It hasn't been a good year for Jill.
We joke that Jill is 'hell on wheels' because of the three letters on the license plate, but the car has become the car from hell. First, it started leaking inside the trunk, which...well, in the last few years has been a tolerable problem, but now that we approach the rainy season, it has a bad tendency to fill up with water in the wheel well and ruin anything stashed in there. Given that's where Mom's wheelchair rides when Jill takes Mom to the doctor, that is not good.
Then, in the last two years, the alternator's gone out, the tires were replaced, and then October came.
In the course of the month, the brakes went out. Then, Jill was told by Les Schwab that her ball bearings were going bad. Then, the battery died, and in the course of figuring out why it was doing this even with a new battery, she discovered the starter motor had stopped -- permanently. The brakes, the battery, and the starter motor were all replaced by Dad, and things seemed to be mostly getting better...
Until she had some really bad luck. As she was driving, the timing belt snapped and took the engine with it. So now Jill has a car that doesn't go. Anywhere. She's been borrowing Dad's 1991 Chevy Astro to drive kids around, both her babysitting charges and school pickups for her friend's daycare. However, the Astro isn't exactly a vehicle in great shape either. It has over 300,000 miles on it, and it can be balky at the best of times. Mom has troubles getting in. Since Jill ferries Mom to many of her doctor's appointments, this is a real hardship. Also, the heater does not work and Mom is sensitive to cold.
For those who do not know, our mother is completely disabled. She can only walk a very short distance without needing a wheelchair, she is on oxygen, she has a paralyzed vocal cord, and she has numerous other health problems. She is also a cancer survivor, but unfortunately, the use of arsenic in her cancer treatments has contributed to the inability to walk. She has six different doctors and two other regular appointments she needs to go to as well (a B12 shot and physical therapy). Dad has asked that Jill stay close to home with the van since it is somewhat unreliable which means that there are a few appointments she cannot drive Mom to at all.
Jill herself has been told by her doctor to keep her working to a minimum, which is why she only keeps an eye out on one kid, and does school pickups for her friend. She is trying to get on disability, but the Social Security office insists she can work -- in a job with low stress and minimal contact with customers, co-workers and supervisors. If you know of a job like this, please let us know, because we're trying to figure it out.
Besides her doctors, Mom cannot get to stores easily and relies on me and my sister to take her there, or manage the grocery shopping and the picking up of Mom's scripts. I'm trying to find a job, but if I manage, the burden of getting Mom everywhere will fall on Jill, and she really needs a working car in order to do that.
I know it's a tight season for everybody, and we're trying to raise a lot of money, but if you can find space to help Jill out and get her car back on the road, everybody here at the house would be mighty appreciative. Besides -- if 150 people find ten bucks in their pocket, or 60 people can manage $25, we'll be there. And even if we don't make the lofty goal, anything will help. Thanks in advance. (PS: If you have the whole $1500 and feel extraordinarily generous, we're not adverse to that either.)