Many of you will remember my previous post A Greater Love where I shared an article the New York Times did on my brother Stephen and me. (See Below Links) The article discussed my difficulties in getting time off from my job to care for Stephen who has Autism.
Last year I had applied for FMLA (Family Leave) and was denied. Since I am a Union Member (DC 37) I have been in close contact with my Union Reps to resolve this situation. On Monday September 28th there was a special union meeting where one of the DC 37 Counsel came to discuss our rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). During the question and answer period I shared my situation regarding my brother Stephen and later spoke to the Counsel privately. He advised me to go to court and apply for Legal Guardianship over Stephen. Guardianship would give me the same rights as a parent and my workplace would be forced to grant me FMLA.
I am now in the process of researching and seeking out a Guardianship lawyer. My union does not offer that. They only have Labor Lawyers but they have promised to put me in contact with a Guardianship Lawyer. Thank God for DC 37 and Unions. Naturally I’m doing my own searches and asking around. Hopefully since I don’t make much money maybe someone will take my case pro bono or for a reduced fee. Just in case I’ve been doing lots and lots of overtime in order to pay legal expenses. Yes my feet, knees and back are killing me and I’m experiencing lots of physical pain but I would do anything, make any sacrifice, take any risk to be able to care for my brother in a proper manner. If you really Love someone you would give your life for them so their life could be better. This is why I have not posted recently and more or less put my poetry on the back burner. Stephen will always come first and I’m willing to put aside my wants, dreams and desires so that he can have a happy and fulfilling life.
So far Legal Aid, Brooklyn Bar Association and Brooklyn Legal Services have all been a dead end for me. None of them do Guardianship cases. Therefore I must appeal for donations. Please donate to help me obtain guardianship for Stephen and the right to FMLA via my PayPal account at email@example.com