Source: Fox 4 Screenshot
Contributed to TLB by: Health Impact News and Medical Kidnap
On August 27, Missouri teenager Isaiah Rider will reach that magical age when he is supposed to be free to make his own decisions and be in control of his own life. But a recent phone call from a social worker threatens to devastate those dreams. The Missouri social worker told his foster mother to let Isaiah and his mother Michelle Rider know that the Illinois caseworker said that Illinois DCFS was “most likely” not going to release him on his 18th birthday.
Isaiah is not happy. He doesn’t understand how they can do this to him.
“I don’t think there IS a reason. I’m not incompetent. I just don’t have a car!”
There is no question about Isaiah’s mental competency, nor has there ever been. He ended up in the custody of a state he only visited once, because Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago called DCFS to seize custody of him, accusing his mother of somehow causing his medical problems. He and his mother have been fighting for his freedom ever since that horrible day 16 months ago.
They have been hoping that his 18th birthday would be the day that he would be set free. Now, it looks like those hopes may be dashed.
Michelle Rider reports that the reason that they were given for DCFS extending their case is the fact that the family has a pending appeal of the case, filed in April. The state supposedly has 3 weeks to reply to a brief filed in early July, but the state of Illinois has filed for yet another extension. This makes more than 25 extensions that Illinois has filed for over the course of this case. This makes no sense to Michelle, and sounds like more excuses to her.
A spokesperson for DCFS told Fox 4 News in Kansas City that they are considered a foster child’s “parents” even after they turn 18. Isaiah already has a mom that he loves very much, and he has made it clear that he doesn’t want or need “parenting” by a state that he only visited once for surgery.
There is one more court date on August 20, a week before Isaiah’s 18th birthday. Michelle reports that a social worker told her that, if she wanted to have more than the current 4 hours of visitation that she is permitted with her son, she would need to file for more visitation time at the August 20 hearing, making it clear that Isaiah will not be free to spend time with his mother at will, even after he turns 18. His mother was never charged with any crime.
Isaiah – This Isn’t Cuba!
In a recent conversation with Medical Kidnap, Isaiah expressed his frustration at what he sees as tyranny by Illinois DCFS.
They can’t control me. THIS IS AMERICA! I’m not in Cuba!
Motivation – Money?
The Riders believe the ultimate motivation is money – when a child becomes a ward of the state, federal money flows to the state. Children with rare medical conditions, such as Isaiah’s neurofibromatosis, may be worth huge sums of money to pharmaceutical companies and research doctors, because wards of the state may legally be entered into drug trials and medical research without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
DCFS Tries to Bribe Isaiah to Voluntarily Remain a Prisoner for “Free Money”
Michelle reports an incident that seems pretty bizarre to her. Last month, Illinois DCF flew a representative to meet with Isaiah in Missouri. Isaiah says that he immediately felt a bond with the young man, because he spent 20 years inside the DCFS system as a foster child. Apparently, that bond was a calculated move by DCFS. The representative allegedly told Isaiah that he could get “free money” if he would voluntarily stay in the system and “continue services,” to the tune of about $500 per month.
Medically Kidnapped teen Elissa Maple reported similar offers made to her before she turned 18.
Like Elissa, the lure of taxpayer money at the expense of his freedom does not appeal to Isaiah. He believes that the cost is too high. When Isaiah refused the offer to voluntarily commit himself to the DCFS system, the representative reportedly said that he was disappointed. He said that he was a personal friend of the director of DCFS, and the director would be “disappointed” that Isaiah didn’t want to “take advantage of the free money.”
DCFS Director Said He Listens to the Kids
According to the Chicago Tribune, the new DCFS acting director George Sheldon, formerly of Florida, says that his strength in heading the department is “listening.” Christina Spudeas, executive director of Florida’s Children First, says this about director Sheldon:
“He listens to the kids. He knows the value of their voices.”
Isaiah Wants DCFS to Listen to Him Now
Isaiah is speaking now, to director Sheldon, and anyone else who will listen. He doesn’t want their “free money.” The cost of his freedom is not worth it. Listen to his voice:
What I want to do, what I want when I turn 18, is to live my life. Go to school. Get good grades. Being 18 is about speaking your voice and being free. That is when it is time.
My mom has done nothing wrong. There are so many other people out there who need help. Why are they picking on us?
Isaiah and his mom are still very close, despite DCFS. Source: Team Isaiah Facebook page
Isaiah has long expressed a desire to change the world. All the injustice that happens to him only solidifies his desire to make a difference. He says that what has happened to him has changed him, and he doesn’t think like a typical 17 year old. He says that he wants to go into the medical field and make a difference.
