Name: Kathy Kinzer
Disability: Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Kathy has always been very involved in the community. As a single mom with a 5-year-old son and no financial help, she came to Santa Rosa. She threw herself into her son’s activities – Boys Scouts, piano and acting. Within months of moving to Santa Rosa, she started “New Beginnings,” a support group for divorced and separated couples. She also taught Tough Love classes when her son was young. She loves to garden and spent many years on her yard. The theater has always been her passion, she organized ushers for the Santa Rosa Players and 6th Street Playhouse. Kathy’s disability has prevented her from participating the last two years. For such a dynamic personality this has been a challenging struggle for her. “I read in my spare time now” says Kathy.
An unsuccessful back surgery and two total knee replacements were the tipping point for this vibrant woman. Finding herself unable to climb the stairs of her home to reach her bedroom and only bathroom, she spent more time at her friend’s house and feared that she would have to move from the home she has lived in since 1992. Now Kathy is looking at another back surgery. “I’m hoping this next back surgery will help me walk again. I’d really like to go back to ushering. My goal is to get back involved with life!” says Kathy earnestly.
In Home Supportive Services, a service that helps low-income, elderly and people of any age living with a disability to remain living safely and independently in their own homes, referred Kathy to DSLC. Explaining the process, Kathy says, “I wasn’t expecting anything when I went in to the Monday Orientation. I met with Lake Kowell in Home Access Modifications and told her what was going on with all the surgeries and how I was crawling up the stairs every day. Lake said they could help me since I fit into the financial guidelines. I was in shock, I mean, I couldn’t believe this was happening to me! Unbelievable! Having a stair lift and the grab bars and railings installed meant I can remain in my home.”
Reflectively, Kathy says, “I can’t say enough good things about DSLC. It feels like I’ve been given my life back. I can focus on my healing and work on getting my life together. I feel like this is starting to lead to other things for me.”