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Kids care for mom, but they could all use some help

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or organization who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

Enduring recent open-heart surgery, this single mother bypassed a rehabilitation facility and returned home from the hospital to parent two teens.

Legally blind and suffering from lung disease, diabetes with neuropathy and mental heath disorders, this 50-year-old Medford woman qualifies for in-home certified caregiving, but her children assist when not in school. Games and special gifts would bring them joy and precious moments to just be kids.

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Legos and Dungeons and Dragons delight the 17-year-old girl, who prefers all black clothing, preferably cotton. Wearing a women’s size-8 jeans and women’s medium-size or juniors’ large-size tops, she would love a hoodie that zips in the front, and she likes animal motifs.

The girl’s 14-year-old brother loves “Star Wars,” especially “The Mandalorian,” video games and movies, as well as World War I and II model plane kits. He also needs a black, cotton hoodie that zips in the front, as well as sweatpants, men’s size small or boys’ size 14/16.

Both kids need new cotton sheets for their twin beds. The girl would appreciate an Old Navy gift card while her brother would enjoy one for Best Buy. Target or Walmart gift cards would accommodate the mother’s sensitivities to fabrics, allowing her to purchase bedding or clothing she can tolerate. Her disabilities often limit her to online shopping, including Amazon.

A Rogue Valley Council of Governments client, the mother receives state funds to hire an in-home caregiver for up to 25 hours each month, said Constance Wilkerson, senior and disability program director. Limited income and need for recovery from the September surgery make her eligible for services, said Wilkerson.

To help, email behavioral health specialist Ellen Denninger at edenninger@rvcog.org or call 541-423-1392.

Follow this year’s Light One Candle stories at mailtribune.com/news/light-one-candle/. See Thursday’s print and e-editions for the story of a family of seven working with Family Nurturing Center but struggling to make ends meet.