For the last three years, Erika has been steadily recovering from an injury that left her struggling to work.
But it hasn’t been an easy journey for the 31-year-old mother of two young sons. As their sole provider — the boys’ father does not help them financially — Erika said it’s up to her to figure out how to make ends meet. As a nurse, however, she’s limited in the number of hours she can work per week, she explained. And without help from her family, she said she needs to be around to take care of her sons, age four and eight.
“It was painful,” she said, recalling the ordeal she went through while trying to obtain care. “When your health begins to decline into chronic pain … it does not go well.”
She said doctors frequently dismissed her condition because of her age, saying: “You’re too young to be in pain.” As a result, she said, she began seeing a specialist only six months ago, two and a half years after she sustained her initial injury.
“I couldn’t raise kids in pain,” she said, but with no support system, she had no choice. Even a 30-minute nap isn’t possible, especially with young children. “You just can’t, and that’s hard,” she said.
This winter, Erika will be one of thousands of people from the Montreal-area who receive a $125 cheque from the Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help those in need get through the season.
The money will help her buy presents for her kids — Legos and video games, most likely, she said with a laugh.
“It’ll help me a lot.”How to help
Donate online: www.christmasfund.com. Mail or drop off donations to Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund, 1010 Ste-Catherine St. W., Suite 200, Montreal, Quebec H3B 5L1.Related
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