Last updated: August 24. 2013 12:59AM - 39 Views

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LIMA — Julie feels her best when she is able to help provide for her family. She wishes she could get back to work, but a medical condition is making it hard.“This has really taken a toll on my family,” she said.Julie, who works for a nursing home facility, has been off work since September when she was diagnosed with a thyroid condition. She has always had minor thyroid issues, but nothing like she does now.While she is on medication and has undergone radiation treatment, Julie still finds herself having stomach, high blood pressure and vision problems. She also sometimes struggles keeping her balance. The biggest issue is being almost constantly tired.“It is just really tough. Some days I am just so tired,” she said, saying she wished she was able to do more with her children. “Some days I overdo it because I’m afraid I won’t have the energy the next day.”She has also been struggling with a stress fracture in her lower back; a condition that started soon after her 18-month-old son was born. She also has a 3-year-old daughter.Julie is hopeful to be back at work in January and would also like to eventually go back to school. She earned an occupational therapist assistant degree from Rhodes State College in 2005. But until then, paying rent and other bills are tough for her and her fiancé.“Our main concern is paying our rent and bills,” she said. “It is very tough with just one income.”Julie is hoping to be able to give her children a good Christmas. She would like her daughter to have educational toys and her son likes trucks and other “tough” toys. They also love watching Disney movies, but the family’s television just broke.The children also need clothes. Both wear toddler size 3-4.“He is growing so fast, just clothing him is really hard for me,” she said of her son, adding she could also use a potty chair for him.The family could also use things for their home, including a bed for the couple, picture frames, dinning-room chairs, vacuum cleaner, curtains and lamp shades. Both she and her fiancé also need boots; women’s size 8 and men’s size 9½.The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies: Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by writing to The Lima News. It is deposited in an account at the Huntington Bank. It is then distributed to the three agencies. Donations of new toys, nonperishable food items and personal hygiene products will be accepted at The Lima News office at 3515 Elida Road for distribution to the agencies. For a complete list of stories, or to donate online, go to www.limaohio.com/stocking.

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