Last updated: August 24. 2013 4:51PM - 185 Views

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LIMA — Just when they thought things couldn't get worse, life took a nasty turn for Michael and Mary.As 33-year-old Michael lay in the hospital following a heart attack last summer, Mary told him someone had stolen their van. “I thought she was playing. She came to the hospital and said somebody took our van, and I couldn't believe it,” Michael said.Although the van was found, totalled, having little insurance meant no vehicle. Now they face the dilemma of how to get Mary, who suffers fibromyalgia, arthritis, and has had a stroke, to the doctors. Likewise, two of their three children need medical treatment as one has asthma and the other epilepsy.The couple sit in their Lima home next to plastic bags filled with medication. Michael is frustrated that his life has gone from an everyday job and working outdoors in his yard to sitting in the living room making certain his life-giving pills are nearby.“We can't afford anything. It's stressing me out. I have to ask people to give me a ride anywhere I need to go. I have to ask people to help me cut the grass. I have to ask people to help me shovel the snow. Whenever I go to the hospital, they want to admit me. They find more and more wrong,” he said.Likewise, Mary also suffers the stress.“I get emotional sometimes. I try to deal with my health, but it's very stressful. I also have to drive across town to take care of my disabled mom. I cook for her every day,” Mary said.The only income at this point is the disability Mary receives.“We need groceries. We go to the food pantries to try and stretch our money, but it's hard. We also need a vehicle,” Michael said.And for the children's Christmas?Their 11 year old girl would like a private journal that responds to voice commands. Their 10-year old son likes Hot Wheels, and he, as well as their 8-year old boy, both like Beyblade.“The main thing for us is that our kids are taken care of,” Michael said.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 sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. For past stories, go to http://limaohio.com/emptystocking. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants' privacy.

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