≡ Menu

Moving Forward

Each day provides an opportunity to make progress and that is my intention.

I happened to look down at my legs this morning, partly out of frustration and partly curiosity. I am coming up on four weeks since my hospitalization for the DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Emboli) that were discovered. And then there were all the heart issues thet were rediscovered. Both the swelling and discoloration persist to this day – both almost as stubborn as me. On the bright side would be that the pain level has decreased which has me hopeful. What I wouldn’t give to get back to my normal routine and to be able to help with all those things around the house that need attention.

Keeping my fingers crossed; and leg elevated.

{ 0 comments }

Therapy

This is Daisy Mae. She joined our household as Faith’s service dog and has been nothing short of amazing.

She is outgoing, energetic, full of joy, kind, and devoted to her family. She is a bit of a spaz when not on duty – which is most of the time right now – but once her vest is on she is on point.

So much happened during our hunt for the right service dog, including falling for a scam. May just have to rehash that at some point to make sure it remains available online for others to learn from.

Seeing Daisy makes me happy so I thought I would share since I will be in the hospital overnight.

{ 0 comments }

No Explanation

I was released from the hospital just over a week ago. The goal of the doctors at the time was to stabilize my heart and prevent the ridiculously oversized blood clot in my leg from causing havoc elsewhere in my body.

Since my release I have been dealing with pain in my right leg and discomfort. I had hoped that since I was now on blood thinners that there would be a reduction in the swelling in my leg and maybe a corresponding drop in the pain I experience. Seems that is not to be. For now my leg cramps when it is not elevated. Not sure why but I do know it hurts. Definitely makes going to appointments interesting. My absolute favorite part of all of this is that I really am not sure what to expect. I have no idea if this is how my recovery should feel and nobody can tell me one way or another.

Today I picked up new hardware from the cardiologist – a holter monitor to wear for the next 24 hours. So here’s to new-to-me tech, new sensors and wires, a bit more data and maybe some more insight into my own health. Seems I didn’t know as much about that as I originally thought.

{ 0 comments }

One Day at a Time

I have been forced by recent events to look at things in a new light. I guess I should give a quick recap.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pain in my right leg – not the worst pain ever, just like I tweaked something. Shortly after, I noticed my leg was getting swollen. Very shortly after. Slept on it, just in case it was a fluke and I hoped it would be normal in the morning. It was not. I got an appointment with my primary care for later in the day and headed into work until then. Folks at work liked my half-skinny pants. As soon as my primary care saw the swollen leg and discoloration she sent me to the hospital. The folks at the ER agreed. I was fortunate to spend a week with them. So much for a quick appointment and back to work the next day.

I was diagnosed with an unprovoked, extensive deep vein thrombosis of the femoral vein in my right leg, several superficial vein thrombosis, multiple pulmonary emboli, AFib, and a heart rate upwards of 180bpm. This hit from out of the blue. I knew that I had knee issues and could stand to lose weight. I am still trying to process why it happened.

I am now on meds to control my heart rate, and blood thinner to help resolve the blood clot. My leg is still swollen and I struggle to walk without the aid of a walker. Even with the walker I can only make it about 20 steps right now. I am not sure how long it will take for this to resolve; just not fast. I now have a cardiologist and hematologist on my care team but I have realized how much more serious this really could have been.

{ 0 comments }

Welcome Back

Hello!

This page has gone through many iterations over the years.  Recently it has suffered from lack of attention and at some point it stopped working.  This is the first post of the new blog. Decided to keep this one called Heading Home – which I suppose means it may be a home for my baseball photos.

Since retiring from the Navy and moving to Central Pennsylvania we have spent a lot more time watching minor league baseball which has given me the opportunity to take many pictures of minor league baseball.  Over the years, I have gotten slightly better, purchased additional lenses and most recently a new camera body.  I am hoping to learn how to best put it to use in the upcoming months to be prepared for the upcoming season.

Over the years, we have hosted a few of our minor league players, welcoming them into our home and our lives – it has been quite the experience for us all.

{ 0 comments }

Been a while

Wow! Just got to looking at the page and it certainly has been a while since I have written anything and even longer since I have posted anything up.

Will have to see about correcting that.

I really do have a lot to talk about – I am just not sure how much of it is really something you want to read. Good thing that this is a blog and you can leave if you get bored.

Thanks for sticking around.

In the next few weeks I will start building an entertainment console for our living room since I can’t seem to find one that is what we (mostly me) wants for the room. It will be a “floating” one that is 8 feet long and 2 feet tall with two shelves and a few compartments.

This is where caption text should show

{ 0 comments }

Your Logo Here

Today’s post is in support of Kids Are Heroes, Inc., a non-profit that empowers, encourages and inspires children to become leaders through volunteerism and community involvement.

