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Mother Turns To Online Fundraiser In Desperation - Discovers Terrible Catch

A Washington woman was at the end of her rope. The mother of two had to quit her job to take care of her daughter, who had been fighting cancer for years. Her 21-year-old son is disabled. The family were homeless until they qualified for SSI and public housing. They're glad to have a place to lay their heads, but they are struggling with such massive medical bills that they are in desperate need of just about everything. A GoFundMe campaign looked like it would be the answer to their prayers, but if the mom takes the money, she'll lose everything.

Demicka Gilmour takes life one day at a time. The 41-year-old mother gave up her job because taking care of her children became a full-time job. Her 21-year-old son is mentally disabled, and her 15-year-old daughter has bone cancer. Tavi has been battling cancer since she was 12 years old, and she has so far lost a leg to the disease.

The small family was homeless for a while, couch surfing or sleeping at their church. They finally got SSI benefits and section 8 housing, but they have practically nothing else. They don't have beds, so they sleep on the floor. They can't afford basic necessities like clothes or food. Life couldn't be more of a struggle.

In a moment of despair, Gilmour reached out to strangers online. She started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes that she could get even a little to alleviate some of the stress. Perfect strangers came through, and the mom was shocked and grateful when the campaign raised more than $15,000.

For a moment Gilmour thought the family was going to get a much-needed breath of fresh air. They could afford to catch up with bills, fill the pantry and get some basic furniture, like beds, so they wouldn't have to sleep on the floor. But that feeling was short-lived.

Unfortunately, Gilmour had to ask GoFundMe to refund the 341 donations. She found out from social services that if she accepted the money, she and her family would lose their apartment, Medicaid, food stamps and SSI benefits. Strict laws say that if a person has more than $2,000 in resources, they are denied public assistance.

She could take the $15,000 and lose all her other benefits, but then the money would be eaten up getting another apartment and paying the bills within a few weeks. Then the family would have to re-apply for the benefits, and would get stuck waiting for them to kick in again. Ultimately, it seemed impractical to accept the money.

"It just doesn't make sense," said the struggling mom. "There should be an exception for cases like this."

Even though she had to return the money, strangers who are concerned about the family are doing their best to help. The church is calling for donations in the form of clothing, furniture and food - things that won't endanger the family's status with SSI or section 8 housing.

DirectlyTo, a Florida charity, is trying to raise funds to send the family on a Make-A-Wish trip to London in hopes that it will raise Tavi's spirits and give the family some much-needed bonding time. Gilmour is worried about her daughter's state of mind.

"It's very hard to see my daughter depressed," the mom wrote. "Then to hear her say she doesn't enjoy anything or feel like herself anymore.... Just imagine hearing this from your child."

Source: KGW, Daily Mail
Photo: King 5, GoFundMe

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