One year ago, my brother-in-law Mike was a loving, hard-working machine helper at Arcelor-Mittal, a family man who wanted nothing more in life than a warm home, a good meal and the love of his family. When his twin brother was diagnosed, then died from cancer, he was devastated but carried on knowing he had a good life and a beautiful young daughter to raise. When a railing broke at the mill that spring, his back was broken, but not his spirit. Nine painful months of recuperation later, he finally returned to work. Then on January 1st, while coming home from a midnight shift during a snowy, wind-driven storm, Mike was hit head-on by an uninsured driver who crossed the center line. Mike was in critical condition for weeks. My sister's only prayer was for him to live. Her friends and family rallied around for weeks, bringing food, watching their daughter Emmy, taking care of their dogs. But as the weeks, then months have worn on, the reality has set in that the life they knew no longer exists. Mike was transferred to the Waters nursing home (in Chesterton) for rehabilitation, and instead of getting better, his condition has continued to deteriorate. This week, he had another spinal surgery to try and relieve pressure that could be the cause of the loss of feeling in his legs. Sadly, it did not provide any immediate relief but now has added to a loss of feeling and movement in one arm. At this point, he has not been able to spend one night in his home during 2014! While we know and greatly appreciate all who have continued to surround Mike, Ruth and Emmy in prayer, the time has come to address the reality of what needs to be done to get Mike home. We are asking for financial help. We truly believe in God's grace and believe there is a purpose behind this temporary setback and tremendous suffering. We believe with all our hearts that Mike will be able to return home sometime this summer, and we need to make his home accessible. This means building a ramp, widening two doorways, and making the main bathroom handicap accessible. At some point, they will also need a handicap accessible vehicle, but that is down the road and a bridge that will be crossed later. For years, Ruth, his wife, worked at St. Anthony's as their Emergency Room registrar. In this role, she comforted those in need, advocated for them when they were at their weakest, and made sure they received the care they needed regardless of who they were. Now someone needs to do that for her. I am advocating for her now, and asking you to consider offering her comfort, support and financial help when she has nowhere left to turn. The GoFUNDme site offers a means to get this message out and offers you the ability to make a donation via WePay. You can Google them if you want more information about the WePay site. It is similar to PayPal, but you don't need to setup an account to make a donation. All donations will be available for Mike and Ruth to use immediately and the hope is that we will be able to fund the changes needed to bring Emmy's dad home. Please consider this very worthy family in need and share this link with your family and friends. You never know whose lives will be touched by sharing their story.
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