Ngozi Tabbs


When Ngozi Tabbs learned more than three years ago that she had multiple sclerosis (MS), the diagnosis was difficult to process. As a social worker assisting people in Washington, DC, living with mental illness and homelessness, Ngozi (pronounced “Ann-ga-zee”) was a fierce and compassionate advocate for the people she worked with, and now had to advocate for herself as she navigated a new chapter in her life.

But for Ngozi, who put herself through college for both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as a single mom, “no” or “can’t” was not an option. She was determined to get the expensive equipment she needed.

When the stairs in her southern Maryland home became difficult to use and she experienced several falls, Ngozi looked for funding to install a stair lift in her home for more than two years. After the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) pledged $1,500, Ngozi applied for an Eric Fund grant for the remainder of the more than $9,000 still needed for the stair lift. Due to extra funds raised the year prior, The Eric Fund board approved additional funding for Ngozi, with the remainder raised by the generous donors at The Eric Fund 20th Anniversary celebration in September, which Ngozi attended with her daughter.

Thanks to the generosity of The Eric Fund and its supporters in partnership with NMSS, Ngozi’s stair lift is completely funded. Her custom stair lift is being manufactured and will be installed soon. “I’m just so excited to get the equipment needed to assist me to keep me in my home,” she said.

2018Nate Nashawardee