Rally for Rhodee

 

 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Less than a year ago, Linneah Funk Gallant, an American Airlines flight attendant and a co-worker, sat with her year-old son on her lap and received the pediatric surgeon's diagnosis.  The bruised discoloration and swelling on Rhodee's chest was an indication of a tumor called a lymphangioma.  While normally not life threatening, as it usually occurs outside the body and is operable, little Rhodee's malformation of his lymphatic system was occurring inside his body cavity, was inoperable and was competing for space with his major organs, as he was growing.  It was, in effect, suffocating them.  It was affecting his heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus, carotid artery, blood vessels and nerves.  Fortunately, he was accepted as a patient by one of four specialists in the world who treats lymphangioma, with a treatment called sclerotherapy.

Unable to work during the following 9-month flurry of doctor's and specialists' appointments, and treatments, Linneah faced the all-too-common specter of the serious financial devastation of a major illness.  She was fortunate that she qualified to receive some assistance from one of her employer's assistance programs and received generous assistance from Wings Foundation, a non-profit run by flight attendants, for flight attendants, who find themselves in situations often much like Linneah's.  Her generous friends and co-workers also rallied around her, with two 10K runs and a huge garage sale. Nevertheless, Linneah wanted nothing more than to see her little boy heal and to be able to return to work and provide a living for herself and her boys.  Finally, as Rhodee seemed stabilized, and after a move to be closer to her support network and her job, she returned to work less than a month ago, in January, 2013. Unfortunately, in the last week, a familiar lump and bruise has reappeared on Rhodee's chest, indicating the necessity for more appointments and treatments.

Since returning to work, Linneah no longer qualifies for public insurance assistance and will re-qualify for insurance through her employer, American Airlines.  While being a single mother and raising two young sons is a daunting job, doing so in conjunction with a major illness is overwhelming.  It's a process of one step forward and two steps back, with the light at the end of her tunnel dimming, just as it had begun to shine brighter.

Linneah Gallant is incredibly stalwart and brave, and can pinch a penny and stretch a dollar as well as anyone I have ever known (I come from a long line of Midwestern peasant mentality and, therefore, know penny-pinching and dollar-stretching:I have an arsenal of "hot dish" recipes to prove it). However, hers is a stark reality.  While she can, no doubt, make a good enough living to pay the bare necessities of life for her little family (we won't talk about the astronomical fees for child care, here), the peripheral costs of major illness are what will break her bank, as it does that of so many in the same position.  Co-pays, deductibles, and charges above and beyond allowances, etc:these are the things of the major illness financial nightmare. Linneah and her family have a very long road ahead of them. What we would like to be able to do with this fund is to enable Linneah to have a little breathing space, to see a glimmer of light at the end of her tunnel, to carry on with a reasonable life and provide a reasonable living for her family, to help with those medical expenses which her meager income just cannot cover.  After all, at any given time, any one of us could be in this same position.

Contributions will be used to pay those medical expenses, above and beyond what insurance covers.  The amounts incurred by Rhodee's treatments are not inconsequential and insurance just doesn't cover them all.  If you can join us in our goal to help Linneah move forward, no matter the amount, it would be so very much appreciated.  If you can't, caring wishes, thoughts and prayer are equally appreciated.  As always, it truly takes a village.

Warmest regards,

Heidi Horan

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Organizer

Linneah Gallant 
Organizer
Euless, TX
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