52 Lives

Life #28

Request: Baby things, vehicle repairs and help with housing.

This week we are helping a couple, John and Kisha, from Michigan, USA.

This is a first for 52 Lives - we've never helped someone from America before and we aren't sure how it will go, so we will really need all of your help to share it with anyone you know who may be able to help.

John and Kisha are expecting their first baby, which is due in September.

John, now 35, was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, when he was 25 years old. It is a chronic neurological syndrome characterized by severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.

It was a diagnosis that would change his life forever. He was told he would end up in a wheelchair and would probably never be able to have children. He had to leave his job with the gas company he was working for, and has been unable to work since. He lives in pain on a daily basis.

His partner, Kisha, has been trying to care for him, while also bringing in an income when she can. They have been working hard to make the best life they can for their baby, but a series of difficulties has gotten on top of them and added to their financial pressure.

Kisha, now 7 months pregnant, recently lost her job, their car broke down, and their lease is up in August so they potentially have nowhere to live after that (unless their landlord allows them to go month to month, and also allows the three of them to live in a studio flat, which they are not sure he will do).

John is a proud man. He broke down in tears when he told me how frustrated and useless he feels when he sees Kisha working so hard.

I spoke to him at length, and have also been in touch with the Director of a charity he has been involved with, and I truly believe this is very much a couple in need of some kindness.

This is what we would like to help them with:

1. Baby things

John and Kisha are so excited about having a baby, but simply don't have the money to buy anything yet. We would love to send them either gifts for the baby, or gifts cards for Walmart (which can be bought online), so they can choose things themselves. If you would like to send a baby gift or a gift card, please let us know by clicking the button below and we will tell you how and where to send it.

2. Vehicle repairs

John has been having trouble with the front suspension of the car. He isn't sure what the problem is, and doesn't feel safe driving it. He has been trying to save money to get it repaired before the baby comes. If anyone knows a mechanic near Stanton, Michigan that would be willing to donate their time to take a look at it for John, we would be very grateful.

3. Help with housing

This is a big request, but I thought it was worth a try! John and Kisha have found a trailer to buy, which would give them more room and greater financial freedom. But they can't afford it. It will be between US$1500 and $2000 to buy the trailer, and pay the associated costs. I know it’s a lot to ask, but if anyone knows anyone that may be able to help with that, please let us know by clicking the button below.

What we did

As well as Walmart gift cards so they can buy baby things, we managed to help to keep John and Kisha from being made homeless. Two lovely UK donors - Richard and Suzy - made it possible for them to get set up in new rental accommodation by covering their deposit and first two months rent. Unbelievable generosity. Thankyou so much