Dear Tom,

My name is Teoka  and i am at my wits end.I cared for my ailing mother up until her passing in February 2012.The next month, in March 2012, my twenty-two year-old little brother, Terrell–who is autistic and non-verbal–became very sick.   He was diagnosed with a rare cancer called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the pancreas, which spread through his blood to his liver, lungs, and brain. At the time of his diagnosis, he was already in stage 4.

Tom, through god's grace, Terrell is still surviving. I was working full-time for the state of Louisiana when i was fired due to—"too many personal phone calls". Those calls were to the nurses and doctors calling me to clarify what his "signs and gestures meant". Needless to say, I lost my job because of this. Since i was already living from paycheck to paycheck, I quickly fell a couple of months behind on the house that my mother assumed right before her sudden death. I am now facing foreclosure with a deadline to come up with the July and August’s mortgage payment by next Friday.   With September’s mortgage looming in just two weeks, I am just drowning in anguish.  The last thing i need right now is to lose my home and not have a stable environment for my brother when he is released from the hospital.  

The hospice nursing agency that cares for my brother hired me at $8.00 an hour to stay with him, because I am the only one who can communicate with him. It is not enough, but it will help sustain me for a while. Tom, I have an unshakable faith that can’t be explained, especially after so much loss and pain in so little time. But sometimes prayer is not enough and action is needed. I am turning to you for a Christmas wish to catch me up on my mother’s mortgage so that i can provide a home for my brother.   

Thank you,

    Teoka Ducy


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