Christina started the KIDS program in
October of 2009. Upon entering the
program Christina had several goals
she wanted to meet. She had plans
of finishing school, getting ready for
college, and ultimately moving out
on her own. She heard about KIDS
and felt this would be a good program
to guide her through the process.
Shortly after starting the program,
Christina’s grandmother passed away.
This was not only a very traumatic experience for her, but brought on
other obstacles. Although her Aunt had custody of her, she had been
living with her grandmother. So, after her grandmothers passing,
Christina was supposed to live with her aunt. However, there were past
issues with the man living with her Aunt. Because the “incident” had
happened a few years prior, Christina was told because of her age
and not having parents she would get into even more trouble if she
didn’t live with her Aunt.
In the KIDS program, the case manager realized the need to get Christina
into counseling with Catholic Charities to begin the healing process.
Christina chose, for the present time, not to pursue anything legally.
At the same time, KIDS was looking into housing options for Christina.
Although her Aunt had custody, the tension grew between Christina and
her aunt, both making it obvious they didn’t want to be in the same household.
So, the KIDS case manager looked into the THRIVES program. During this
process, a family who was aware of Christina’s situation came into play and
offered their home as a safe place to stay until she could get into college.
Christina was financially responsible for all her own food, medications,
and personal items but was thankful she had a safe place to live.
The next steps were to assist Christina with paperwork for scholarships, financial aid and applying to Wayne State College,
where she was accepted. She was making remarkable progress.
In January of 2010, Christina became very sick and over the course of several weeks Dr.’s determined she needed to get her gall bladder removed. In February, her gall bladder was removed; however, Christina was moved to intensive care because her heart had stopped several times during the surgery. After several tests, it was found that her liver was also not working and was compared to a liver of an alcoholic not that of an 18 yr old girl. Looking more in-depth, they also found that her heart was working at only 10%. Eventually, Christina was transported to Omaha where more tests were done and they found that she had Left Ventricular non-compaction Cardiomyopathy. After ten days in an Omaha hospital, she was sent home with strict rules, instructions, a new diet, 16 different medications and the knowledge that within the next 6 months to 5 years she would need to have a heart- transplant.
Once Christina was home her KIDS case manager continued to work with her on getting her needs met. They worked out a special schedule with the school so she could take her meds as well as not doing anything strenuous. The new diet was particularly difficult for her so her case manager assisted with applying for food stamps and accompanied her to the store to teach her how to shop for the right kind of food and read the labels. Her case manager also assisted in applying for Social Security disability. In September, Christina turned 19 and would no longer be eligible for Kid’s Connection, so paperwork was completed to receive help through Medicaid.
In June of 2010, Christina became very sick again and had emergency surgery for a pacemaker. It took several months for her to adjust to her new lifestyle, but she has adapted and is doing very well. Her Dr.’s feel this should help prolong her need for a transplant and believe that as long as her oxygen levels do not decrease, she could go forever without a transplant. Christina continues taking her medications, following her diet and all her doctor’s orders.
During this time, faced with all her challenges, Christina concluded going to college at Wayne State wasn’t feasible, but wanted to continue her education. Her case manager helped her apply at the local Community College and she began classes in August 2010.
With the help of her case manager, Christina was accepted onto Social Security Disability and Medicaid. She received back pay to help with all the bills she accrued during the time of her surgeries. Christina’s case manager also linked her with the Children’s Medical Association and has been working with them to learn to live with her disease.
Presently, Christina is going to school part-time and working part-time and plans to transfer to Wayne State College in the fall. She is living in the dorm now and feels that she is on her way to success. Christina has stated that she is grateful to her host family that continue to stand by her and to the KIDS program, who continues to work with her. She is looking forward to going to school and continuing her education where she plans to graduate with her teaching degree and wants to work with high school students to help make positive changes in their lives.
Central Nebraska Community Services will strive to “Empower individuals and families while guiding them in the process to become self-sufficient and experience an improved quality of life.”
Our vision includes:
Empowering individuals and families while guiding them in the process to become self sufficient and experience an improved quality of life.
This process includes enriching relationships, communities and partnerships to further secure resources and collaborate for efficient and effective utilization of all resources for optimum service delivery and positive life changes.
Partnerships with other resources help us lengthen our reach, fill service gaps & break down barriers to achieve our ultimate goal of ending poverty.
Working with the communities we serve, Central Nebraska Community Action Partnership is a trusted catalyst for meaningful and lasting change that improves the lives of people.