As a hard-working man, Simon never complained, even though he was born with Camurati–Engelmann disease, an incurable condition.
“I have a genetic bone disease,” he says. “They told me I’d be on my back by the time I was 25.”
Constant bills combined with low-paying jobs always meant that money was tight.
“I’d eaten at the Mission two or three times in the past.” Simon shared.
At 58, Simon already experienced one miracle – outliving his diagnosis by over 20 years – but when his disease progressed recently, he could no longer work.
He needed another miracle.
That’s when friends like you stepped up.
“I had to give up my job that I had for 13 years,” Simon says sadly. Driving his delivery truck had become so difficult that he worried he would put people in danger if he continued.
Even with disability support, Simon ended up homeless.
“I started living with friends, but they want you to hurry up and get out.”
While living with friends, Simon saved every penny he could. But with rentals priced at over $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County, he couldn’t save enough money for a deposit plus first and last month’s rent.
“At one friend’s place, I saved $500 and then they wanted me to leave. I had to stay in a hotel, and then I ran out of money.”
On Valentine’s Day, Simon hobbled up to our door. “I was close to being out in the cold,” he says.
The main symptom of Engelmann’s is excessive bone growth, which is incredibly painful and disfiguring. By the time Simon arrived, his legs were swollen and bleeding. He could barely walk. He tried to minimize his pain, but the look in his eyes told another story.
The first order of business was to settle him in with a safe place to sleep and a hot meal. Then we knew we had to get him to the doctor. Because of the care and support friends like you have given Simon, he is getting better.
“It means a lot, because I was really afraid,” Simon says. “It’s been really good here.”
Simon hopes that soon he’ll be able to move into a place of his own, but for now, he couldn’t be more grateful for people like you. “Everyone has been very helpful, kind and nice,” Simon says.