I’m embarrassed, but I need your help #please… I have a possible tumor and my insurance isn’t helping

I don’t do this often and the few times I have asked for help, I’ve never gotten very far. But I need to try because I don’t know what else to do.

I suppose this is a long rant about what’s going on with me and my life these days. I try to keep it quiet and distract myself with pretty things, but sometimes I need to let it out. And maybe you can find it in your heart to get through this and help me in some way. Anyway.

There are too many things going on. Too many things.  No one I know has money they can lend or just gift me. I have no money. My family of 3 lives off of $17k a year. I honestly don’t know how we make it.

Health insurance is denying my claims. I can’t pay my medical bills. I need a ct scan bc I have a tumour that may need chemotherapy (according to a resident at John Hopkins) and I can’t afford any of it. It may not need chemo or radiation. It could be nothing. It could be outright removed (even though we’ve removed it twice already) but I’ll never know until it’s too late, if I can’t get this ct scan.

I practically live on my asthma inhaler and I often wonder if I can even afford to “waste” another huff of it. My asthma isn’t bad enough to kill me or anything like that, just bad enough to torture me every day and send me to urgent care with the occasional asthma attack that requires being hooked up to a breathing machine.

I got put on prednisone. The side effects are weight gain, fatigue, foggy thoughts, pain, nausea and just about everything I don’t need right now, or ever.

My phone is dying a little more every day. I can’t make or receive phone calls or texts and data anything doesn’t work. I can only use it when I’m home and connected to wifi. It turns off randomly. Freezes. Even when at home, it can take forever for it to do anything. Battery life is an hour at rest if I’m lucky.

My mom’s car is busted. That was our only source of transportation and now that’s gone. We can’t afford to fix it. The closest bus stop is 5 miles away on the highway with no sidewalks. I can’t walk there bc I have nerve damage so severe that I’m on meds galore and still can’t walk longer than 15 minutes. And sometimes the pain is so bad that I can’t walk at all.

I have nothing in my name other than debt. What are these bill collectors going to take away from me? I don’t have wages to garnish. What do they want? I have nothing to give them. If I could dissect this tumour myself, I would maybe sell it to science or some weirdo on Craigslist. That could make some money, maybe.

Nothing is right or even close to it. Even if after 4 years of unemployment someone does want to hire me or even interview me, how would I get there? How do they call me? Even that doesn’t work out right.

I’m stuck and I need help getting unstuck. I’m so embarrassed to even be asking, but I really don’t know what else to do.

If you can find it in your heart to maybe throw a few bucks my way, I’d be so insanely and forever grateful. Maybe you can pass this along to a friend?

Thank you.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

 

paypal.me/hebavsreason

IMG_2639

 

How are you feeling right now?

Pain… I herniated discs in my back again a few days ago and I’ve been in pain ever since.

Hopeless… This job hunt thing has got me so down.

Confused… How am I overqualified or underqualified for each position?

Blocked… Total writer’s block. I have so much going on in my head that I want to get down on paper, but it’s just not there.

Bloated… What is going on with my tummy?

Scared… Why am I watching Criminal Minds? As if the world isn’t scary enough.

Poor… I wish I could afford to buy an orthopedic bed. That would help so much.

Frustrated… Everything is so frustrating.

An entirely flawed system

So I just found out that NJ is cutting off my food stamps because I’m considered able-bodied. Food stamps has literally been the only thing feeding my family right now and the only way for me to continue getting food stamps is if I go to a 20 hour a week work program. I tried to go to the program and had to make an appointment for orientation months ago and they were so mean and dismissive of me. They wanted me to miss my doctor appointment to go to their orientation and I told them I couldn’t miss it. I was sick, I needed to see a doctor. So they wouldn’t schedule me for another day and that was that.

I can get out of the requirement if I’m caring for someone in my family, which I am, my mother who has been unwell. But why is she unwell, because without warning her health insurance was terminated because she was deemed to make too much money. My mom makes $800 a month from alimony payments. That’s it! How is that too much money? Because she doesn’t have health insurance, she can’t afford her meds and hence has not been the greatest lately. The only way to prove that I’m caring for my mother is if she gets evaluated by a doctor and deemed disabled. Again, something we cannot afford. And if she never had her insurance terminated to begin with, she’d have her meds and she wouldn’t need someone to look after her.  It’s a flawed system and I’m so embarrassed and sad and scared. I don’t know how to feed my family.

