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After rough year, mom hopes to make Christmas special for her daughters

Dec 07 2012
Nadine Mathews,40, is a single Mom who hasn't been able to work for a number of years due to several chronic conditions. She would like to be able to get something for her daughters Shaya Smith, 11, and Kylie Smith, 9. 

Nadine Mathews,40, is a single Mom who hasn't been able to work for a number of years due to several chronic conditions. She would like to be able to get something for her daughters Shaya Smith, 11, and Kylie Smith, 9.

Photograph by: Darren Stone , Times Colonist

It's been a rough year for single mom Nadine Mathews.

Mathews has been unable to work for years due to a number of illnesses including: chronic migraines, depression, asthma, arthritis and a genetic disease called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which causes her joints to be very lax.

Then she had yet another heath scare this year that required surgery.

"I had a cancer scare so I had major surgery in my mouth. I had moderate pre-cancerous tissue under my tongue. So I still haven't fully healed from that surgery. And I've had three falls this year," she said.

Then last month a freak accident saw her knocked off her mobility scooter.

"I was coming home on my medical scooter. I had picked up some groceries and I was just around the corner from my place when someone slammed their car door open so hard that it flipped me over and my scooter landed on top of me."

The 40-year-old mother of two girls split up from her husband two years ago. While she does receive child support, it is clawed back.

"The money he gives me in child support basically gets taken off my disability cheque penny for penny."

Until 1997, Mathews was a home support care worker. But she injured her shoulder lifting at work and, because of her lax joints, re-injured it in rehab. The injury meant she was unable to keep working. Ironically, now it's she who needs a support worker.

Still she counts her blessings and said she lucked into subsidized housing.

"I had two weeks to go and otherwise the three of us were going to end up in a one-bedroom apartment. So I really lucked out in that respect.

Mathews' two daughters, Shaya, 11 and Kylie, 9, understand that money is tight.

In fact, Mathews was unable to buy the younger girl a present for her last birthday.

"Of course, she's so sweet she said: 'That's OK, Mommy. I know that you love me and that's good enough.' "

Still, Mathews is hoping she can at least get them some needed clothes this Christmas.

"The youngest one now needs a new winter coat because the zipper broke off of hers," she said.

"I have two absolutely wonderful girls that I sometimes can't take as good care of as I would like to. I was hoping that this Christmas might be a little more special for them than I could make it," Mathews said.

HELP THE LESS FORTUNATE

TIMES

COLONIST

Christmas Fund

The Times Colonist Christmas Fund and its predecessors have been helping less fortunate families since 1956. Every year, the generosity of our readers allows us to provide food vouchers and gifts for children. To make a donation:

Go online to timescolonist.com 

250-995-4438 

Call, Mail or drop off in person at the

Times Colonist, 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, V8W 2N4

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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