It’s funny how the people who have been hurt the most are the ones who want to help people. I HAVE to make a difference.
I want to let people know that I’m not afraid. I’m going to speak up. I’m not a kid. I’m a young adult. They can’t tell me what to do.
Isaiah has released new videos, to speak out about the injustice that is happening to his family.
Breaking: The Newest Video
Isaiah Writes From His Heart
After spending time talking with a friend in a similar situation, a young lady suffering from a painful medical condition who was also in foster care, Isaiah wrote this heartfelt letter:
Why do young people have to go through so much pain? Children are supposed to be safe, have a good lives, and have everything they deserve, but for some reason there’s some kids who just go through unimaginable pain. It’s just horrible how some hospitals don’t know how to help the kids in pain. It’s so hard to be young and wake up every morning in pain. That’s what these doctors have to understand. They wake up and get in their nice cars and just be doctor for a day.
I’m not saying all doctors are evil or bad, but there are doctors who will do anything, and I mean anything, to protect their job, even if that means letting other parents’ kids suffer, screaming, crying and even shaking in pain. Doctors need to be in the parents’ eyes and watch these children scream in pain, so they can feel what every loving parents feels when their child is suffering. Waking up every day in pain is miserable. It’s just like, “what did I do to deserve this?” “I’m just a kid.”
Someday I will make a change for all the children. Nobody deserves to grow up going through pain and getting literally thousands of mess pumped into them. Then, when the medicine doesn’t work or even relieve pain, they blame the family because they want to protect themselves and don’t have have mistakes recorded. Everyone is human – we all make mistakes. But that doesn’t mean you have to hide your mistakes and let families suffer.
There’s needs to be a change in this world.
Isaiah Says His Guardian Ad Litem Does Not Represent His Best Interests
Isaiah has reported several times that he has attempted to fire his Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), but she just won’t leave. She allegedly told Isaiah in a recent phone call that she was going to oppose Isaiah’s mother in the appeal. Isaiah told her, “No.” Boone reportedly began yelling at Isaiah’s grandparents over the phone, saying that she represents Isaiah. Isaiah’s grandmother told her:
“You don’t represent anyone in my family!”
This case has been going on for 16 months. Michelle wants to know:
“Is this EVER going to end? I just don’t know!”
Numerous Violations of the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights
On Wednesday, State Senator Steve Stadelman’s bill – the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights – was signed into law, which outlines rights of those held within the DCFS system. However, the Riders would argue that many of the rights, while good, have been repeatedly violated in Isaiah’s case.
- To be free from physical, sexual, emotional, or other abuse, or corporal punishment – It was while Isaiah was in a Chicago foster home that he was raped, and had guns and knives drawn on him. He has stated repeatedly that, though his mother has never abused him, he has suffered a great deal of emotional abuse and trauma at the hands of DCFS and Lurie Children’s Hospital. It was very traumatic for him to be forbidden to see his mom while he was in a great deal of pain and sickness in a hospital 10 hours drive away from home.
- To receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services – DCFS has allegedly repeatedly denied permission for medical treatment for Isaiah. Part of the reason for DCFS involvement in the first place was the Riders’ frustration that Lurie Children’s Hospital wasn’t actually helping Isaiah with his pain. After they told Michelle that there was nothing else they could do, Michelle sought a second opinion, trying to find real medical help for him. DCFS has repeatedly stood in the Riders’ way when they have sought medical services that would help him.
- To attend court hearings and speak with the judge – Isaiah was repeatedly prevented by DCFS from attending court hearings and speaking with the judge, despite his numerous requests to do so.
Isaiah Needs YOUR Help
Isaiah is not free to live his life as he wants, and if the Illinois DCFS has their way, he will still not be free when he turns 18. In his own state of Missouri, he was legally an adult at age 17, but Illinois retained custody of him. He needs your help. The Facebook page Team Isaiah is a place to get involved with supporters to fight for Isaiah’s freedom.
Supporters are asking for everyone to share his story, with the media, with politicians, and even with Presidential candidates.
According to Michelle Rider, “the elected officials in Illinois have refused to do anything.” Michelle says that she recently posted on Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Facebook page, linking to an article about Isaiah:
“Straight from Obama’s State, He was made aware and did nothing. Will you please help stop this nightmare, that is taking place right here in the United States of America?”
From the Team Isaiah Facebook page