As you can imagine, the expense of traveling to and from Minneapolis at over 1250 miles round trip along with a high deductible & loss of income, expenses are surpassing our ability to survive. I have been able to use FMLA ( family medical leave ), but have depleted all of my paid accumulated leave & my income is significantly less than it would normally be with taking time to be with Joe at his appointments as needed.
On top of that, Joe was injured on the job in August of 2007 & suffered a TBI ( traumatic brain injury ) and several bulged and herniated discs in his neck and back. He suffers from nerve damage in his right side, which causes weakness in his arm and leg & a drop foot which makes it difficult for him to walk normally. He continues to experience temporary loss of function in his right side. This requires Joe have quarterly shots for pain management, but with all that he has been dealt, he continues to persevere & have faith in the Lord. He does his best to remain positive and is still a support system for others in need.
Joe has always been an active volunteer & the cancer has slowed him down or limited his ability to participate. He misses working with the groups he has enjoyed in the past. For over 25 years he has been active with RC&D ( Resource Conservation & Development Association ) at the local, state, regional & national levels. Joe has served several terms as President for the Western RC&D and still acts as Western delegate to the National RC&D board of directors. His proudest accomplishments include the development of a scholarship fund & acting as the sponsoring RC&D for the " Heifers for South Dakota " project, following winter storm Atlas.
Joe has been a donor of platelets & plasma since moving to Rapid City & has given 240+ donations of platelets and plasma for the United Blood Services. He has also served as a volunteer & chairman for Ducks Unlimited and also volunteers for several other chapters. Joe would give the shirt off his back to a neighbor, friend or complete stranger.
We are very grateful to the University of Minnesota Healthcare system and especially, Dr. Warlick who performed such a challenging surgery.
All funds received will be used to help us cover travel expenses, deductibles & medical expenses incurred over the time of diagnosis through future treatment.
We feel truly blessed to have family and friends who have offered up their support, thoughts and prayers. We want to extend our gratitude to anyone who can help us financially through this very difficult time in our lives. Thank you and God bless you all.
Please follow our journey on facebook or at www.gofundme.com
- Don Gerard
- Karla Ryno
- Marcia Murray
- Sharlene Chastain
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