For nearly 20 years, she has lived on her own in a handicapped accessible, specially equipped house. Despite the fact that she’s recovered enough from a series of infections to eat solid foods again, her advanced and progressive form of multiple sclerosis has made living alone a hardship and a danger. Amid her tremendous suffering, Wende Buchanan has one blessing some people only dream of; a fiercely loyal sibling who has dedicated her time and money to making sure her big sister is well taken care of.
The journey hasn’t been an easy one to say the least. Wende has been dropped by transporting EMTs, her fragile and already pained body inflicted with more bruises and more pain. Only recently was Wende finally approved for a wheelchair. But that’s just one of the battles won in the ongoing struggle to guarantee Wende’s care and provision. Now, she can leave her room, socialize with others, and regain some level of independence. That independence is something Tracee Evans, Wende’s sister, is passionate about preserving for as long as possible.
Tracee is the Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady. Tough as nails, she’s used to looking opponents in the eye and defending her beliefs and her boss against vicious political onslaughts. Perhaps her career is partly what has prepared Tracee for the battle for her sister’s well-being. Perhaps the self described “Air Force brat” is more of a soldier than she realizes.
Growing up in an Air Force family, the sisters are strong and well acquainted with persevering under difficult circumstances. Now they battle for daily necessities in a world where the neglect and abuse of the disabled and elderly is the ugly underbelly of an industry many are blissfully unfamiliar with. Anyone who knows Tracee though, knows that all that will change once this little sister is on the warpath. Meanwhile, Tracee has focused her energies on Wende. Justice can wait until her beloved sister is provided for.
Wende’s family has found a new place for her to live and is working on getting her settled in. It’s a place where she’ll have constant quality care, but still hold on to that precious independence most of us take for granted. It’s a place she can afford — that is, once her house is sold. However, even after the sale of the house, the expense of moving and a first month’s rent on top of mortgage payments is a burden larger than expected. Tracee, forever the advocate, is raising funds to help her sister pay for this vital transition. With so many ongoing medical and living expenses, and a physical inability to generate income, it is paramount that Wende conserve her financial resources.
“I won’t give up until I know my big sister has what she needs,” Tracee says. “I want to bless the angels on earth who have blessed my sister so much. Wende is in the assisted living center with her little dog. What we raise from here is about taking care of her expenses until we sell her house and get rid of the mortgage.”
If you’ve ever moved, required an ambulance, or spent any amount of time in a hospital, you’re acquainted with the shocking expenses involved. Surprisingly, Wende’s GoFundMe page is shooting for the modest amount of $6,000. Just yesterday, an anonymous donor chipped in $2,500. With less than $1,000 to go, Wende’s campaign will hopefully exceed its goal, cover her move, and contribute toward her future care.