I’ve been trying to get a job for a year and a half now with no luck. I have a BA and two MAs. I’m clearly educated and should be capable of getting a job but no one wants to give me a chance despite my 10 years of experience. I really don’t know what to do. I really hate to ask, but I need help. I haven’t paid my credit cards off, we’re charging everything on credit and I’ve reached my credit limit. We’re not using the heat even though it’s so cold, bc we can’t afford to make the payment. I don’t have a cell phone line because we can’t afford it. How is my family going to eat? What am I supposed to do? Like we can’t even afford to pay rent this month. Literally, I have no idea what to do or how to keep us from being hungry and homeless. And I could kick myself for ending up in this situation.

I keep trying to crawl us out of this hole, but I keep failing.

This is so embarrassing, but I need help and I don’t know where to turn. I’m so embarrassed to ask and hate myself for getting to this point. If you could spare anything, even just $1, I would appreciate it so much. https://www.paypal.me/hebavsreason I swear, I’ll never forget your generosity and 100% promise to pay it forward. I’m just so scared and so unsure of how to make ends meet. I’m so embarrassed and I’m so sorry for asking. Maybe you could pass this around, reblog it. Any help would be so important and I’d be so thankful.

Baby elephants poisoned with cyanide

 

Rangers who poison elephants should be fired and jailed

 

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/ATLTR/zQ8f/CIPEy&#8221; style=”height:57px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:285px;” stroke=”f” fill=”t”> <v:fill type=”tile” color=”#e64706″ /> <w:anchorlock/> <center style=”color:#ffffff;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:17px;font-weight:normal;”>Sign Anne’s Petition</center> </v:rect> <![endif] Sign Anne’s Petition

 

meet the petition author

Anne Terhune

El Cajon, CA, US

 

Hebatullah,

22 dead elephants, including babies, were discovered in Zimbabwe’s Hwang National Park on October 26th. They had been poisoned with cyanide and mutilated by poachers trying to get their tusks.

This most recent horror was the latest in a string of poisonings in Zimbabwe this past October. All but three of the 62 slaughtered elephants were living in the Hwange National Park, the same park where Cecil the Lion was killed. Perhaps even more disturbing, though, is that two park rangers have been arrested on suspicion of putting the cyanide in the park’s watering holes.

When Anne found out that such brutality might have been carried out by the very people hired to protect the elephants, she created a Care2 petition demanding that the Zimbabwe government fire and jail any rangers found guilty of the poisonings. Will you sign her petition?

These most recent killings are another sad reminder that elephants need our help. 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa between 2011 and 2013. There are fewer than 500,000 left on the entire African continent. They need to be protected by park employees, not brutally slaughtered by them.

It is believed that the Hwange park rangers may have killed the elephants because they are underpaid and received their September pay late. The poisonings could have been an attempt to augment their income by poaching or to protest their poor treatment. While the rangers’ situation may be difficult, it is still no excuse for condemning innocent animals to a painful death.

Putting cyanide into watering holes kills animals indiscriminately. It is horrible enough that mature elephants were slaughtered for their tusks, but these people also ended up killing baby elephants and other types of animals.

If the park rangers had anything to do with the poisonings, they must be punished. So sign Anne’s petition now. The more international outcry there is over the slaughtered elephants, the more likely it is that the perpetrators will be held accountable.

Thank you,

 

Lacey K.

The Care2 Petitions Team

 

FW: Planned Parenthood raided. Hi there—I just wanted to make sure you saw Anna’s message from the other day. Planned Parenthood is under relentless attack, and they need our help to fight back.

Officials from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration have raided Planned Parenthood health centers across the state, demanding the confidential records of women who visited the health centers, including ultrasound records.1 The news is especially alarming for a state with an extensive history of criminalizing abortion.

And the raids came just three days after Gov. Abbott announced that the state will end the one remaining source of government funding for Planned Parenthood—funding to provide health care for families earning less than 19 percent of the federal poverty level, or $3,760 for a family of three.2

In total, seven states have eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood since the summer.3 And the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a special budget bill to defund Planned Parenthood that cannot be blocked in the Senate using the filibuster, which is how we’ve stopped other bills attacking the organization.4

The attacks on Planned Parenthood are relentless. We did not budget for this big of a fight—and we need to keep fighting. Will you chip in $3 right now? 

Yes, I’ll chip in to help MoveOn fight to defend Planned Parenthood.

Here’s our plan to fight back: 

  • We’ll turn up the heat on vulnerable Republican senators running for re-election next year by holding events outside their in-state offices and running powerful social media campaigns targeting them for waging a war on women.  
  • We’ll run a hard-hitting media campaign to expose the attacks on Planned Parenthood for what they are: propaganda designed to close down health clinics and ban abortion. 
  • We’ll ramp up campaigns in the next set of states where Republicans are going after Planned Parenthood funding.

We simply cannot allow anti-abortion extremists to destroy an organization that helps so many people—or to roll back women’s rights and access to health care. Can you chip in $3 now to join MoveOn as we fight to save Planned Parenthood?

Click here to chip in and stand with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is under an all-out assault. But our fighting back has made a huge difference, including helping stop bills to defund Planned Parenthood in the U.S. Senate. Specifically:

  • I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., where I met in person with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid to bring them 1.2 million signatures from MoveOn members and key partners supporting Planned Parenthood.  
  • We flooded Senate offices with 10,000 phone calls.
  • We ran ads highlighting how Planned Parenthood has helped individual MoveOn members. 
  • We partnered with Planned Parenthood to organize 138 rallies and other visibility events across the country on #PinkOut Day last month. 
  • And, on the state level, we supported numerous MoveOn members in leading petition campaigns and other organizing to stop their states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

Now, we need to show that attacking Planned Parenthood is a political loser and will cause vulnerable Republicans running for re-election next year to lose support among women. We know this strategy can work because Planned Parenthood is enormously popular. And we’ve used this strategy before and won: The Republican War on Women is a big reason why Todd Akin and Mitt Romney lost their elections in 2012.

We can beat back the worst attacks on Planned Parenthood, but we can’t do it without you. Will you chip in $3?

Click here to help MoveOn stand with Planned Parenthood.

Thanks for all you do.

–Anna, Victoria, Bobby, Manny, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Texas Orders Health Clinics to Turn Over Patient Data,” The New York Times, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307983&id=134626-30141796-mFyhmZx&t=1

2. “Texas Is Hell-Bent on Ending Reproductive Health Care Access for Poor Women,” Slate, October 19, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307984&id=134626-30141796-mFyhmZx&t=2

3. “Planned Parenthood Probes Find No Wrongdoing, But The Damage Has Been Done,” The Huffington Post, October 9, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307985&id=134626-30141796-mFyhmZx&t=3

4. “House passes bill to dismantle key parts of Obamacare,” USA Today, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307986&id=134626-30141796-mFyhmZx&t=4

Want to support our work? MoveOn member contributions have powered our work together for more than 17 years. Hundreds of thousands of people chip in each year—which is why we’re able to be fiercely independent, answering to no individual, corporation, politician, or political party. You can become a monthly donor by clicking here, or chip in a one-time gift here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Planned Parenthood raided

Officials from Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s administration have raided Planned Parenthood health centers across the state, demanding the confidential records of women who visited the health centers, including ultrasound records.1 The news is especially alarming for a state with an extensive history of criminalizing abortion.

And the raids came just three days after Gov. Abbott announced that the state will end the one remaining source of government funding for Planned Parenthood—funding to provide health care for families earning less than 19 percent of the federal poverty level, or $3,760 for a family of three.2

In total, seven states have eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood since the summer.3 And the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a special budget bill to defund Planned Parenthood that cannot be blocked in the Senate using the filibuster, which is how we’ve stopped other bills attacking the organization.4

The attacks on Planned Parenthood are relentless. We did not budget for this big of a fight—and we need to keep fighting. Will you chip in $3 right now? 

Yes, I’ll chip in to help MoveOn fight to defend Planned Parenthood.

Here’s our plan to fight back: 

  • We’ll turn up the heat on vulnerable Republican senators running for re-election next year by holding events outside their in-state offices and running powerful social media campaigns targeting them for waging a war on women.  
  • We’ll run a hard-hitting media campaign to expose the attacks on Planned Parenthood for what they are: propaganda designed to close down health clinics and ban abortion. 
  • We’ll ramp up campaigns in the next set of states where Republicans are going after Planned Parenthood funding.

We simply cannot allow anti-abortion extremists to destroy an organization that helps so many people—or to roll back women’s rights and access to health care. Can you chip in $3 now to join MoveOn as we fight to save Planned Parenthood?

