Sample Co-Worker Letter
Social Security Administration
Re: Carolyn Magura
To Whom It May Concern:
A long time friend of mine, by the name of Carolyn Magura, has asked me to write a letter to your office on how I've seen MS impact her life activities.
To begin with our families have shared a close relationship for more than 17 years. We have frequently socialized together, vacationed as families, worked together professionally and shared many holidays. Carolyn and I have become even closer since we both went through a divorce almost 8 years ago.
When Carolyn asked me to write this letter she requested I provide you with some facts on my observations on how MS has had an impact on her life over the past 17 years. As I look back at the years a number of examples come to mind. As part of my letter I included a few examples:
During the early years of our friendship we frequently enjoyed camping together as families. The vacations were active adventures that always included daily hikes. Carolyn was always an active participant on these outings and we found ourselves continually busy from sunup to sundown. Unfortunately as the children grew up Carolyn's health began to limit her participation in our outings. She would begin to hike shorter distances and then return to camp and sometimes would stay behind all together. These changes appeared to be gradual until eventually we noticed that her balance was impacting her ability to participate safely, so she would wait in camp for our return.
For the past 10 years I have watched her struggle with her personal balance and standing stability. At first I would watch, as she would tightly grasp handrails to safely descend stairs. Over the past 5 years she has required the use of walking supports and frequently requires the assistance of another to safely use stairs.
For the past 8 years I have watched a steady decline in her abilities to walk even short distances without becoming fatigued, overheated and exhausted. Our shopping trips to the mall are an activity of the past. Even visiting one store is an activity that must be planned and requires a nap or period of rest before she embarks on even the simplest trip.
About 2.5 years ago I discussed with Carolyn the need to live in a home with wheelchair access. Two years ago she purchased her current single level home in Wilsonville. Moving was an exhaustive process for her and required the support of many friends to get her packed and settled. It has become apparent since her move that she was fortunate to relocate when she did, as we have seen over the past 2 years an accelerated deterioration in her overall health.
As a close friend there are times we have tried to see the humor of her disease. One consequence of the progression of her MS is that she is always hot and overheated. There is many a time I transport her by car in mild weather and we are driving with the air conditioner on. As the driver I’m wearing a sweater and freezing and she is sitting next to me fanning her face and complaining about the heat.
I would describe Carolyn’s career of one that required long hours, high pressure and the ability to respond to an employment crisis at any hour of the day. Over the past 10 years I have watched as she has rapidly deteriorated from 70-hour weeks to no longer being able to work.
I could go on and on by providing you examples on how I have seen Carolyn’s health deteriorate over the 17 years I have known her. It is safe to say that the progression of MS has dramatically increased in the past 7 years to the point she spends most of her days at home. The weekends are a time for sleep and rest for her. Each Sunday I pick her up and transport her to church, after services I drop her back home for a much-needed nap, as the outing has exhausted her. I remember about 4 years ago when she took a vacation that required her to fly, she was unable to get to her connecting flight in time because they were unable to find a wheelchair, this experience made her realize that vacationing was probably an experience of her past.
Should you have any additional questions or wish to contact me directly, you may reach me during business hours at XXX-XXX-XXXX.