EudoraReporter.com started with a very simple purpose. That purpose was to inform the community about news, events and information pertinent to our community. Once in a while, while performing that task, something special happens.
Recently, we were approached by an anonymous person who wanted to give a little bit of help back to their community. This person asked us for help in identifying a person or persons whom they could give a little extra reward to that may be in need. To borrow a line from our friends at KQRC-FM and their Hope for the Holidays program, not a hand out, but a hand up.
Out of this anonymous donor’s idea, a project was born.
Hearts Helping Others is a program where, once a month, a person or family in our community will receive a much needed hand up. These folks could be someone who may be displaced by a fire, or, it could be someone who has some health problems. These are just two examples and there are certainly hundreds and all extremely varied.
The selected recipient (or recipients) of this program will receive a package that will include a $100 gift card to the Black Cat Café and a free hair cut from Heads or Nails Family Salon in downtown Eudora.
Now, we are looking to you, our fine readers, to also become one of our Hearts Helping Others. We need you to tell us about some truly great people. We have added a nomination form to the site for you to fill out and tell us who we can help. You can get there by clicking on Hearts Helping Others on the menu across the top of any web page, or go to: http://www.eudorareporter.com/hearts-helping-others/
For those of you who might wonder who would qualify, read on to find out about a family here in Eudora who is truly deserving.
The Jobe Family
Bryan and Bobbi Jobe and their three children, Dakota, Oliver and Anika, have their share of problems. In October 1996 Bryan was diagnosed with diabetes. One of the boys also is autistic. If that was not enough to deal with, the Jobes, out of kindness and compassion for children, decided to become foster parents in 2006. In 2007, they adopted Anika from the foster care program.
Life was as normal as can be for this family until late in 2008. It was at this time complications from Bryan’s diabetes set in. Bryan was able to work construction, provide for the family, and a stable income. After the complications of diabetes set in, Bryan was forced to go on disability. Since 2008, Bryan has suffered pneumonia, dehydration, multiple vision problems, wounds that won’t heal, and the most critical blow to his health, kidney failure. Bryan has been in and out of the hospital frequently, including a hospitalization just last week. Bryan has a home dialysis unit to help maintain his kidney functions so that he can be with the family and not have to spend more time at the hospital receiving those treatments.
While Bryan’s health continued to deteriorate, the family had to give up their foster care license. Since Bryan has been on disability, he does what he can to help the family. He cooks meals and attends to the children as best as he can. Many times, the kids have to cook the meals since he is not physically able to do so and Bobbi is at her job at the Bert Nash Mental Health Center in Lawrence. Bryan does try to go to as many of the kids activities as possible for him with his weakened condition.
“I drive occasionally, but only local and during the day.” Bryan said. “Its last minute and I have to get the kids there.”
All four of the other family members pitch in to not only help around the house, but help with Brian’s care. “Our kids know the difference between a saline bag and a cartridge” Bobbi said. “They all have had to grow up a little faster than most other kids”.
Bryan, with a smile on his face, stated how helpful the kids have been to Bobbi and him. “We’re blessed with good kids. They have had to learn and do a lot more than most kids.”
Bryan is hoping for a kidney transplant. That has not been possible to this point. With all of his medical conditions, particularly his high blood pressure, doctors cannot perform the transplant. “It’s a catch-22 argument” Bryan said. “My blood pressure is high because of the kidney failure and they refuse to give me a new kidney because my blood pressure is too high.” Bobbi told us how the least little ailment affects him great greatly because of all the treatment, his immune system is so weak.
To control his blood pressure and deal with the other medical conditions Bryan faces every day, he takes about 18 different medications and visits doctors on an average of three to five times a week. Bryan spends anywhere from two to two and half hours each night on the dialysis machine. This treatment not only causes pain and discomfort but then he can’t sleep. “My normal day is that I get anywhere from two to four hours of sleep a night. It’s not restful sleep. I sleep maybe an hour then wake up for twenty minutes then get another hour of sleep.” He added that “I try to rest during the day, but sleep is difficult. Mostly what I do is sit around because I can’t do anything. My balance is shot, so I have to stay off my feet most of the time.”
The strain on all of the family members is tremendous. Bryan suffers from depression due to lack of being able to function and dealing with this day in and day out. “I don’t know how many more times I can go through with the hospital visits. One of these times, I’m going to go in and I know I’m not coming back. I’m surprised I haven’t had a heart attack or stroke already from all this.”
“Without the support of our church we wouldn’t be able to function” Bobbi said. “We are truly blessed knowing all the people at Eudora Baptist Church. We couldn’t make it without those great people. Many times, they pick up or take the kids somewhere for us because we just can’t do it.”
Bryan’s future is unknown right now. “In January, we will have a meeting with KU to determine if I can go on the transplant list or not. That will be the day we find out if I have to deal with this for the rest of my life or if I can get a transplant.”
With sadness in his eyes, he stated, “I hope I can make it long enough to see my kids graduate.”
Pastor Kevin Wood from Eudora Baptist Church nominated Bryan, Bobbi and all three kids as the first recipients of the Hearts Helping Others Program. The Jobes have been given a $100 gift card to The Black Cat Café and all five family members will receive haircuts courtesy Heads or Nails Family Salon. We wish to thank Pastor Wood, our anonymous donor and Diane Elmer at Heads or Nails Family Salon in Downtown Eudora for providing a much needed hand up to the Jobes.
To nominate a person or family for the Hearts Helping Others Program, make sure to go to the nomination page on EudoraReporter.com, fill out the form and become one of the truly great hearts in our community.