Pride is a fickle friend. On one hand it helps you to stand by yourself, take responsibility and be a pillar of strength for those that need you. On the other hand, it can stop you from reaching out and asking for help or admit when you’re not as strong as you have been. Allen Kugel, our father, husband, uncle, brother, cousin and friend has been one such pillar in our family. Al has been the sole income provider for our mother Roxanne as she has been battling Hashimoto’s Disease coupled with fibromyalgia and chronic pain for the last 14 years. Due to excessive and constant physical pain, Roxanne has not been able to secure work for insurance and has not been approved for disability since she has been out of work too long. Al works in the construction industry in the twin cities and every Spring to Fall, him and Roxanne save the money he makes during the season and spread it out over the course of winter back at their home in Jeffers (3 hours away) until Al can go back to work the following summer. They are mindful of Roxanne’s treatments and medications to manage her pain all come out of their pocket and that over the winter time while he is laid off, his employer paid insurance will turn to self paid, making budgeting crucial and any slight deviation could be catastrophic. This works year after year, but this year and next, it won’t.
Two weeks before my wedding in September, my father was diagnosed with Stage Four Colon Cancer. The cancer was also found in his liver and there is spotting in his lungs. We are thankful he has just successfully finished his first round of chemotherapy, a grueling 8 weeks that has dwindled his appearance but not his spirit. In the beginning of December he will go in for surgery on his liver. Once his body recovers from this surgery, which will take longer than normal due to the chemotherapy treatment he will battle with another round of chemotherapy along with radiation treatments. A colon surgery will be scheduled after he successfully completes those therapies. Another round of chemotherapy will follow and the final blow to this cancer is a final surgery on his colon. Al, will be fighting his cancer battle for the next 8 months if all goes to plan, this means he won’t be able to return to work next year. It’s a long journey and a tough road ahead, one that requires Al to be as stress free and as positive as he can and to have a team of “warriors” beside him.
This is where we come in, we are asking for financial contributions as we know the stress on our dad and mom is immense. That is why we are setting up this go fund me for them, we want them to focus on beating this cancer rather than worrying about how they are going to pay for it as well as pay for my mother’s monthly medical expenses. With the cost of my dads treatments they need help to cover both his insurance premiums, deductibles for both this year and next and the 20% copays. Another need they have is to cover an increase in their living expenses while Dad is going through treatment. His insurance network is based out of the twin cities which is a six hour round trip for them, they will need to find temporary housing in addition to their normal mortgage.
With the holiday season among us, we hope you will join us with Al in our fight against this cancer. Any contribution helps immensely and if you are unable to give, we ask that you keep Al and our family in your thoughts, that his treatments work as planned, because there isn’t a Stage Five. Also we strongly encourage that if you are reading this that you share this page so it may come across as many people as possible. My father says, “The financial part is going to be the hardest part of my fight. Besides that aspect, it's an easy decision, you do it for the love you have for your family and the realization that you have only shared 28 years of marriage with your wife and really want to go for that big 50 year anniversary.” We are casting our pride aside and asking you for help this Holiday Season, whether it’s monetary, thoughts/prayers or sharing this page to others who may be able to help. We wish you all a Happy Holiday season to you and yours.