While many of you know me personally and have met me, I know that some of you may not be fully present to the fact that my own kids have lead poisoning. 🙂 [This isn’t just “a cause” I have taken on, it is extremely personal.]
My sons were poisoned 8.5 years ago, but still suffer from extreme symptoms today and every day.
This year A.J. – our 11-year old – has missed 7 weeks of school due to illness or injury.
Today – Monday, February 3rd – he is missing school again.
He is having debilitating gastrointestinal distress which has yet to be diagnosed, but looks like it may be Crohn’s Disease (the only thing – to our knowledge – that they have not officially ruled out.)
Did I say he is just 11 years old.
He has had CT scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds, blood work – and everything else they could do in the E.R. – but given the broken medical system in our country and need to wait insanely long times for a specialist referral, he has not yet seen a specialist since his issues began to be more significant this past October.
Luckily my husband has been amazing during this time, deferring progress on his business and spending much of his time watching the children while I do the work of the Foundation and finishing the film.
Crohn’s disease – to my knowledge – has not been studied specifically as an impact of early childhood lead exposure, however since early childhood lead exposure causes severe gastrointestinal distress and immune system deficiencies – it seems like an obvious link to make ( I should add it to my list of things to study! http://leadsafeamerica.org/studies/ )
When I am home (not traveling for the film) and A.J. is sick, I often bring him to the office with me while I work. He rests on a couch that is among the furniture that was initially donated to set up the office here in Westmoreland (the upstairs one-room office we rent in the converted funeral home that has become our headquarters!)
This donated couch is actually a horrible, uncomfortable love-seat that was donated from an attorney’s office waiting room – not appropriate for a kiddo to rest on at all.
Because today is yet another day that A.J. is here with me at work, resting on the couch (complaining about being uncomfortable), reading a book – while we wait for the pediatric gastroenterologist to return our call – I have a request.
We NEED a comfortable couch donated to the Foundation. Something where my kiddos (or the kiddos of other parents who often visit me to discuss their concerns) can comfortably rest when sick. I especially need this to be able to work since AJ has had so many sick days and I have so much to do that is dependent on me working in the office (even though I do have incredibly productive work days at home 😉
Does anyone have a comfy full-sized couch they can donate that will make these difficult days a little easier? Our office address is 6637 SE Milwaukie, Suite 203. Maybe something like a day-bed (where he can stretch out!) would be ideal.
Thanks for considering this.
For a list of other things we need here at the office – or things that would help the work of the Lead Safe America Foundation if they were donated (in-kind), please check out this post (a work in progress): http://leadsafeamerica.org/stuff/
Here are links to some day-beds that might be appropriate (with throw pillows or whatever):