Click here to chip in and stand with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is under an all-out assault. But our fighting back has made a huge difference, including helping stop bills to defund Planned Parenthood in the U.S. Senate. Specifically:

  • I recently traveled to Washington, D.C., where I met in person with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid to bring them 1.2 million signatures from MoveOn members and key partners supporting Planned Parenthood.  
  • We flooded Senate offices with 10,000 phone calls.
  • We ran ads highlighting how Planned Parenthood has helped individual MoveOn members. 
  • We partnered with Planned Parenthood to organize 138 rallies and other visibility events across the country on #PinkOut Day last month. 
  • And, on the state level, we supported numerous MoveOn members in leading petition campaigns and other organizing to stop their states from defunding Planned Parenthood.

Now, we need to show that attacking Planned Parenthood is a political loser and will cause vulnerable Republicans running for re-election next year to lose support among women. We know this strategy can work because Planned Parenthood is enormously popular. And we’ve used this strategy before and won: The Republican War on Women is a big reason why Todd Akin and Mitt Romney lost their elections in 2012.

We can beat back the worst attacks on Planned Parenthood, but we can’t do it without you. Will you chip in $3?

Click here to help MoveOn stand with Planned Parenthood.

Thanks for all you do.

–Anna, Victoria, Bobby, Manny, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Texas Orders Health Clinics to Turn Over Patient Data,” The New York Times, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307983&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=1

2. “Texas Is Hell-Bent on Ending Reproductive Health Care Access for Poor Women,” Slate, October 19, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307984&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=2

3. “Planned Parenthood Probes Find No Wrongdoing, But The Damage Has Been Done,” The Huffington Post, October 9, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307985&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=3

4. “House passes bill to dismantle key parts of Obamacare,” USA Today, October 23, 2015

http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=307986&id=134486-30141796-hVBjnux&t=4

 

Want to support our work? MoveOn member contributions have powered our work together for more than 17 years. Hundreds of thousands of people chip in each year—which is why we’re able to be fiercely independent, answering to no individual, corporation, politician, or political party. You can become a monthly donor by clicking here, or chip in a one-time gift here.

PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

FACT SHEET: White House Announces Commitments to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY

October 19, 2015

 

FACT SHEET: White House Announces Commitments to the American Business Act on Climate Pledge

 

Today, the White House will announce new commitments from companies from across the American economy who are joining the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. With this announcement, 81 companies will have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their support for action on climate change and the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.  These 81 companies have operations in all 50 states, employ over 9 million people, represent more than $3 trillion in annual revenue, and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion.

 

By signing the American Business Act on Climate pledge, these companies are:

 

·         Voicing support for a strong Paris outcome. The pledge recognizes those countries that have already put forward climate targets, and voices support for a strong outcome in the Paris climate negotiations.

 

·         Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action. As part of this initiative, each company is announcing significant pledges to reduce their emissions, increase low-carbon investments, deploy more clean energy, and take other actions to build more sustainable businesses and tackle climate change.

 

These pledges include ambitious, company-specific goals such as:

 

o   Reducing emissions by as much as 50 percent,

o   Reducing water usage by as much as 80 percent,

o   Achieving zero waste-to-landfill,

o   Purchasing 100 percent renewable energy, and

o   Pursuing zero net deforestation in supply chains.

 

·         Setting an example for their peers. Today’s announcements builds on the launch of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in July. This fall, the Obama Administration will release a third round of pledges, with a goal of mobilizing many more companies to join the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

 

The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide. Nineteen of the 20 hottest years on record occurred in the past two decades. Countries and communities around the world are already being affected by deeper, more persistent droughts, pounded by more severe weather, inundated by bigger storm surges, and imperiled by more frequent and dangerous wildfires. Rising temperatures can lead to more smog, longer allergy seasons, and an increased incidence of extreme-weather-related injuries, all of which imperil public health, particularly for vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and some communities of color. No corner of the planet and no sector of the global economy will remain unaffected by climate change in the years ahead.

 

Climate change is a global challenge that demands a global response, and President Obama is committed to leading the fight. The President’s Climate Action Plan, when fully implemented, will cut nearly 6 billion tons of carbon pollution through 2030, an amount equivalent to taking all the cars in the United States off the road for more than 4 years. The Clean Power Plan, the most significant domestic step any President has ever taken to combat climate change, will reduce emissions from the energy sector by 32% by 2030. And while the United States is leading on the international stage and the federal government is doing its part to combat climate change, hundreds of private companies, local governments, and foundations have stepped up to increase energy efficiency, boost low-carbon investing, and make solar energy more accessible to low-income Americans.

