‘I thank God I'm here, but it's not easy,' Pulse survivor says

Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in June are still a month away from receiving financial help from the OneOrlando Fund.

For Ilka Reyes, who was shot nine times, the money can’t come soon enough.

“I’m not a person that likes to ask for help. I like to do things myself,” Reyes said.

Reyes  has undergone five surgeries so far and will always carry bullet fragments in her body. She said she’s grateful to be alive. Three friends who went with her to Pulse with that night died.

“For me, it's so hard to believe that they're not here,” Reyes said.

Beyond the physical and emotional pain, Reyes and her parents are facing a struggle to simply make ends meet.

She often sleeps in a recliner or in bed with her mom while her dad sleeps on the floor, in a tiny apartment they share with other family members.

Reyes’ father had to leave his job at a local resort to become a full-time caretaker, the family said.

Reyes has applied for help from the OneOrlando fund, which has raised millions for the victims, but that money won't be distributed until October. Until then, she continues to rely on friends and strangers who've stepped up to help, and on her own strength.

“People see me here because I'm strong and I don't give up. I want to get better and be the person I was before,” Reyes said.

Reyes goes to physical therapy and she was told it could take up to six months for her to regain full use of her arm.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover some of the expenses until money comes in from the OneOrlando Fund.