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Showing posts from April, 2015

SSI: The Final Chapter, Part 2

Just last week, we received a letter from the Social Security Administration letting us know that we proved our case, and we do not have to pay back Ben's past Social Security Income. This was incredible news and lifted a huge amount of stress off of us. It all started over 18 months ago when we received a letter cancelling Ben's SSI payments. Here is what I learned along the way and if one person learns from our mistakes and is able to avoid some of the frustration we faced, I will be pleased. I did not add any specifics because they may change or be different for your case. * Know the requirements  - SSA has very specific requirements about what makes a person qualify for Supplemental Security Income. It may all be found online. Know what these requirements are, determine if you meet them and be able to backup everything that proves that you qualify. Not knowing will only bite you in the butt later. Lawyering Up - If you want an attorney to help you resolve a case on a

SSI: The Final Chapter, Part 1

*This SSI issue has been going on for some time. It is now resolved. I wrote this in February, but waited to post until resolution was final. There was no line to get into the Social Security Administration office, which was unusual. The security guards, the same ones I have seen each time I have paid a visit, do everything but frisk us. Luckily, my weapons and belt were at home. The government issued walls were gray, seats for 100 people were tucked in tightly. The saying, snug as a bug, came to mind, with bug bolded and underlined. Windows around the perimeter served as some of the meeting space for Social Security workers and their clients. Windows had thick plexiglass strips about every five inches. I imagined it kept someone from jumping through and throttling the staff. When the case manager called our name, we followed through the door into the bowels of SSA. She did not speak, but expected us to follow. She was an older woman, whose demeanor seemed unpleasant. She showed us

Love and Basketball

Yesterday, I took Ben to the YMCA, and we watched men play a lively game of basketball. Later, in the lobby, Ben's strap on his wheelchair broke. I had to take him out of the chair and enlist help to fix it. In the minute it took me to find someone, Ben crawled back into the gym to watch the game. Ben was intense at this point, watching the game and yelling when they were about to score. He started sliding his little behind toward the court.  He was trying to get in the game. More than anything, he wanted the ball. This was a serious pickup game, and Ben did not even get a nod. It was nothing against Ben, these men only had eyes for the basket. At the same time, two or three boys about Ben's age started playing on the court when the men's game took them to the other end. Ben was doing his best to get someone's attention - if the large men wouldn't share the ball, perhaps one of these boys would. I was ready to pay cash for someone to throw the ball to Be

2015 Special Olympics - Track & Field

Ben with his school PT, Vanessa. Walking to the start line. Face of an athlete - photograph by brother Sean. Justin & Daniel, two buddies helping Ben for the day. Ben received two gold medals for 25m and 10m assisted walk. As per his usual response, he pulled off the medals faster than you can say, "Gold Medalist."

Fans FILLED the Stands!

Photos for now...too tired to write. An awesome experience, again. Thank you to the tireless photographer. He caught all the right moments. WSOCTV Fox 46 - Good Day Charlotte Charlotte Parent Charlotte Observer Macaroni Kid WBTV WCNC


"If you could give one superpower to someone else in your family, what would it be and why?" This was the question texted to me in early April. A few weeks earlier, I joined a free service that sends a daily text with a question. I was apprehensive about this question because I was not sure what Logan and Sean would say about superpowers and Ben.  Within seconds of being asked the question, Logan and Sean chose Ben to receive the superpowers. Logan thought Ben would be best served with mind reading abilities so he would know what everyone was thinking.  Sean thought the ability to fix or build anything should be Ben's superpower because he loves Bob the Builder so much.  I had braced myself for their answers, assuming they would give Ben powers to change him into a typical kid. But they did not - they saw something else that I did not. Leave it to them to be far more perceptive and creative than me.  My friend and running partner, Ailen Arreaza, works for

Special Olympics Mecklenburg County - on FOX TV

With just one week until Special Olympics Mecklenburg County Opening Ceremonies, the local media is covering the story. Watch one of our athletes and the director of Special Olympics Mecklenburg County talk about the upcoming games: Sunday, April 12, 2015 - FOX 46 Good Day Charlotte

Newsworthy Bathroom

Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte

Find out more about the organization coordinating the accessible bathroom being built for Ben: Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte * Rebuilding Together is a national organization:  The Rebuilding Together network includes affiliates across 41 states and the District of Columbia. Rebuilding Together’s local affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects each year. Rebuilding Together served 570,000 people in 2013, putting $86 million of project value back in communities. Rebuilding Together volunteers completed more than 980,000 hours of service in 2013. (Taken from the website .)

Permit Approved!

We received word today that the plan for the bathroom was approved and a permit was issued. And, literally, as I read the email, the foundation contractor pulled up with equipment and workers.   Missed out on the Bathroom Build? Check out these posts: Ben's Bathroom Knights of the Square Table Demolition Done Right