Most of you have seen me. I stand on a corner holding a sign. Begging.

What sets me apart from the others is that I am terminally ill. I carry a note from my doctor as proof. It's not a joke; I am not making it up. Yes, there are fakes, but believe me, some who hold their sign day in and day out really need help. I am fighting for SSI.

Because I am in the beginning stages, I don't look sick or fit the part. I have heart and lung disease and the beginnings of congestive heart failure. I will keep the fight up for my life, and for SSI. I can't work; any exertion and my blood pressure skyrockets to stroke level.

If you have helped me with a donation, I publicly thank you. For the ones who haven't, but gave me a smile, I thank you as well, because that smile means more to me than the donation. But to the ones who frown upon me, scorn me, look down on me, I want to say, walk in my shoes. You'd do what you could to keep a roof over your head, insurance on your car if you have one so you can get to the endless doctor appointments to hear bad news.

So remember me; if you can't donate or don't feel you can, at least smile or even say hang in there, Sara. Because I am just trying not to become homeless, with myself dying sooner. I can beat them at their own game and get to see at least SSI help once.

Sara Ashley

Crescent City