BENEFIT- These Shining Lives Benefit for Jenn
YOU ARE INVITED to a private event at the Village Players of Hatboro. We are holding a benefit show for a very special Montgomery County family on August 4th. The show is called These Shining Lives, written by Melanie Marnich and directed by Keith Maliszewski and Dan Cochran. Tickets for the show are $20 and 50% of all proceeds go to the family.
Jenn started taking care of Vern when she was 18, officially adopting him at age 21, saving him from his previous life of neglect. Vern has autism, and was lucky to have someone as amazing as Jenn help him avoid a long stay in foster care. Jenn has done all she can to help Vern along the way. His frequent violent outbursts as a child had both mental and physical consequences for Jenn, but she never gave up or lost hope. She helped him have the better life he deserved. Four years ago, Jenn took a job in mental health, helping families as a peer advocate and sharing her experiences so other families can learn how to survive and thrive with a difficult diagnosis.
Now Vern is 18, and while he is doing great, at a supportive school, and any outbursts are at a minimum, the family is facing some of their greatest challenges yet. After Vern turned 18, he lost his adoption subsidy, medical assistance, and social security, and they were told they have to wait a whole month before they can reapply for everything. This wouldn't have been as devastating as it was, but Jenn's health has been rapidly declining and 80% of her paycheck now goes towards paying for multiple surgeries and testing.
Jenn is constant pain. Her limbs will go numb at random timmes. She's had spinal fusion surgery twice. Herdoctor recently told her, "I don't know how you're walking. According to the tests we've run, you shouldn't be able to stand." But she continued to walk longer than she should have through sheer force of will. That is changing quickly. She is more and more frequently relying on a cane and wheelchairs. Due to the steroid medication the doctors had put her on, she has compression fractures in her wrist, on the same hand she uses to support herself with her cane. She's been through endless blood tests, EMG's, genetics testing and spinal taps in search of an explanation for why she is so seriously ill. The going theory among her doctors is muscular dystrophy, but she still does not have any definitive answers.
Throughout all of this testing and surgery, she had to take short term disability. She sent in the paperwork, her doctors and their attorneys sent in forms and letters on her behalf, and insurance said to go ahead, take disability, and have your surgery. She did so, and immediately after the surgery, they told her that since she'd had a similar surgery before, so they decided that the surgery was due to a pre-existing condition. They dropped her. She now has $13,000 added to her medical debt, and had no pay for 10 weeks. She has no hope of catching up on her bills any time soon. She is collecting more overdraft fees than her current paycheck can cover due to the need to pay back past insurance coverage from being on leave. When she applied for food stamps, they would not take into account her debt and medical bills and they fact that her paycheck was going towards paying for her time off from work for thesurgery, and said her gross pay was just over the limit. Essentially, she has to pay for all of her extensive medical care as well as Vern's services with the zero funds she is bringing in.
As bleak as her situation may seem, Jenn tries to maintain a positive attitude and her sense of humor. She does her best to support Vern has he struggles to deal with her condition. Vern talks to people abouthow his future has changed since he now has to take care of his mom. She worries about what might happen to him has her health declines further.
Mostly, Jenn remains an inspiration to her friends, coworkers, and all of the families she works with. One family told her, "Everyday, I cry through my day, struggle through my issues, and you're right here with me" even while Jenn is struggling herself. The Village Players is proud to be able to help Jenn and Vern, in some small way, with the challenges they are facing.
So please, come join us for this special event. Help us support this amazing woman who has supported so many others.
The Village Players of Hatboro Theater (View)
401 Jefferson Ave.
Hatboro, PA 19040
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|