You are probably aware that Regina Turner (Leo Najar's widow) was diagnosed with brain cancer in February. She has two malignant brain tumors: one in the left frontal lobe and one on the brainstem. Surgery was performed on the tumor in the frontal lobe to biopsy it and determine the best form of treatment. The inoperable tumor on her brainstem remains, but she has been undergoing chemotherapy and daily radiation to treat both tumors.
Her oncologists will perform a CT scan 30 days after treatment ends"”the earliest date to determine if there has been shrinkage of the tumors. Her radiation treatment concludes this week. She is very compromised and needs assistance, monitoring, and physical therapy to regain enough strength to live independently in her own home.
Her insurance is no longer paying for skilled nursing care, and medical bills are arriving daily. She is not yet eligible for social security disability, and her disability income does not cover even her daily living expenses.
Because of the needs listed above, she is currently at Brookdale, an assisted living facility, on Pine Road in Bay City. She will stay there until May 17. The cost is $4,100 per month with nothing covered by insurance. She has just enough money to cover the charges through mid May, and we have learned that she has a $2500 deductible on physical therapy before Blue Cross Blue Shield will pick up the charges.
Since Regina has been sick, there has not been a house payment made, but a portion of the utilities are being paid, since her daughter Kathryn has been staying there while taking care of her mother. Regina has not been made aware of the financial situation, since her focus needs to be on recovery.
Anyone who knows Regina and Leo also knows the tragedies that have fallen on this family. After Leo died in May 2011 Regina not only grieved his loss, she was left without life insurance, with significant inherited debt, and she had to adjust to living on one income. Cancer was surely not on her radar.
We believe that we must take the following actions:
1. Raise immediate cash to pay for Regina's care and related expenses over the next 30-60 days.
2. Engage a few key local experts (i.e. legal, financial planning, housing, social services) to help Regina and Kathryn develop a financial plan for Regina's future.
3. Help Regina make her home a safe environment; for example, structural modifications such as a ramp to her front door, etc.
Regina will not ask for money. We must do this for her. We can hold a fundraiser, we can pass the hat at meetings, and we can personally ask for individual donations. We want to do whatever we can to make this happen.
It is our hope and prayer that between Rotary, Bijou acquaintances, her employer, Bay Concert Band, her friends, and her church, we can raise enough money to ensure she has a chance of making it through this difficult time. People like Regina really do fall through the gaps in the public safety net. Kathryn has had to return home to Nashville, and Regina's son is a Marine stationed in Okinawa. That leaves only her friends to help.
So many of you have asked how you could help; this is how you can. At the very minimum we need donations to keep Regina in safe care at Brookdale and then at her home. If you are able to make a donation of any amount, we have opened a bank account in her name. The mailing address is below. We will make certain that all funds go directly to paying for Regina's immediate care and personal expenses. If you can help in any other area of need (time, materials, fundraising, etc.) please please contact one of us.
Call or email any of us if you have questions. Together we can do this.
Sandy and Andy Rogers
Cindy and Bob Chadwick
Andreas and Tracy Teich
Jeffrey and Jeanne Weenink
Friends of Regina Turner
c/o Sandy Rogers
1111 N. Water Street
Bay City, MI. 48708
- Randall Williams
- Eric & Sue Kisch
- John Randolph
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