Accessibility Panel
710 Fourth Street • San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 459-6245 / (415) 459-7027 TTY

“…I continue to go to the Marin CIL for the weekly peer support…”

by Joseph Wagner

After my diving accident in August 2001 in Mendocino County, I went from one hospital to another until I finally ended up in seven different nursing homes where they left me in bed all day long. My health was going down and down because I didn’t get any rehab.

My step-mother insisted that I come live with her and my father in northern California. She didn’t know how to set up her house for all of the different things I would need. Someone told her about the Marin Center for Independent Living. She made an appointment and the Independent Living Advocate, Sheila, told her how to deal with Medi-Cal/Medi-Care, etc. She called over and over and over, struggling to understand the system.

When I got to Kentfield Rehabilitation in February 2003, and I started moving around, everything changed for the better! After I was ready to move out of Kentfield, we tried personnel agencies to get a caregiver but they didn’t know anything about quads and charged through the nose.

I went back to the Marin Center for Independent Living and talked to Mary Botelle at the Attendant Referral Registry. She gave me a list of caregivers. We interviewed several potential caregivers, but stayed with Carlos Martinez for two years now. Before Carlos came to work with me, he had worked with two different quads. He is someone who is my age and is into sports just the way I am, so it works out great. Also, Carlos is partly paid by the In-Home Supportive Services (a government subsidy) and this is important because it is so expensive to pay for a caregiver. We could not afford it otherwise. My step mom and I have been going to protest in Sacramento to defend this benefit which the State of California has threatened to cut.

Now I have returned to school at Sonoma State University, and I continue to go to the Marin Center for Independent Living for the weekly peer support group. My step mom and I have also been involved in other local access and transportation issues with the Marin Center for Independent Living. Also, my step mom was able to find the exact kind of bed table for me from the recycling program at the Marin Center for Independent Living.