Many people will describe Ray and Bobbi Jean as two of the most kind, loving people they know.
Bobbi and Ray are both grad students at Northern Illinois University. It was there that they became "study buddies" in 2014. At first, Bobbi told him, "Ray, I will never date you." He continued to pursue her, and she fought with herself over her mixed feelings. Over the next several months, she could no longer deny that she had fallen for Ray. Their beautiful friendship grew into love. Ray and Bobbi were later engaged. They are now counting down the days until their wedding, just 3 short months away!
On Tuesday, February 16th, Ray was having chest pains and they went in to get it checked out. It was during the course of that very long day that the couple received the news no one wants to hear. Ray has been diagnosed with CML Leukemia.
Bobbi is no stranger to going through a cancer battle with those close to her. Here are her words on going through those trials:
"My sister and I lost my mom to cancer when we were little, but through that circumstance our eyes were opened to the gospel. I cannot proclaim enough how many times I look at that trial, in all its beautiful wrappings and see joy in the midst of the pain and sorrow because of how much we gained by receiving Jesus. My mom received ultimate healing—redemption, justification, and glorification.
Other trials have been more difficult to wrap and put on the shelf. As an adult, I watched my father battle cancer for three painful years. It feels like just yesterday I was lying next to him in his bed whispering in his ear “Dad, if you’re waiting for me to say goodbye, I’m not. I’m just going to say, ‘See you later.” Days later, God swept him into eternity." [To read this beautiful blog post in its entirety, please visit: https://jeanbobbi.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/neatly-wrapped-packages/
It is no doubt that God has placed Bobbi and Ray together for such a time as this. He has equipped them both with immense faith in Him and His plan for them as a couple.
Many have asked how they can help (beyond faithful prayer,) and I believe a fundraiser is a great way to do so. Their finances are one of their biggest fears at the moment, for a number of reasons:
-Ray will be responsible for at least $12,800 of this initial hospital visit before his insurance covers his expenses.
- Ray's co-pay from his ER visits will be $2,000.
-Bobbi and Ray have several part time jobs as grad students. The couple has had to take off work to be in the hospital. In the near future, they will have to evaluate when they will be able to return to work. This obviously results in a loss of income for rent, daily expenses, moving expenses, and wedding expenses.
- Ray is a very hard worker, and feels pressured to return to all of his jobs as soon as he can so he can relieve the financial pressure.
- They still have a little over $2,000 in wedding expenses to cover in order to be ready for their big day in May, which they were counting on using their incomes to do.
-Ray will be put on medicine that costs thousands of dollars and with the simple insurance he has, they are estimating that will be up to $1,000/month.
- They will have travel expenses to see the oncologist weekly for the forseeable future, and monthly for the rest of his life.
In Bobbi's words, they are "super awkward" about receiving gifts from people, but when this campaign was brought up, they both agreed that it would be an immense blessing that could ease many of their financial fears. Thank you in advance for your gifts of love.
-Tara Lynn Bayles, friend of Bobbi and Ray