They are less than two months away from the 5th annual Kids Are Heroes Day which will be celebrated at the Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, MD on October 27th, 2012.  They are looking for someone to step forward and claim the title of “Official Sponsor

Can you help them find the Official Sponsor.  This is a great opportunity for a local business since the attendees will be in the local area.  There are kids coming from all across the United States, Canda, and Trinidad & Tobago which also makes a national company a good fit for the position.

For more information please see the following post by Gabe O’Neill, President of Kids Are Heroes, Inc. – Your Logo Here.

{ 0 comments }

Service Dog Scam: Where does GlobalGiving.org stand?

GlobalGiving.org awarded Lea Kaydus, founder of Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism “program”, a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant back in July 2011 (must have been a typo on their site) that had 10 families beyond ecstatic.  And then the whole “program” began to deteriorate.  GlobalGiving.org was contacted numerous times, by multiple families, and yet maintained Lea Kaydus would in fact be able to deliver.  The grant period for which GlobalGiving.org was a mere 9 months, with the culmination of the project set for April 2012 when the dogs would be delivered.  As of this date (August 26, 2012) not a single “highly-trained”, autism service dog has been delivered.

Come to think of it, not a single trained, autism service dog has been delivered, nor heck, not even a single dog – trained or otherwise.  GlobalGiving.org gave Lea Kaydus $50,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Program and let her run, accountable to none.  Which well-deserving programs lost out due to the fraud Lea Kaydus perpetrated? GlobalGiving.org’s stance on this has been oddly similar to sticking their head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away.  The Attorney General of Illinois, when presented with the same facts as GlobalGiving.org’s leadership, saw it very differently.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit in Sangamon County Court on Thursday, August 24, 2012.

The following is an excerpt from GlobalGiving.org’s GlobalGoodness Blog

Over the last few months we’ve heard the concerns raised regarding a $50,000 grant awarded to an individual, Lea Kaydus, in July 2010. The project is to provide ten trained dogs to families of autistic children free of charge. Activities funded under this grant include the construction of a new canine training facility and costs associated with the training of the dogs.
We do not take any expression of concern lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that grant activities are implemented as they were intended. We have been thoughtfully evaluating the situation specific to this grant, in addition to overseeing many other projects that are still actively pursuing their goals. As with all Pepsi Refresh Grants, GlobalGiving monitors project activities to ensure compliance with the terms of the grant agreement. We have been in regular contact with the grantee throughout the grant period (including a recent site visit), and she is in compliance with the terms of her grant agreement and is scheduled to deliver the dogs to the requesting families starting in Spring 2012.
We understand that for the families involved, the care of their children is their foremost concern. We stand firm in our commitment to do everything we can to support the grantee to help bring this project to fruition. We have also encouraged the grantee to be in more regular communication with the families going forward, to which she has agreed. We ask everyone involved to please refrain from personal attacks and understand that the grantee is doing all she can to accomplish her goals with this project.

GlobalGiving.org now maintains the position that the grant administration period has ended, that Lea Kaydus met the “spirit” of the grant to the best of her ability and they no longer have any responsibility/concern in regards to this grant awardee.  They provided the funds for a backyard Siberian Husky/Alaskan Klee Kai  breeder to build a new kennel/breeding facility on her brother-in-law’s property to further her own families ability to exploit others.  So many lies and half-truths told to the families who were supposed to be recipients of the “service animals” Lea Kaydus was “training” by Lea Kaydus, and the staff at GlobalGiving.org administering this grant. Her autism service dog scam is beyond despicable.  When you think that she utilized disabled, autistic children and their parents in the process makes it even that much worse.  Imagine if it were your child that was used for this purpose.

I would like to take a moment to highlight two of GlobalGiving.org’s Core Values:

1.  Listen. Act. Learn. Repeat.
We continually experiment. We fail quickly and productively. We use data and feedback to guide our course.

2. Committed to WOW
We act promptly, enthusiastically, and professionally so people are WOW-ed by their interactions with us.

I hope that the last year has provided you with lots of usable feedback.  I have been WOW-ed by my interaction with you, and NOT in a good way.  I am amazed at how quickly you sought to “protect” your own position rather than acknowledge the truth.  The dealings with K.C. Ellis, grant administrator for Lea Kaydus’ grant, gave me the impression that I was merely an annoyance that must be dealt with before the next shopping trip to the District could be planned and executed.  I hope that others are not treated the same way.

I would love to know if you still are proud to have worked with someone the caliber of Lea Kaydus and her Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism program.

 

{ 0 comments }

Service Dog Fiasco Bites Lea Kaydus

On Thursday the Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, filed suit on behalf of several families across the country who were bilked out of thousands of dollars by Glenarm, IL “autism service dog trainer”, Lea Kaydus.

