“Recently, my path encountered a family that reached into my soul and grabbed onto my heart. This family epitomizes despair without knowing life differently,” Janelle Holst said.
She said the family – mother and three children – all suffer from myotonic muscular dystrophy and intellectual disabilities, as well as the mother’s dementia. Myotonic muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness.
There are fewer than 200,000 cases of the disorder per year in the country. The disorder has no cure, but treatment helps with symptoms.
Holst said the family does not receive benefits or assistance and has never applied for help from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“My primary concern for this family is their living situation. Their home is unsafe; barely inhabitable,” Holst said.
She said deficiencies with the home include a roof has patches from prior leaks; the ceiling has collapsed in some places; fungal growth on the walls and ceiling; carpet dangerously frayed for unsteadying feet in need of a walker; and the porch posts are rotten and the rear deck rickety from decay.
“They ask for nothing, but need a great deal,” Holst said.
She said fortunately, Gary Vincen, a contractor from Dickson, agreed to oversee the projects and repairs she identified. She also said Tory Tredway, Habitat for Humanity of Wilson County director, is willing to help with volunteers, but many more are needed.
“If you are seeking a family to help this Christmas season, I promise this family worthy of your time, labor, material donations and/or financial commitment. Whatever you can provide is appreciated,” Holst said.
If anyone would like to donate or volunteer, contact Holst at 615-424-0770.
“This family needs your help. This project is much bigger than me,” she said.