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Bob Johnston and family

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Dear Friends,

I am writing to provide you with an update on a difficult situation affecting our colleague and friend, Bob Johnston, who is the Director of Franchise Development at Fibrenew. Bob's wife, Susie, who is nearly 70 years old, is currently recovering from a large benign brain tumor (meningioma) that was discovered, removed, and complicated by several factors.

On January 4th, 2023, Bob found Susie moaning and unresponsive on their bedroom floor after finishing a validation call. He called 911, and she was taken by ambulance to Aurora Medical Center of Washington County in Hartford, WI, where a CT scan revealed a mass in her head. She was then transported to Froedtert Hospital of Milwaukee, WI, where surgery was scheduled for the next day to remove the tumor.


The surgery was successful in removing the tumor, but it was challenging due to the number of blood vessels around it. Susie's brain was "angry" during the surgery, which caused a prolonged but full recovery period. After the surgery, Susie was on a ventilator for four days but was eventually able to talk a little and move both of her legs.


However, on January 12th, after being moved from the ICU to a regular room, Susie became lethargic, stopped talking, had minimal movement on her left side, and could not walk. This was due to swelling caused by the blood vessels around the tumor resection cavity, which prevented the brain from receiving oxygen effectively, leading to a small stroke. She also likely had a few seizures and developed pneumonia and multiple UTIs while in the ICU, which set back her progress.

On 2/16/2023, Susie was moved to Congregation Home in Brookfield, WI, but later that day, staff found her unresponsive and she was transported back to Froedtert Hospital, where a CT scan showed she had experienced another seizure. She was in the hospital for seven days, five of which were in the ICU, before returning to the rehab center. Although she is showing some improvements, such as clearer eyes, head nods, and occasional writing and talking, she cannot walk, go to the bathroom, or talk much.


Bob and his family are battling with Medicare, which has repeatedly denied coverage for Susie's rehabilitation, despite the estimated time needed being one year and the out-of-pocket payments at the facility costing $14K per month. The doctors cannot predict how much she will recover, including if she will ever walk again or if her speaking will become consistent or predictable.

Bob continues to work 8am-3pm every day, after which he goes to spend the evenings at the rehab center with Susie as “life would not feel normal without time with her.” Bob has expressed immense gratitude for his work at Fibrenew—working his leads allows him to do what he loves, work with candidates, to “clear his mind,” and to “come up for air.” They are supported by their three sons and their families, as well as by both Bob and Susie's extended families and their close friends. The situation has taken a significant emotional and financial toll on them and it's time for the franchise family we know and love to step in and show our love and support!

BrandONE, where Bob is well known and respected, has unanimously voted to champion the fundraising efforts. However, we need your help to make an even bigger impact.

We have reached out and received approval to run this fundraiser through various consultant groups who will feed it into their consultants. There is a potential $168,000 in uncovered fees on an annualized basis, and our goal is to make a dent in that. Let's keep Bob focused on what matters most, healing.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time... let's show Bob how amazing this franchise family is!

UPDATE: I am writing with an update about Susan (“Susie”) Johnston, the wife of our colleague and friend, Bob Johnston, Director of Franchise Development at Fibrenew. After 8 months, Susie remains in a nursing and rehabilitation facility that provides the maximum level of care available. If you recall, Susie has been battling and recovering from a brain tumor since January 2023. The benign tumor, prior to removal, grew so big (the size of a tennis ball) off the base of the skull that it actually grew up in between the brain’s two frontal lobes. Due to its size and location, it put pressure on areas of the brain that are responsible for “executive functions.” For Susie, the executive functions that were affected were mostly the brain’s ability to initiate moving, thinking, and talking.
Bob and Susie’s niece, who is a Neuropsychologist, explains that over these past 7-8 months, even though Susie could hear and see what was going on around her, she could not will her body to move, her mouth to talk, or her heart to feel. This inaction was not because she did not want to, but it was like the starter to her engine did not spark or fire.
However, after 8 months, the Johnston family celebrates that this engine finally, miraculously started. As of recently, and quite suddenly, Sue began to talk, engage in social media, and move more; however, she continues to have a hard time with initiating her own thoughts and ideas, her own movements and self care.
Bob and his family acknowledge the remaining challenges are significant. Susie is receiving substantial therapy for walking and use of her arm from the stroke on her right side. With much assistance, she is now able to take 7-8 assisted steps at the parallel bars and is beginning to learn again how to stand up so she can use a walker to transfer to and from her wheelchair. It is anticipated that she will be in the facility for another 6-9 months. With Medicare having run out after 100 days, the expenses continue to be a struggle for Bob and his family, particularly the $14,000 monthly facility fee and additional expenses for transportation to the hospital and other appointments.
Bob and his family extend their gratitude for the financial, emotional, and spiritual support they receive. With the continued challenges, they appreciate the continuation of this support. Most of all, they praise God for the miracle that is Susie’s progress and the community of people who rally around to keep her moving forward.
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Donations 

  • Phyllis Pieri
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Eric Martin
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Kevin Drudge
    • $1,000 
    • 10 mos
  • Steve Belko
    • $250 
    • 10 mos
  • Derrick Skogsberg
    • $1,500 
    • 10 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Alexandria Warren
Organizer
Simpsonville, SC
Robert Johnston
Beneficiary

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