Community members of Gary-New Duluth help a family in need

Community members of Gary-New Duluth help a family in need

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No one can prepare or plan ahead for a life altering change when it comes to needing a wheelchair to move around. While its not an easy journey, it can help with the love and support from family, friends and neighbors. Community members of Gary-New Duluth reached out to help Lisa Lee and her family’s struggles.

Lisa Lee is a widowed mother of four kids. She’s been trying to get her life back on track after realizing she would be unable to walk.

“I have psoriatic arthritis it’s an autoimmune disease,” Lisa said. “I ended up with a bunch of back problems and had four or five back surgeries. One of them, I woke up and a nerve, got either severed or damaged and left one of my feet, and the other pretty much completely useless.”

Recently Lisa’s handicap accessible van broke down and she isn’t able to get the necessary repairs.

“Everything’s become a challenge. I can’t go anywhere by myself right now,” Lisa said. “I’m always asking the kids to help. The house isn’t handicapped accessible either, so nothing’s easy there either.”

Lisa said a new car with handicap access can cost up to $70,000 and even a used one is around $40,000. Pastor Robert Skutevik with Renew church organized a fundraiser to help the Lee family in their time of need.

“There’s a lot of people like Lisa out there and so as you go through this, you learn a lot of tricks,” Skutevik said. “You learn a lot of things that you can do to help them in need. We love to take this and help other people just like Lisa.”

Lisa is already getting the initial funds for the handicap accessible car she and her family needs. Lisa’s oldest son Adrian, said it feels good knowing people in the community care about their family especially since he’s taken on the role of helping his mom and his siblings.

“It’s not scary. It’s more of just it’s a little bit more responsibilities,” Adrian said. “But at the same time, you’ve just got to acknowledge the fact that they’re still the same person, they still have the same mindset. It’s just you who has to be a little bit more helpful because they raised you. Now you have to help them.”

While lisa and her family have a long road ahead of them, she still is hopeful for their future together.

“For me, there’s still so many good things. I can’t wait to see my kids grow up. I can’t see they’ve seen jobs. They have grandkids someday.”

For more information about the fundraising efforts for Lisa and her family you can read more here. Also for other stories happening with the Community members of Gary-New Duluth you can read more here.