He was a wonderful husband, father, son and friend. He served his country in the US Coast Guard for as long as he was able before being honorably discharged due to medical disability. He was proud to be a veteran.
After he became medically disabled with Crohn's disease , he spent his time pursuing skills to support and provide for his family on his fixed income. An avid gardener, fisherman, hunter and craftsman, the Bondo family home is filled with his pottery, woodworking, and home improvements done with his own hands. Even though it was often difficult for him to do.
His wife Jena worked outside of the home to support their family, until she had to leave the workforce due to a multiple degenerative disease diagnosis, therefore she also became medically disabled.
They then worked side by side until Stephens first initial cancer diagnosis, and they went into battle mode together.
Stephens cancer was relentless, and most of the time anything that could go wrong did. To the point of his doctors and nurses giving it the nickname "the Bondo factor". But fought he did, and he fought hard.
Stephen left a legacy of giving of himself. His time, skills and resources were freely gifted to others in need. His wife and daughters carry on that legacy, and do it with beauty, strength and grace.
But now the Bondo girls need the help of others, help that they are to modest and humble to ask for themselves.
Stephen did not have life insurance as he was uninsurable long before his cancer diagnosis. The VA covered most of Stephens medical care, and the family has not had to worry about this cost. With the exception of alternative care; primarily naturopathy and hospice they carry minimal debts to this but there are debts. There are funeral expenses, and half finished home projects they were attempting to complete until quite literally the night before he died.
With Jena unable to work, they will rely on her sole disability check to support herself and her girls. It could take 6 months to 1 year for her to receive any assistance from the VA as a veterans wife, and that would not even come close to replacing Stephen's income.
A mere five days after Stephen passed away, daughter Abi went into surgery to remove 3 potentially cancerous nodules growing on her thyroid. Thankfully the biopsy results just came back negative! However, due to surgery complications her medical costs are estimated to be upwards of $30,000 that Jena will have to put on a payment plan.
They do not have dental or vision, and pay out of pocket for braces for the youngest 2 girls and daughter Avery's hearing aid(s) as she is deaf in one ear. There has been no respite for this family financially as uncontrollable medical circumstances hit them again and again over the years.
We have set a minimum goal of 200k to cover their medical debts and funeral expenses, get them all into the optometrist and dentist and support Abi with her current medical needs. We want to finish the immediate needs of the family home that Stephen did his best to have completed before his passing, but ended up ultimately neglected when his health drastically declined. This includes replacing damaged flooring, and putting flooringwhere there is none and subfloor is exposed. The electrical panel needs to be replaced along with the HVAC, and if the old fireplace is a fire hazard, it will need to be removed.
To his family he was superman. He fought to the very end of his days to be here for his beautiful wife Jena and their four daughters. He was generous, passionate, kind and appreciated a job well done.
Please help honor his memory with the support of his wife and daughters!
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