Thursday, January 20, 2011

Support

Within my family, my marriage, we ask each other for support.
We ask our family and friends for their support, whether it is emotional or physical.
Rarely, so very, very rarely do we ask for financial help because we are proud - and stubborn - and when money is involved the dynamics of a relationship can seemingly, or unseemingly, change.

Since Diagnosis Day we have found ourselves asking for financial help by applying for DLA and applying to Charities for funding for the Snappie.
Since Diagnosis Day we have swallowed our pride and asked for financial help in such an open and public manner by going live with a blog, raising money for Eilidh's Whizzy Wheel Fund.
We received small donations and sizeable donations, from family and complete strangers, from near and far and in 7 weeks and 4 days we raised over £20,000.

Wow!...
Wow!...
Wow!


We are lucky.
We are not on the bread line.
We have brains in our heads and shoes on our feet.
We won't struggle but we will find it a little more difficult than we probably imagine.

Others families are not so lucky;
Financially or emotionally.
They may not have an extended family to support them.
They may well not know how to access help or "play" the system.

Circumstances can also change.
For better or for worse.
No one knows what lies ahead for themselves or for their family...
It's probably just as well really.

I had never really thought about how much it must cost to raise a disabled child; and now, slowly, it is becoming apparent.
To date we have bought:
£1,500 for the Panthera Micro
£19,908 for the SnapDragon - fund raised for through Eilidh's Whizzy Wheel Fund

Now, of course, we had the option of not buying these, of leaving Eilidh dependent entirely on others until the age of 3, but we strongly believe that Eilidh's independence is important enough to fight for.
Her independence is as important as the independence of other children in similar situations.
Hopefully, in the not so distant future, we'll be able to help others, too.

So how much does raising a disabled child cost?

Whizz Kidz published generalised figures showing the cost of raising a disabled child - the Fast Forward Fact Sheet can be found here:


It costs on average three times as much to raise a disabled child as a non-disabled child.
 
26% of families with a disabled child in the household live in poverty, compared with 20% of households with no disabled children

84% of families with a disabled child are in debt compared to 47% of households with no disabled child


I'll stress again...
We, at this moment in time, are one of the lucky families.
But it is important for us to fight for those who are not as fortunate as us, to help in any way that we can.
And I am sure that we can...
We just need a little bit more time to work out what we can do to help .

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