Cancer won't be the end of my story, our story

~~Who we are:

Allow me to preface this with the kind of people we have been. All our lives, we have tried to harm the fewest people, and do right by others. Often helping for the sake of doing so, but whenever that failed we try to do no harm. We also have learned to be fiercely independent. Relying on as few people whenever possible- often just ourselves. Asking for help is neither easy, nor something we like to do. However…things are getting beyond our ability to handle. My wife loves life and travel, even if we never could afford to go to extravagant places. She loves going outside and messing in the garden, and feeding the local wildlife. She loves photography, and loves taking pictures of all her critters that come to visit her gardens. It is a running joke that I live in a Disney film, with all the critters and birds about. She also loves pestering me for road trips, weekends off somewhere, and planning bigger trips when income tax money came along. Ultimately, we had planned on moving out west and starting over on the upper West coast somewhere.

~~Life changed in an instant:

My wife had been complaining of some pains a year ago, and we thought it was likely gallstones. It had gotten bad enough to see a doctor and see what the next steps were. Everything changed when the doctor realized it was not stones, it was cancer. All our plans and hopes for the future disappeared when the phrase “Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” was given. Our entire lives became about the moment, not the future. Over the last year, we found and obtained insurance. Made frequent trips to a hospital 90 minutes away, got a surgery, and then treatment. Even then, every step of the way was more devastating than the last. The cancer was larger than the doctor expected, the surgery more extensive. Stay in the hospital was more than anybody said it would be. Regular treatments would take more of my wife than was obviously comfortable. Still, we soldiered on and managed to persevere so far.

She has healed from the surgery, and the treatments are ongoing through November of 2022. Her life is no longer in danger, and for that I am thankful. However, the ongoing treatment has come to haunt us like so many others, and I am running out of options. The insurance is indeed taking the brunt of the costs, but copays, deductibles, and percentages are adding up. Our portion of the bills became 4-digits easily, and we ended up working with the hospital to make a payment situation. They make a withdrawal automatically from our bank account each month to make payments on the substantial bill. That was something we were prepared for to an extent, but the out of pocket amounts from insurance reset with the new year. In January, the bill at the hopspital tripled. Similar to a credit card, the bill is a portion of the total; the total raises, the bill raises. It has become more than my house payment, more than we can handle.

~~The call for help:

Here is the core of it. We need help. I’m hoping the aid of others can eliminate the bill for this year, so we can focus on her ongoing treatment, but any amount of easement will help. If we can even get the bill down to the manageable level it was at in December, that would be enough. Any and all aid you send will go toward the hospital bill, gas for trips to the hospital, and keeping the house afloat among medical crises. As said, we are fiercely independent. Asking for help is hard- but I am begging you. We would be grateful for all of your help.

  • Jennifer Wiant 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Jonathan West 
    • $5 
    • 1 mo
  • Jodi Presloid 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Debra Ackley 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • James McDonald 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
See all


Dana Brooks 
Punxsutawney, PA