 

The measures taken by the public and private sectors enabled President Obama to set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 26-28% by 2025 last November. And in the eleven months since, we’ve seen unprecedented global momentum in the fight against climate change.

 

To date, 150 countries representing more than 85% of global carbon emissions have reported post-2020 climate policies to the United Nations. This includes the major economies like the U.S., China, the European Union and India and it includes a large number of smaller economies, developing nations, island states and tropical countries – some of whom are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

 

But these submissions are only the beginning of achieving a successful outcome in Paris this December that puts in place a transparent global framework for increasing ambition over time and continuing to drive down emissions over the course of this century. As the world looks toward Paris, President Obama is committed to building on this momentum, with American leadership at all levels – the federal government, state and local governments and the private sector.

 

Clean Energy Investment

 

Additionally, leading up to the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit on June 16, 2015, an independent consortium of long-term investors (“LTIs”), including sovereign development funds, pension funds, endowments, family offices, and foundations, committed to building a new investment intermediary that will identify, screen, and assess high-potential companies and projects for commercial investment that could also produce impactful and profitable solutions to climate change.

 

Today, this consortium will announce its founding CEO, interim board of directors, sponsors, and confirms the intention of the LTIs to deploy at least $1.2 billion of investment capital through an ‘aligned intermediary’, which they anticipate will be formally launched and branded in mid-2016.

 

The initial group of LTIs announcing financial commitments to work with the ‘aligned intermediary’ includes:

 

       $500 million from University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer;

       $350 million from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund;

       $200 million from the Alaska Permanent Fund;

       $100 million from TIAA-CREF; and

       $10 million from Tamarisc.

 

The effort launches with research support from the Hewlett Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, and Planet Heritage Foundation, and a commitment of further operational support, pending final approval, from the MacArthur Foundation.

 

As President Obama said at the U.N. Climate Summit last September, “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” The American Business Act on Climate Pledge shows that the U.S. private sector, with its history of innovation and ingenuity, is committed to stepping up and doing its part in taking on this global challenge.  

 

*           *           *

 

THE AMERICAN BUSINESS ACT ON CLIMATE PLEDGE

 

We applaud the growing number of countries that have already set ambitious targets for climate action. In this context, we support the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.

 

We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment. 

 

The following companies have joined the pledge and their detailed commitments can be viewed at:  www.whitehouse.gov/ClimatePledge

 

ABENGOA BIOENERGY US

AEMETIS

ALCOA

AMERICAN EXPRESS

APPLE

AT&T

AUTODESK

BANK OF AMERICA

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY ENERGY

BEST BUY

BIOGEN

BLOOMBERG

CARGILL

CA TECHNOLOGIES

CALPINE

CAMPOS BROTHERS FARMS

COCA-COLA

COX ENTERPRISES

DELL

DSM NORTH AMERICA

EMC

ENERGY OPTIMIZERS

ENER-G RUDOX

FACEBOOK

FULCRUM BIOENERGY

GE

GENERAL MILLS

GENERAL MOTORS

GOLDMAN SACHS

GOOGLE

HERSHEY’S

HEWLETT PACKARD (HP)

IBERDROLA USA

IBM

IKEA USA

INGERSOLL RAND

INTERNATIONAL PAPER

INTEL

INTREN

INTEX SOLUTIONS, INC.

INVENERGY

JOHNSON AND JOHNSON

JOHNSON CONTROLS

KELLOGG’S

KEYSTONE ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURING

KINGSPAN INSULATED PANELS, INC.

LAKESHORE LEARNING MATERIALS

LAM RESEARCH

LEVI STRAUSS & CO.

L’OREAL USA

MARS

McDONALD’S CORPORATION

MICROSOFT

MONSANTO

NATONAL LABEL COMPANY

NIKE

NESTLÈ

NOVOZYMES

ONE3LED

PACIFIC ETHANOL

PEPSI-CO

PG&E

POET

PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC

PwC US

PROCTER & GAMBLE

QUALCOMM

RICOH USA

SALESFORCE

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC

SIEMENS CORPORATION

SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA

STARBUCKS

SYNGENTA/QCCP

TARGET

TRI-GLOBAL ENERGY

UNILEVER

UPS

WALMART

THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

XEROX CORPORATION

 

###

—–

The Scholarship Blues

I earned a place for Doctoral studies at some of the most prestigious and competitive universities in the world, but it all goes to waste if I can’t fund my studies. I deferred my place last year because I couldn’t get the funds together or at all for that matter. I figured, I’d take a year and hopefully things will come together.