For Immediate Release Media Contact: Maura Possley 

August 23, 2012 312-814-3118 

mpossley@atg.state.il.us 

Follow OAG on: 

@ILAttyGeneral 

MADIGAN SUES ‘ANIMALS FOR AUSTISM’ CHARITY FOR FRAUD 

Attorney General: Proposed Judgment to Require Downstate Woman to Reimburse Families Waiting for Service Dogs 

Springfield – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit and a proposed consent judgment against a downstate woman who cheated families across the country out of thousands of dollars in payments for service dogs to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Madigan filed her lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court against Glenarm resident Lea Kaydus and her organization, Animals for Autism. The lawsuit alleges that for more than a year, Kaydus solicited donations and payments from families in Illinois and around the country to match them with specially trained dogs to serve as companions for their children. To date, Madigan said, none of the families who paid for the service has received a trained dog as promised by Kaydus. 

Madigan’s lawsuit states that Kaydus’ Animals for Autism advertised it would specially train Alaskan Klee Kai and Siberian Huskies for $3,000 to $8,000 and then pair the dogs with families to assist their children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Kaydus promised families that they initially would be introduced to their dog in person or via teleconference calls and then would receive frequent updates until the dogs were trained and ready to be placed in families’ homes. 

Families in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Florida, California and Washington sent payments to Kaydus and were led to believe over the course of several months that Kaydus was training dogs to place in their homes. In some cases, families received pictures of puppies, though those images were taken years earlier and depicted dogs that weren’t involved in Kaydus’ supposed training program. One family received a photo of a puppy that was purportedly born in 2011, though Madigan’s investigation revealed the picture was actually taken in 2007. 

Madigan said Kaydus has collected at least $5,190 from families in the scheme. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Solicitation for Charity Act against Kaydus and her organization. The proposed consent judgment filed with Madigan’s lawsuit would require that Kaydus provide restitution to affected families. 

Assistant Attorney General Melodi Green handled this case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau. 

A copy of the suit filed can be found by clicking HERE if you are interested in reading it.  To make a quick summary: the suit, filed in Sangamon County Court, alleges “numerous violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and Solicitation for Charity Act” against Lea Kaydus and her organization, Animals for Autism [a part of Siberian Snow Babies].  At this time Kaydus has agreed to a consent judgement requiring her to reimburse the families.  However, the settlement must still be approved by the Sangamon County judge, who could still impose additional sanctions including stiff penalties of up to $50,000 per violation.

Since the initial press release issued by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, there have been multiple news outlets which have carried this story.  The story was initially carried as an exclusive update by WICS NewsChannel 20 Springfield, Illinois by Mike Brooks.  It has since been featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article by Monica Eng, and in the Kitsap Sun in an article by Chris Henry.  There have been several other blog posts written –

A win I suppose.  I hope that she is not able to ever do this to anyone ever again.  Wishful thinking?? Possibly.

Please share.  Your voice can make a difference.

This is where caption text should show

{ 0 comments }

It has been a while since my last post on this subject.  I have been waiting, albeit somewhat impatiently, but waiting for some resolution of this debacle.

**If you are unfamiliar with this story I would ask that you visit Dogs with a Cause for a quick recap**

We are now beyond the anticipated delivery date for the Autism Service Dogs that Lea Kaydus had promised to over 10 families back in June of 2011.  These dogs, their training, and accessories were being funded through a combination of private donations secured by Lea Kaydus, as founder of the Siberian Snow Babies’ Animals for Autism program, and a very generous $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project.  The administrators of the Pepsi grant, GlobalGiving.org, assured families that the dogs would in fact be delivered as promised despite any temporary setbacks.

Still not a single service dog delivered.

GlobalGiving.org has removed themselves from the picture since the project has proceeded beyond the 9 month monitoring window.  They no longer have any interest in Lea Kaydus or these Autism Service Dogs she had promised to deliver.  It is not their problem.  I wish I had known it was that easy to get $50,000 from Pepsi.  I bet I could have come up with a fantastic project that would have pulled at the heartstrings of many people.  I could have worked with a local distributer, local recycling company to acquire Pepsi bottlecaps with Power Vote codes.  Maybe I could have offered to place free highly-trained Autism Service Dogs with a group of young, autistic children…wait, that has been done.  Then again, it worked.

Lea Kaydus, her husband, George, and both their enterprises (Siberian Snow Babies & Animals for Autism of Illinois) have been reported to the Better Business Bureau, the Illinois Attorney General and all of the Autism Service Referral places that I have found her registered.  I have come to accept that I will not ever get an apology from Lea Kaydus let alone any of the money that I paid her expecting a trained autism service dog in return.  Neither will any of the other families.  Hard lesson learned.

I hope that the Illinois Attorney General is not just going to let this be.  I hope there will be some repercussion for her actions.  At a minimum she defrauded 11 families throughout the United States.  I believe that her marks included families outside the United States to include Australia, New Zealand, and England.  She preyed on the hopes and dreams of families who did not have extra to lose.  Wish I had better news.  Do not intend to ever let this go, even once I move on.

{ 0 comments }