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Kelly Dowless Story - 2015 Fundraiser

Kelly Dowless Story - 2015 Fundraiser

Four years ago, Kelly Dowless wasn’t too concerned when her legs grew weak. At age 31, the schoolteacher was puzzled, but the pain was minimal.
“I thought they’d give me some medication and I’d go home,” she said. The diagnosis, however, was serious. A rare neurological disorder called transverse myelitis was damaging her spinal cord. Her condition began to worsen almost by the minute. By that same afternoon, Dowless was paralyzed from the chest down.

“She had to go through a period of mourning because she lost the ability to walk, and it changed her entire life,” her mother, Marilyn Pearce said. “She had to become dependent on people.”  Dowless said it took her six months to a year after leaving the hospital to find her “new life,” one that she said is rooted in faith and family. Today, instead of teaching the ABCs at West View Elementary School in the Cleveland community, she teaches about Jesus at her church. And while managing pain is an everyday chore, medication allows her to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.

After spending four months in the hospital in 2010, Dowless said she returned to a home not equipped for someone in a wheelchair. They have made it work, but her wheelchair can’t fit into the shower, so making it to a bench in the tub can be challenging. Her husband, Ronald, who lifts his wife in and out of the shower, recently injured his back.  The family can’t afford the improvements that would make mobility easier, and of course during the past four years, medical bills and other monthly obligations have stretched the family’s dollars thin.

JCBIA member, Josh Mauney with Paragon Building Group and other volunteers are beginning work on Nov 30th to give Kelly a new handicap bathroom and shower. 

We are a strong, supportive association, please dig deep and do what you can at the JCBIA Christmas Dinner and participate in the fundraiser for Kelly and her family.  Christmas is the time for giving - lets give a make a difference in this family's life!  (if you would like to give and you are not attending the Christmas Dinner, please contact Sherry at -919-938-4927 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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