VR Helps Patricia Seabury Find Second Career

patricia seabury photo

Pinellas County, FL – Patricia Seabury had a successful career as an archeologist and once found the remnants of a ship while participating in a dig along a riverbank in New York, before cancer threw her a curve. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph tissue. After going through treatment, she was accepted for social security disability insurance, but Patricia wanted to go back to work. Now, with help from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Patricia works part-time as the social media administrator for Groovy Cats & Dogs, a Holistic Pet shop in Tampa.

As part of her new responsibilities, Patricia updates the business website with information and product selection for online purchasing. She also developed electronic methods for tracking store inventory, purchasing, and monitoring their products.

Patricia was afraid at first to take the job because of her old, outdated computer. She thought that it would prevent her from being able to accomplish her employer’s goals. But then she met VR Counselor AnnaMarie Grandmont and together they came up with a plan for Patricia’s employment.

Through VR services, Patricia received counseling and guidance and a new computer that helps make her job easy to manage. “I was so humbled by it,” she says. “I didn’t think these kinds of resources were available. This really enabled me to take this job and do the work.”

Patricia has branched out and now she writes a helpful hints blog where she covers topics like keeping your cats safe during Halloween and tips for evacuating your pets during hurricanes. She plans to work until she is at least 70, if she can stay healthy. “I’m just appreciative of the work. It’s not as taxing as my permanent job was and I think it’s interesting,” she says.

Patricia has said that one of the best things that came out of her cancer was finding VR. “The compassion from Anna Marie was wonderful. She really knows what she is doing,” Patricia says. “It’s been four years since I was diagnosed and it’s the biggest change of my life, but it’s turning out to be very positive and I give a lot of credit to VR for that.”

AnnaMarie is proud of Patricia and how far she’s come. “Patricia was very pleased that VR was able to help her find work and increased independence,” AnnaMarie says. “She was definitely one of the most motivated VR customer’s I have ever met. She is someone who spreads joy regardless of her circumstances, and it was a pleasure to work with her.”

Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of America’s workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 80 offices across Florida, and last year helped 6,071 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.