The Dentry family has lived in their home since 1999. Jeff, a Marine Corps Veteran of the US Reserves, was the primary provider for the family, as he has worked in the medical field for over seventeen years. He and his wife, Cathy, have two ambitious children who are very involved in school and in the community.
Three years ago Jeff started to notice major changes, and lost feeling in his leg. “I went to numerous specialists and was diagnosed with several different, but incorrect, diagnoses. After a battle of tests, surgery, and increasing weakness in both legs, the progressive illness was identified as symptoms of ALS.” This diagnosis has caused Jeff to rely on a wheelchair, therefore has been unemployed for over a year which lead to a major loss of income for the household. “With the loss of my income, we are struggling to just meet our monthly monetary demands. We utilize area food banks to assist with groceries. Our son took a job and quit soccer in order to pay for his car insurance and gas, so that we wouldn’t have to pay those bills.”
Although Jeff spent 14 years in the Marine Corps Reserves, he did not qualify for any VA benefits. ALS is covered by this benefit, but because his units were not deployed during his time there, he did not meet the necessary requirements. “We have had to overcome the fact that I have fallen through the cracks of the VA system, even though I was a US Marine in every other way.” With this and the sudden departure from his job, Jeff says, “we didn’t have time to plan for repairs, modifications, improvements, and a new roof.”
“We know there is no way we could leave our home; we’ve been here for almost 20 years. This was very stressful until we learned about Habitat for Humanity’s Home Repair Program.” Through the program, the family was able to receive a new roof, and multiple ADA modifications such as a ramp for entry into the house and bathroom upgrades that will make the home both safer and more comfortable for Jeff.
“This will be a huge blessing. This repair will lighten the daily stresses of how we are going to make this work for our family. This will also give back some of my independence and self-confidence.”
Thank you to our community partners for sponsoring this home repair: