Friday, 29 August 2014

Rebuilding Together Provides Relief For Kearney Woman With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Jeanette Santucci of Kearney was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2001. Rebuilding Together Clay County has helped her over the past year and made her disease more manageable.

Rebuilding Clay County recently installed a walk-in bathtub for Santucci. The tub not only makes it easier to bathe, but it has jets that Santucci said relieve the pain in her joints caused by her arthritis.

“It brings the swelling down in the joints because when the swelling is up, it hurts really bad on top of the pain that’s already there,” Santucci said. “It gets the swelling down in the joints so I can tolerate walking and tolerate being awake.”

Santucci has had numerous surgeries to replace her joints and has many more to come. She said her rheumatoid arthritis has been so unbearable that she can’t even get out of bed. Santucci received help from Rebuilding Clay County after her physical therapist suggested she contact the nonprofit to help with home repairs since Santucci’s condition prevents her from doing many things.

“I let them know what needs I needed in order to make myself livable on my own again,” Santucci said.

Several Kearney businesses and organizations helped with the installation and materials of the walk-in tub, including Kearney Rotary Club, Kearney Masonic Lodge No. 311, Kearney Lions, KCB Bank, Kearney Trust Co., Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative, Porter’s Lumber and West Kearney Winnelson Plumbing.

Santucci is thankful for all of the volunteers and groups that helped her.

“I kind of felt like the town was wrapping their arms around me and saying, ‘OK, we love you, you’re here. We’re going to take care of you,’” Santucci said.

The tub isn’t the first helping hand Rebuilding Clay County has given Santucci. Her rheumatoid arthritis prevents her from opening certain door knobs and repairing some basic items around her house. Rebuilding Clay County installed a new door handle and lock in addition to fixing her garage door.

Clay McQuerry, executive director of Rebuilding Clay County, said he was surprised at the number of Kearney businesses and organizations that stepped up to help Santucci.

“We’re always looking for organizations to partner with us, but this is really the first time that we had several organizations respond like that,” McQuerry said. “It was a welcome surprise.”

McQuerry said Rebuilding Clay County’s mission statement is to have safe and healthy homes for residents of Clay County.

“Thankfully, we have a lot of great volunteers and contractors to make that possible,” McQuerry said.


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