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EVEN HEROES NEED HELP OUR GRANDSON Our grandson will soon be 17 years old. He has been putting forth a heroic fight against his mental illness since he was in 5th grade. Going to school has been too stimulating for quite a few years so he learns at home. He has not left the house for quite a few months due to his thinking that he appears hugely overweight. He is actually a thin, 5’10”, very handsome young man. Researching a myriad of subjects on the computer fills most of his time. He loves playing with and talking to his cats at home. We love his kindness and gentleness to all of God’s creatures, from tiny bugs to large animals. Adults complement him on his good manners. His doctors and therapists are amazed at the way he articulates how he feels and what he perceives is going on inside his brain. He wishes he had friends that would come to visit or call him on the phone and would even like to have a girlfriend. Our grandson believes that God has something special for him to do with his life but wishes God would hurry up and tell him what it is. He prays daily for God to heal him. We all do!

WHO “WE” ARE My husband and I are a retired couple living in wonderful Winchester, Virginia. Our daughter’s family lives in a small town in the southwestern part of Virginia. She and her husband are both teachers. They have a beautiful daughter in college and a handsome son of high school age with special needs as mentioned above. They live in a modest three bedroom house with three old cars and four cats (yes 4!) We want to tell you a story about this wonderful family.

OUR STORY BEGINS The story begins when our daughter and her husband first noticed changes in their son’s behavior at around age 10. Watching their son become more and more disturbed emotionally, physically and psychologically was confusing and heartbreaking. In spite of the catastrophic diagnosis of mental illness for our grandson, the extended family has always been gathered together to share its love, support and prayers. God has been with us. Our daughter and her husband are heroes! They stay upbeat, take one day at a time and thank God for all of the goodness that does come their way. As our grandson became more and more ill, our daughter became not only his mom, but also his friend, doctor, nurse, teacher, spiritual leader and cheerleader. She tells everyone she talks to that she could not have done this without her family and God right beside her!

ANOTHER HERO Our grandson is also a hero. He shows heroism every day as he bravely fights the following mental health issues: anxiety with manic behaviors, depression with periods of uncontrollable crying, OCD (obsessive compulsive behavior), body dis-morphia disorder, multiple serious eating disorders, extremely low self esteem,  suicide ideation, self-harming by cutting, and possible autism spectrum disorder. He is receiving treatment for all of these issues at home everyday! Hooray for ZOOM! He is also receiving home bound instruction in high school junior year English and American history. He loves his teacher. When he’s able, he studies and makes straight A’s on his tests! He is determined not to give up fighting his problems. He has God and his family on his side.

NEW CONCERNS Our daughter lost her job in 2021 because of her many absences from the classroom. This was completely understandable but meant the loss of half of the family’s income. As she sadly saw God close that door, she also recognized how important it was to be home with her son all of the time, every day. His mental health issues were becoming more and more serious. He needed 24/7 monitoring. As family life changed with the mental illness of a family member, those changes were not the only concerns. How to pay for the needed services and medicines was another part of the catastrophe of this mental illness. As their savings disappeared and in spite of our son-in-law’s, heroically working 2 jobs, the bills have still increased. In November 2022 the family received a bill for $10,000 from their lawyer service that monitors school law for their son’s Individual Education Plan and his IDEA status. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) One year of services!  Also new in November 2022 was a $6,000 settlement bill from a day school in Virginia that our grandson was unsuccessful in attending. At a huge expense our daughter and grandson had moved to another town in order to try this new schooling opportunity. This move added the costs of renting and moving into an apartment. The stay only lasted 2 months, it was too overwhelming for their son, he had to leave. Imagine also, the expense of the constant changing and tweaking of medicines weekly and/or monthly, the psychiatrist and psychologist bills, and the innumerable variety of other doctor and therapist bills. There is little that their health insurance covers. The family has cut corners in spending and does without some of the basics just to save money. House payments, utilities, food, car repairs and illness in the family make bill paying difficult at best. The family is tremendously grateful for the heroic deeds offered by grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends but unfortunately the debt continues to grow. So does their concern!

PLEASE HELP US Please consider sending a small donation to help this family recover from some of the worry of money owed to the community. As teachers, our daughter and son-in-law have given of themselves, through love and their talented teaching skills, to all of their students in this same community for over 20 years. Our family would feel such relief if the balance of debt could be reduced by any amount. Please choose to be one of our new heroes! Thank you!


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