is a great way to balance their budget.  How sad that our state leaders would go after citizens that are all too often "voiceless".  Culturally, many of the people who are directly affected by these cuts do not complain, do not access their government officials via letters or emails; they tend to not be informed about forums or meetings to voice their objections.  Despite having been involved in a very expensive lawsuit due to the way the state of New Mexico used to treat people with special needs, the state is cutting the budgets for people on the DD Waiver by 25% and in some cases up to 73%.

In Becky's case, we are expecting major budget cuts that will force the company that provides her residential care to group their clients together.  Becky will no longer live in her apartment by herself; but will have a roommate.  Because the company that takes care of her is so small, options for roommates is extremely limited.  Luckily, Becky loves her future roommate.  He is a 73 year old man.  She sees him as a grandfather figure and loves helping his staff take care of him.  She gets him drinks of water, tells staff what he needs next.  He's a quiet man who needs help getting around.  He and Becky often spend Saturdays & Sundays together at each others' homes.  

Another way the budget cuts are going to affect Becky is through cuts to the Medicaid program for prescription drugs.  Luckily, Becky is a fairly healthy young lady who takes few medications. But the medications she does take are very expensive. We are going to be challenged to find ways to give her the medications she needs while maintaining her already tight personal budget.

Of course, like almost everyone these days, Becky's personal budget will be greatly affected by the state and national economy.  It's part of normal living.  And like everyone else, Becky will be making choices in daily activities to help her stay within her budget.  She'll have to choose which social activities are important enough to her to pay for the gas to get there....we're pushing for her to continue having an active social life by going to karaoke, bowling and out on a day every other Saturday, as well as church on Sundays.  But because she also goes to Dayhab 5 days a week and doctor appointments occasionally, her social life choices may become limited.  Her world may become quite small indeed.  

Going to Disneyworld will expose Becky to new people, new parts of the country, and new experiences.  It's very important that she sees there is more to life than what she sees every day.  Her trip to New York City opened her eyes and her mind.  She has become much more active online and has goals and dreams for her future.  Becky has also decided to become much more active in her fundraising for her trip!  She has been having me send out cookbooks that she made to some of her extended family members and is having a yard sale in September!  She is also planning on selling pizza by the slice at her Dayhab.

Any help she can get toward her goal of going to Disneyworld would be forever appreciated.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How Disneyworld Can Help Independence!

My daughter, Becky, has cerebral palsy and uses an electric wheelchair to get around. Her ability to talk with her family and friends is an ongoing challenge for her but we discovered a wonderful way to help Becky communicate better!  Travel and adventure!!!
Becky is a very happy, friendly young lady but has huge challenges in independence.  She grew up relying on others to complete all her self-care such as dressing, grooming, and for many years, even feeding. With much work and therapy, Becky was able to learn to use utensils to feed herself, help put on tee shirts, and brush her own hair and teeth.  But all of those tasks take an enormous amount of effort and energy.  Thank goodness for her loving and attentive staff at Milagro de Vida and Angelcare of Las Cruces, NM.  

Last year, Becky went on her first independent adventure with Hammer Travel when she went to NYC.  The process of getting ready for the trip, fundraising, and telling everyone about the trip brought Becky out of her shell.  She eagerly talked to whoever would listen, telling them about her trip to the Today Show, meeting Jon Stewart at The Daily Show, going to the statue of liberty, and going to a Broadway show.  

We've seen a difference in Becky since her trip.  She is braver, more adventurous, and willing to try new things.  And she talks so much more!  She calls me every day to tell me what she did that day at dayhab.  

So, today I asked Becky a few questions about her upcoming trip to Disneyworld.  
Me:   Becky, what are you wanting to do most when you go to Disneyworld?  
Becky:   I want to see characters. I like Goofy, Mickey, and Donald Duck. My favorite is Tinkerbell. I love her.
Me:    What is your favorite Disney movie?
Becky:     Hmmmmmm I don't know.  
Me:     You used to love Aladdin.  
Becky:   Yeah, but not anymore.  I love Tinkerbell movies now.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Disneyland Dream

Wow! It's been such a crazy, busy summer!  
Becky has decided she wants her next trip to be to Disneyworld! She is excited to go away on her own again and meet new people.  Becky loves making new friends, trying new things.
The trip she is wanting to go on is:
January 27-February 2, 2013

So here we are again, raising money for her trip! The Paypal button on this blog goes to her account and every penny will be used for Becky.  Thanks for helping us spread the word!