Beth's Disability Help

Go Fund Me for Beth and Rich Axtman

 This is to help us with our livability and maintenance.

Beth is a retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant and retired multi-area laboratory technician in public medical laboratories.  I, Rich, am a retired middle school math and science teacher and life-long Boy Scout leader. We became disabled in 2006 and 2010 respectively. We are looking for assistance to help Beth with her functionality, mobility and safety by improving some areas of our home.  We moved in two years ago and have had repeated misfortunes  requiring  expenses repairs including a new furnace and AC, water softener, plumbing work and a new roof.   I have suffered from a return of my cancer, now in remission, and severe lymphedema requiring months of treatments followed by major surgery last winter.  Besides help with our bills we would like to put a fence around the back yard, so Beth can let Cinderella in and out easily.


Our problems began in 2006 when due to repetitive stress fractures and reconstruction surgery, Beth had to go on Social Security disability.  She kept working after that but many things became too hard to do.   In 2009 I had right and left shoulder surgery, then right knee surgery.  I no longer could teach in the high-stress middle school environment I was in, so I had to go on long-term disability.  In 2012 we discovered Beth had a larger meningioma in the right temporal area of her brain.  After surgery to remove it she began a long decline in functionality.  Beth had to quit driving in 2014. That fall I discovered that I had advanced prostate cancer.  In winter of 2013 I went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota for surgery.  In 2014 I had radiation therapy every day for two months.  This combination has caused me several physical problems including serious lymphedema requiring major surgery. I just had upper palate surgery for a large cyst above my front tooth. Next year I will get lymph node transplant and stint placement surgery to reduce my lymphedema swelling.


In 2014 we decided to move south to get Beth out of the cold, so we sold our house in Andover and moved to Phoenix.  Beth was fine but I became sick in the spring from the continuous 100+ degree days. We were able to break our lease and moved back to Minneapolis.  After renting for over two years we purchased our current home in Apple Valley, Minnesota. The financial loss from our moves was devastating but much worse has been Beth’s continued functional decline.  She had been a genius in the medical laboratory both in the local labs and hospitals as well as in the Air Force Reserves.  She had served for 21 years, including being called up for several months for Desert Storm. During that time I was home alone with our two children ages 6 and 8.  Beth has lost her ability to handle electronics, read, write, and to do most basic daily things.  Her greatest pleasures are to talk by phone to our children, to go with me and her sisters to the cabin, to sit with her dog, Cinderella, to go to movies, and to sit on the deck during nice weather.  In the evenings she enjoys sitting with me and Cinderella having a beer, watching TV.


Dan has since served for 8 years in the U.S. Army Infantry and did three tours in Afghanistan. He and his wife Deanna are currently living in Phoenix. We see our daughter, Rachael, more often.  She lives in Denver and works as an IT professional.


Any help we receive would first go to a back yard fence and other upgrades to the yard including a shed, followed by catching up on our bills and for indoor projects for Beth’s safety.  Besides the major appliances and roof replacement the past year I also have expanded the garden, removed many trees, and worked at upgrading our yard.  


Thank you very much for all of your support,


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Fundraising team: Air Force Friends (7)

Rich Axtman 
Raised $1,460 from 7 donations
Apple Valley, MN
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