But no one wants to give me PhD funding because my grades weren’t the best in undergrad  due to my undiagnosed learning disabilities  which influenced my grades in areas like math and science which I had to take for my journalism degree. Math, science and classes like Amish culture were completely irrelevant to my degree, but prerequisites are prerequisites. I’m told that in order to get funding my grades need to be the best of the best, but this doesn’t take into account my mitigating circumstances. Surely had I had the financial opportunity to get diagnosed earlier, I would have gotten the opportunity to learn ways to study and learn what worked for me. But alas, I didn’t have those opportunities and there go my funding chances.

Another reason no one wants to fund me is because my academic papers are not published in peer reviewed journals or academic journals, but every time I try and publish, I get told “we only accept published academics,” or I get told that I need to pay in order to get published. So let me get this right: I need money to publish so I can be a recognized academic so I can get PhD funding, but I can’t publish until I’ve been published and have the money? Maybe things work differently when you are already an established academic, but realistically speaking, how am I supposed to get started out? I was a journalist, but when applying for PhD funding, no one seems to care about journalism publications. Or at least this is what the rejection emails tell me.

Next step was to contact charities with grant applications. A list of charities was provided by my prior university, so I used that as a starting point. These are charities that are known to give student grants. And the response there has been dismal. Charities have been rude, mean, have told me to stop soliciting them, told me I’m not Palestinian enough or Arab enough. They’ve told me I don’t meet residency requirements, I don’t display financial hardship, I can’t provide up-to-date information about my disabilities, my grades aren’t good enough, I’m not involved enough or not Muslim enough. I’m too old. I’m too young. I’m too this, I’m too that. I’m not enough of this and not enough of that. One person even told me that it was “illegal” for them to give grants, when I know other students who have for a fact received grants from them. One person even replied saying “We don’t have any money. You probably have more money than our charity does.” Really, Really?! You want to go there. Okay, let’s go there. If you have consistent working plumbing, you have consistent heating in your house, don’t have to choose between  paying your bills or buying food to eat, then trust me– you are way ahead of me.

Or what about the charity that tried to change my entire PhD topic of study, deeming my topic irrelevant and uninteresting. Firstly, I never asked for your advice on my topic of study, I asked for your sponsorship. Secondly, I have advising teams at each university that differ with you. Not only is my topic ever the  more relevant, as it makes headline news regularly, but the top academics in my field believe it to be interesting, important and relevant. Thirdly, you may not know how academia works. For example: I can’t enroll in a music doctoral degree, get there and ask my advising team to support me in studying cryptozoology. Fourthly, you changed my ENTIRE topic. Meaning I would have to reapply all over again with a different proposal. And lastly, by changing every little thing about my topic, you made it your project and no longer mine.

Keep in mind that I am not harassing these people, charities, organizations, entities, etc. I send one email: A grant proposal. A university approved grant proposal.  I don’t call, follow up, knock on their doors. I’m completely calm. And I’m not about to waste my life or time arguing with these ignoramuses.

Next, crowdfunding. Even though I have had limited success with crowdfunding. (By the way, I’m VERY grateful for the money I was able to raise. VERY!) Getting £1000 was not easy and almost impossible. I don’t know many people. The people that I do know don’t have money to spare. I’d even get emails in response to my crowdfunding that told me to give up, it was a waste of time, it’s never going to happen, that I need to not bother people, etc. I put myself out there. I tried. I got burned.

Tried the online scholarship search engines. I spend my life on those search engines. I qualify for nothing. Somehow, I don’t qualify for anything.

Even the Said scholarship set up for Palestinians won’t fund me unless I go to Oxford or Cambridge and even though there’s an academic at Cambridge who said he would take me on, I applied there twice and couldn’t get through the first round because my undergrad grades from 10 years ago in math and science were rubbish. I got rejected by Oxford three times for the same reason. (If you’re really polite, nice, desperate and willing to make contacts, lecturers/professor/staff will secretly tell you why you didn’t get in. Doesn’t work everytime, but you get lucky every so often.)

Bottom line-  no one cares that I have learning difficulties. No one cares that the American education system is different than the British, European and Australian systems. No one cares that my overall undergrad GPA was a 3.12, but my GPA for my major and minor was a 3.67. No one care that my first MA was on a pass/fail basis. No one care that during my 2nd MA I became registered disabled due to some serious problems in my back that can’t be fixed, but only coped with.

