This Hooper Hick Needs Help

Last year I hit 50, and it hit back with a crowbar. In January I had my right hip replaced, this relieved the chronic pain I had been suffering for several years. It also had the strange side effect of taking away my desire, taste, and tolerance for alcohol. A huge step forward in improving my health. In March I had surgery to remove cancer from my foot. I remain cancer free. I returned to work thinking the worst was behind me. The medical bills were rising, but I had a good job and was managing the debt. In July I had to have my left leg amputated below the knee. In 2006 I had to have all the toes removed from that foot due to an infection. I have severe peripheral neuropathy, which means I've lost all feeling in the nerves from my knees down. This was the result of a known side effect of an HIV drug that I took 25 years ago. I knew the risk, but the alternative was almost certain death. I realize we're all going to die. For me this was driven home in 1989 when I tested positive for HIV and was given 6-12 months to live. I'm still here and still plugging along. Like everyone else, my life has been a series of ups and downs. Until last fall when I went over a cliff. The 3 surgeries had taken a toll on my body. I knew I would recover. The medical bills and extra expenses incurred had taken me almost to the breaking point. Depression and anxiety had overwhelmed me. I had been out of work on leave so long that I encountered the reduction of pay to 60%. This accelerated the debt issues. My long term disability benefits expired in October. I arranged with my direct manager to return to work and use my vacation time to prepare myself for the return to work. At the time it was difficult for me to sit in a desk chair for any length of time. Unfortunately, even though HR had initially signed off on the agreement, they decided that even though it was a documented benefit that I was entitled to, they determined that it was a North American benefit, but didn't apply to the U.S. employment contract I had signed with them. I was given the options to terminate or go on a mandatory 90 day leave without pay. I was desperate and floundering. The grip of depression and anxiety physically shut me down each time I tried to reach out for help. I'm finally getting past the shock and denial of what transpired last year. I've engaged an attorney, I'm working with the bank on a loan modification, I've found two sources of income that allow me flexibility in my schedule so I can make money and still keep up with the seemingly endless Doctor visits. I've cut all the expenses that I can. My Miata (a gift to myself for my 50th birthday) has been returned. My wheelchair accessible van was repossessed. I now lease a car through UBER. I'm excited to get all of this behind me and continue moving forward. This is where I need help. I need to raise money to cover my insurance premiums so I can get my health insurance reinstated. Once that happens my medical bills, including prescriptions, will be covered at 100% for the rest of the year. I also need to cover the legal fees, including the filing fees, for my bankruptcy. I never thought I'd be here, but I am. Why now? I've got to move past the denial and get on top of this. I'm now out of my HIV meds and the cost to refill them is about $2700/month. I also need to get a new mold for my prosthetic. The stump continues to reshape itself as expected, but the result is that new molds are required every few months until it's done. A couple of childhood friends have reached out to help give me the push I needed to get over my pride and ask for help. Thank you for reading my story and for any assistance you can provide to help me reach my goal so I can get the past behind me and focus on this new chapter of my life.

Donations

  • Leena Shah 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 46 mos
  • karen Delquadro 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Jane Briggs 
    • $50 
    • 46 mos
  • Michael Jordan 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
See all

Organizer

Dale Briggs 
Organizer
Sanford, FL
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