We are so glad you are here to view our campaign page.
There are a number of reasons we are in the situation we are currently in. A number of challenging events have incrementally lead us to the point in our lives.
The following is a basic timeline.
- We bought our home in April of 2008, shortly before the housing bubble burst, decreasing its value. We tried to sell our house in 2013 and again in 2015. We did not receive any viable offers and decided to take it off the market and try again at another time. We have struggled to handle our monthly expenses for the following reasons:
- October, 2011: When I was 6 months pregnant, my husband was laid off from a job in advertising due to downsizing and wasn’t able to find work right away. When he did, freelancing was the only employment option at the time, which forced us to self-pay health insurance.
- January, 2012: I needed surgery following the birth of our son. The co-pay was $2500.
- May, 2012: Our five-month old son had an infected lymph node in his neck that required surgery and several nights stay in the Chicago Children’s Hospital. The bill from that episode was substantial and took us a long time to pay off. The Co-Pay was $12,000.
- December, 2012: The same thing happened to our son's lymph node again when he was 12 months old and required a very similar course of treatment. Again, the Co-pay amount was $12,000.
- October 2014: We started to notice that our son’s development was stalling so we had him tested through Early Intervention. He qualified for speech, occupational, and developmental therapy and was given the diagnosis of Global Developmental Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder.
- January, 2015: He aged out of early intervention at age three and his doctors recommended private, clinic based therapy, so we had to get insurance that would cover his expenses. This limited us to insurance plans with very high premiums ($950 a month) and a deductible of $3,000 for the family ($1,000 per member.) Causing us to fall another rung on the financial ladder. Because of our son’s special needs, I had to cut my weekly work hours from 30 plus hours to 10 in order to make certain that our son got the care and attention he needed.
- September 2016: Our son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which requires even more intensive therapy and therefore costs.
- January 2017: Our already expensive healthcare premiums with the same coverage as 2016 increased from $900 per month to $1,375 with a deductible of $9,000 for the family ($3,500 per family member.) I had to quit work entirely in order to manage our son’s care and transportation to and from pre-Kindergarten in the mornings and therapy in the afternoons.
-July 2017: We need to move out of the Chicago Public School system to a different school system, which will provide a quality special education for our son. My husband’s freelance work has been mostly consistent, but has had some lapses of unemployment between jobs. We consulted a realtor about listing the house again. She advised that we would have to pay closing costs and other fees - and would have a negative equity of at least $25,000. The current market value our home is worth less than what we owe on our mortgages. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to cover and cannot acquire them from friends or family members. We found ourselves with only one viable option, to short sale our home.
-July 2017: We settled on a short sale offer. If all goes through, it will be $100,000 less than what we bought the house for in 2008.
So, that's it in a nutshell. We don't want sympathy, or pity, we just ask that if you can spare any money - even it is a small amount - we would greatly appreciate any assistance. We looking forward to moving on and putting this unfortunate past behind us. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, The Steinwald Family
- Beatriz Douma
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