Tub Xiong (age 17) and Leng Xiong (age 16) have contracted Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy, a sex-linked recessive genetic disorder.  This rare form of MD progresses rapidly, has no known cure and usually results in death around the age of mid-20’s.  The rapid progression leaves most youth in need of wheelchairs by the early teen years, as is the case with the Xiongs.  The parents were struggling to provide transportation for both of the boys.  With only standard automobiles at their disposal, it required two vehicles to get the two boys anywhere.  It was necessary to perform a difficult lift by a family member to maneuver in and out of the vehicle with their wheelchairs.   The parents turned to many agencies looking for assistance, but no agency could help them.

 The parents turned to Independent Living Services of Northern California for assistance.  Independent Living Services of Northern California took their request seriously and granted the family $500.  The Clifton Lewis Foundation contributed an additional $1000. By combining the two gifts, the Xiong family finally purchased a used accessible van for their two lovely children.  Leng and Tub stated that “our wish comes true.”  They also stated that “we can go anywhere we want to go together now.”

Additional information about Duchene’s MD is available at:  http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/000705.htm

Additional information about the services provided by Independent Living Services of Northern California can be found at:  http://www.ilsnc.org/services

Community Garden Plot Thriving as Winter Nears

Husband and wife agricultural team, Tong Vang and Mai Lor, have done amazing work on ILSNC’s plot at the Bidwell Community Garden in Chico.  Following a successful Spring/Summer crop, they re-planted a Fall/Winter garden specializing in a variety of green vegetables – all grown without chemicals or pesticides.  Mr. Vang also constructed a small greenhouse in which they are growing lemon grass.  They work on the garden two to three times a week.

Tong Vang & Mai Lor

Greenhouse constructed by Mr. Vang

They enjoy the health benefits of outdoor activity as well as having fresh, organic produce available to eat and share.  Both Tong and Mai are members of the Hmong Disability Rights Council and are frequent participants in disability advocacy events and campaigns. ILSNC is proud of what Tong and Mai have accomplished.

As other garden plots become available, we will be expanding with new opportunities for community gardening/agriculture for our consumers in the near future.  To learn more and to volunteer with our Community Garden Project, go to: http://ilsnc.org/services/garden-project/