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This fundraiser ended on 10/31/12

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This fundraiser is to help Venessa raise money to pay for surgical bills that have left her in tremendous debt. Help her get her smile back!

I have suffered major depressive disorder for over ten years. During my time after high school, I attended culinary school, where I did very well, and graduated with honors. Though I was given accolades from a prestigious culinary program, I did not fare well with the pressures of the industry. I am by nature, not at all competitive, which becomes an almost necessary quality to have in the business, and I was always feeling overshadowed and undermined. I worked in the restaurant industry for nearly 9 years, and during the last 3 years it really took a toll on my mental health. Constantly being given the work of 5 or more people and being expected to have everything done, when others were allowed to be lax. It came to head around new years of 2010. My boss was not a boss, he was a man who hid in the office and avoided any contact with us as his staff, and I was made to suffer any problems going on outside the kitchen. I started becoming ill, would be late for work. Sometimes I would call in just because i couldn't get out of bed. I knew everyday would be worse than the one before. That I would get in trouble for something that I didn't have control over. I became so stressed physically that my body was starting to show signs of its disability to keep me healthy, by making me sick. I developed tonsillitis. For 2 months i was in excruciating pain, had difficulty breathing, and was losing weight because I could barely swallow. This illness is highly contagious, and where it would be bad to introduce into any work environment, it is especially unacceptable in a food service setting. I missed a lot of work, and even though it was excused by doctors, my boss did not take the notes. He had it in for me to terminate my employment because I brought his misgivings as a manager to his superiors. He fired me for attendance exceeding that of the employee handbook. With all this going on, I had my surgery date scheduled to have my tonsils and adenoids removed, and even knowing that, i was fired, and my insurance eliminated effective immediately, just 2 weeks before my surgery. It was the most painful month of recovery I've ever experienced. I returned to work, but the burden of the medical bills i incurred were catastrophic. I had to get 2 crowns on my teeth, various medical procedures and tests, and the bills kept piling up. My depression was so bad I would stay in bed and cry all day. I had no time to do fun activities because I had no money, and was forgotten by most of my friends. I was utterly alone and hopeless. I have applied for every loan imaginable, but since I haven't been able to pay bills on time in the past, they deny my claims, and it just gets worse. I currently am on several medications to alter my mood, but have not proved very effective. I can only work part time due to my claustrophobic issues I have now with my new job of working in a cubicle. I do not have insurance and no wealthy family to help me. Every day I worry about how I will pay for this, or that. And all because I got sick one day, I am being punished years later.
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