KENT, Ohio -
Update: Since the airing of our story on Thursday, the Kurtz family has been inundated with offers to build them a ramp. They are overwhelmed and humbled by the response. They have accepted an offer to have it built by a local company.
They are still in desperate need of funding to retrofit the rest of their home to accommodate the wheelchairs. If you would like to make a financial donation, you can do so at any Fifth/Third Bank branch . The name of the fund is the "Kurtz Family Building Fund".
I will be following up on this story here on Newsnet5.com and on our newscasts. On behalf of the Kurtz family, thank you so much for the outpouring of support and generosity. The family says they feel incredibly blessed to live in a community like ours. -Alicia
Many of us are just one diagnosis away from financial hardship. Treating disease can be an expensive endeavor.
For the Kurtz family, they were okay with one illness in the family. Their 7-year-old son, Jeffrey, was born with spina bifida. He needs a wheelchair to get around, but Jeff and Candy said he's pretty independent and has a great sense of humor.
Shortly after Jeffrey was born, though, his mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was 26. The Kurtzes even took that in stride because they knew so many people with MS who were managing to live long healthy lives.
What they didn't count on was how rapidly her mobility would deteriorate.
"I didn't think that it would be like this, this fast," Jeff said.
Tremors have overtaken both of Candy's hands. She can no longer pick up her son. She's afraid she might drop him.
Jeffrey can pull himself up the steps to their home on his hands, dragging the rest of his body, but that's going to be a lot more difficult when winter hits.
Candy is using a walker now and fears it won't be long before she needs a wheelchair, too.
If you have questions about how to help, please email NewsChannel5 health reporter Alicia Booth .
Their 10-year-old daughter, Aubrey, is a big help but they don't want to burden her so much with family responsibility she doesn't enjoy being a kid.
Jeffrey has a good job as a warehouse manager, but without Candy's income, he's having trouble paying medical bills and putting food on the table. Candy had to leave her job helping disabled people when the tremors took over. They have applied for government assistance, but there is a long wait and Jeff's job disqualifies them for several programs.
You might think the Kurtz family would be bitter over their misfortune, but they refuse to succomb to negativity.
"God only gave it to the strongest people and he must think that we are really strong and we can do it," she said.
Candy said she is especially appreciative for the help she's received from the Mulitple Sclerosis Society, who provided her with the walker she currently uses and a cooling vest.
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