No one cares that I went to the 4th most overpopulated high school in my state, or that my high school teachers told me I wouldn’t succeed to my face or that 9/11 happened during my sophomore year or that the devastation of 9/11 turned our sophomore curriculum upside down or that some of my classes didn’t have classrooms, books, set curriculums or that so many times our teachers gave up, walked out of class and stopped teaching, or that there were 50 students in my classroom or that my high school suffered from riots, bomb threats and at least one major fight a day or that I got bullied mercilessly or that all of these problems affected my learning experience.

When I got to my first year of undergrad I had no confidence, I thought I was dumb, I didn’t know how to study, I had never had to sit through a class longer than 40 minutes, I never had to write an assignment longer than two pages, I never had to use citations, I had never done a research paper, I never had to memorize information, I didn’t know I could get tested for learning disabilities, I didn’t know so many things. I spent most of the first two years of undergrad crying because undergrad hit me like a brick. High school in no way prepared me for undergrad and in comparison to the students in my class that had better academic upbringings, I could tell I was behind.  No one cares that I can play a mean game of catch up. But catch up can’t change the past.

I worked my nerves to its ends and got into an Ivy League MA program, where again, I felt I had to play catch up because I was no longer studying journalism and entered into the wonderful world of Liberal Studies. I competed against students who had formal training in studying gender, culture and globalization. It was all new to me. I struggled, a lot. But I’m proud of what I accomplished there. And again I had to play catch up for my second MA as I competed against students who had their first degree is Middle Eastern Studies. Middle Eastern studies was  a topic I read about in my spare time. I never studied it intensely or formally, I dabbled, but everyone else was way ahead of the game. I worked day and night, in spite of my medical difficulties and hardship to reach a level in which I finally felt my peers were finally my intellectual peers. I stumbled, A LOT, but no one gets points for most improved on their transcript. If only their were a module in which there were marks for effort, motivation, time spent, passion, determination and promise. If only I could get graded against myself as opposed to against my classmates. Or get a mark for moving my life across the planet by myself to another country, to a completely different educationally structured system and succeeding.

My motivation and ambition doesn’t count for anything on paper because there will always be someone with a perfect GPA or academic standing that gets ahead of me. These things will never show up on a transcript. And if there is anything I’ve learned it’s that transcripts are more important than letters of purpose.

I can’t provide up-to-date information on my disabilities because I haven’t seen a doctor since being back in America. I signed up for that whole Obamacare business and my application for health insurance keeps getting bounced around from office to office and no one seems to know when I will finally have health insurance or if I ever will. Whenever I ask what I should do if I’m sick, they say go to this and this doctor, but you’ll have to play out of pocket. Yup, can’t do that. I have no money. No income.

That no income part, my loan servicers don’t seem to believe that. Seeing as they are federal loans, you’d think they can check and see if I am employed or not via paying taxes, but maybe that’s asking too much.  I have to pay back $130,000 in student loans starting in March because that is when my deferment period ends. I applied for unemployment deferment, got rejected and told to apply for income based repayment. Yeah, that’s going to be tough to do because there is no income to speak of.

Not because I don’t want an income. I  have been applying for every type of job under the sun since May 2014. Even physical labor jobs which I know will only cause my disability to worsen. And guess what? I still can’t get a job. Signed up with recruitment and temp agencies, LinkedIn profile, Craigslist, Indeed, Simplyhired, Idealist– I get maybe 20 emails a day from different websites listing all these job opportunities. I apply and apply and apply and nothing. When I finally do get the chance at an interview, I set it up, date and time. I’m dressed and ready and pumped and every time they cancel on me with no prior notice.

Even though I have no job and I’m living off of my maxed out credit cards, I still somehow don’t qualify for food stamps, unemployment benefits or any other kinds of benefits. How did I manage that? How? Beats me!

Despite it all, I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. I’m upset, sure. I don’t expect a handout or pity. I’m not going to sit here and toot my own horn about how I’m an amazing human being or list all my good karma points. I’m far from perfect and I’m not entitled to anything in this world. But I want a fair fighting chance. I want more than what’s on paper to count. I want to live and not simply get by, but to really live.

I still remain optimistic that things will work out. I won’t stop trying and neither should you.

Opportunity: Look out, I’m coming for you!