Neediest Families Fund Drive: Family fights to stay afloat after dad's work injury
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2012
11/29/12 at 8:49 AM
Donate today: Donate to the Neediest Families Christmas Fund and read all the
stories in the series.
Chris and Angela Glidden probably would both be working if their circumstances didn't prevent it.
Chris Glidden injured his back at work about two years ago.
Angela Glidden stays home to take care of her 13-year-old son, Brandon, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Now, as the couple fights to get Chris Glidden on Social Security disability payments, they are having trouble paying their bills and fear that they could lose their home.
They bought the house nearly four years ago and didn't have any financial problems until Glidden's injury, when a lift slipped while he was working on a car as a mechanic.
Chris Glidden had worked since he was 15, often holding two or three jobs at once. He relied on his physical abilities for work until the injury.
Now, just putting on shoes and socks hurts.
"I was always the guy who could pick up a tool and fix anything," he said. "Now I can't fix myself."
His company sent him to a chiropractor twice, and then he walked in to work one Monday to find that he had been replaced.
Because he was listed as a subcontractor, he was in- eligible for worker's compensation or unemployment.
Glidden had no health insurance, and the medical bills have reached about $20,000. The family's home went into foreclosure about two months ago. They plan to file for bankruptcy, but without disability payments, they still won't have an income.
"All of a sudden, something just throws a wrench into your life," Angela Glidden said.
Chris Glidden now suffers from depression, which makes it hard for him to get out of bed some mornings, especially when doing so brings pain.
He hates watching his wife do all the chores he can't do, and he laments his inability to lift and take care of Brandon or play ball with Brandon's able-bodied twin, Bradley.
"I feel worthless," he said.
Glidden would go to more doctors or try physical therapy if he could afford it, but without insurance, all he can do is go to the emergency room, where they give him pain medicines he doesn't like to use.
"They can't wait to push you out the door when you're self-paying," he said.
Some days, Angela Glidden struggles with all her duties, but she knows she has no choice but to continue.
"I definitely have days where I feel very overwhelmed and think I can't do it anymore," she said.
Christmas will be a low-key affair this year. In the past, the children got toys and gadgets, but now they're more likely to get less-expensive, more-practical items.
Last year, someone anonymously paid off some Christmas gifts Angela Glidden had on layaway. She cried and was grateful.
They're hoping that more assistance will help them make next year a fresh start.
About the Neediest Families Fund Drive
The Neediest Families Fund Drive was established in 1928 to provide assistance to families in need during the holidays and for the coming year.
This year's goal is to raise $300,000 by Christmas Eve. Last year's goal was exceeded when $334,888 was raised.
Each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through the holiday season, the Tulsa World will spotlight families chosen by The Salvation Army to receive help through this year's fund.
None of the money raised is used for administrative costs.
Cash is not given directly to the families. They are given vouchers for specific needs.
To help families such as the one featured today, send a check or money order to the Neediest Families Fund Drive, in care of the Tulsa World, P.O. Box 21920, Tulsa, OK 74121-1920.
Donations are tax-deductible, and donors can be anonymous.
Original Print Headline: Family fights to stay afloat after dad's work injury
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
Chris and Angela Glidden, pictured with their sons Bradley (left) and Brandon, are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. Angela stays home with Brandon, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, and Chris lost his job after an injury at work. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World