Ashley – Oakland, IA
“I never thought I would wake up and find I couldn’t walk,” said Ashley, a 23 year-old Direct Support Professional with REM Iowa, a partner of The MENTOR Network. Until a recent bout with tonsillitis, she had been a healthy and active young woman who never dreamed that anything like this could happen to her.
Countless tests and medical consultations later, a rheumatologist settled on a diagnosis: The tonsillitis had introduced bacteria into Ashley’s system that left her with an incurable case of severe inflammatory arthritis.
With her condition under control thanks to a regimen of medications, Ashley returned to her job as a DSP at one of REM Iowa’s residential programs in Shelby, Iowa. But six weeks off from work and mounting medical bills had taken a toll on her finances. She had no money left to pay the rent. Ashley remembered seeing a flier for Network Angels in the communication book at work—a binder that contains the daily log and other information.
Ashley cried with joy the day she received her grant. She called her mother.
“I’ve never been approved for anything like that in my life,” Ashley said. “It was amazing, because I really don’t know what I would have done.”