Cases 31-33: Kidney failure makes life difficult for mother of three

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100 Neediest Cases student artwork

100 Neediest Cases student artwork by Kristen Valley of Edwardsville High School

CASE 31 • Two years ago, Ms. T’s life was derailed with a devastating kidney failure diagnosis. Forced to quit her job to undergo dialysis three days a week, she has found it difficult to provide for her children, ages 4, 8 and 16. The 15 surgeries she’s had in the last year have overwhelmed her physical and emotional health. Utility bills are stacking up. She manages to get her kids to school, cook their meals and take them out on weekends. The last thing she wants is for her health to hurt her children. She could use some help catching up on utility bills and buying the kids clothes and toys.

CASE 32 • C, 48, is a single mother of two children and five foster children — one is her grandson, the other four were abandoned by a mother who has been lost to the streets. C wants to be a stable force. But she has diabetes and kidney disease. She recently had eye surgery and can’t see well. Unable to work full time, she’s fallen behind on bills, bedding and clothing. Her refrigerator and furnace need repairs and her home has broken windows.

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CASE 33 • Ms. S and her three sons have moved around a lot since a bullet narrowly missed the head of her 6-year-old while he was in bed. They lived with her mother for a time but were exceeding the occupancy permit. They now stay with friends and live in hotels. Ms. S suffers from depression and is having a difficult time. She is looking for a second job so she can afford rent. Her children’s father was released from prison this year but provides no assistance. The family would appreciate help with food, transportation, appliances, furniture and clothing.

Case profiles by Jacob Barker, Jesse Bogan and Marcia L. Koenig of the Post-Dispatch.

To give

ADOPT A CASE: For highest-need cases, the program supplies donors with a list of a family's needs. Donors are asked to meet at least one of the stated needs and provide at least one present for each person in the family. Everything goes directly to the family, through a social worker.

DONATE: Monetary gifts to the 100 Neediest Cases general fund are used to help 4,300 cases, and go directly to the families.

FUNDRAISE: Encourage friends, family and others to join you in helping. Set up a fundraising page for your adopted family or the program overall, and have an even bigger impact.

TO HELP: Call 314-421-6060 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, visit 100neediestcases.org, or mail a check payable to "100 Neediest Cases" (no cash) to P.O. Box 955925, St. Louis, Mo. 63195.

Tradition

The tradition of 100 Neediest Cases campaign dates to 1922, when civic leaders formed the Christmas Bureau. The Post-Dispatch has partnered with the program for more than five decades, renaming it 100 Neediest Cases in 1954.

HOW IT WORKS: Social service agencies, working through the United Way, identify thousands of needy families. Volunteers then select 100 cases to be profiled in the newspaper to raise awareness.

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