Imagine your whole world going black. And staying that way. After several surgeries, Greg has regained very limited sight in his left eye, but for two weeks his world was very dark.
“I really don’t know what I would have done without DRA. You sent a nurse out right away to get my insulin and medication all set up when, all of a sudden, I couldn’t see to do it myself. You took me to all my eye surgeries. Everyone at DRA has been so helpful and supportive,” Greg recalls. “You’ve rescued me, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me.”
Three years ago, Greg moved into Bluff View Apartments in Festus, MO. He had completed several rounds of rehabilitation to learn to walk and talk again after suffering two strokes and a heart attack. He had his vehicle towed to the parking lot when he moved -- just in case. But he just could not regain his balance and function on his left side. Then, a year ago, he lost his sight.
“That’s a real game changer,” said Greg, “realizing that I will never be able to drive again!”
DRA now provides transportation to all of Greg’s medical appointments. “I think I have ridden with all your drivers now, and every one of them is pleasant, courteous and so helpful,” said Greg. “I don’t feel like it’s a company picking me up. I feel like I am getting a ride from a friend. We laugh together, and a couple times we almost cried.”
It means so much to Greg that DRA’s drivers are patient and allow him to rest his hand on their shoulder to help guide him into the office. Sometimes they even wait in the waiting room while he has his appointment, and the office staff figure it is a family member. Greg doesn’t mind. He has only one cousin that lives 45 minutes away and no living relatives close by. “Without DRA, I would be alone and isolated,” said Greg.
DRA supports Greg in other ways. Kathy, one of DRA's faithful aides, comes regularly to help clean his apartment. DRA staff helped him order a signature stamp and have helped him complete his annual Circuit Breaker Tax forms. DRA also provided transportation and assistance so Greg could vote.
“No matter who I talk to when I call, they are full of happiness and humor,” says Greg. “I think there is laughter in every encounter I have with DRA. That really brings me cheer and a connection between us.”
DRA also connected Greg with the Rehabilitation Services for the Blind. This agency has helped him a great deal with adaptive equipment. He uses his reader and a lighted magnifying glass to read once again. “I used to be an avid reader. I would finish a whole novel in a weekend,” Greg reminisces. “I really miss that.” Rehabilitation Services for the Blind recently signed him up to receive regular selections of audio books. He is looking forward to that.
Greg is a man of deep faith. After managing hotels for 18 years and a hotel shuttle company for another 10, Greg did something very unusual after he retired. He sold everything he owned but his car and joined Benedictine monks on 3,800 pristine remote acres in the Ozark mountains. It was there that he deepened his faith and found a sense of Peace he had never known. That faith has helped him maintain an attitude of gratitude, even through all his recent challenges.
“I know DRA is an answer to my prayers,” says Greg. “I thank God for you every day, and I pray every day that you will be able to help many others.”
Title VI Notice
Disability Resource Association complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states that "no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." For more information on the DRA Title VI program, and the procedures to file a complaint, contact the DRA Executive Director at 636-931-7696; or visit our administrative office at 130 Brandon Wallace Way, Festus MO.63028. DRA will translate all documents as needed. More information is available on our Title VI page.