I hope this post finds you well, generous and able to keep a secret from my wife for a short period of time :)
I recently asked Deanne, “If you could have anything for your birthday and money wasn’t an issue, what would you want?”
Her response was immediate, “to pay off my student loans.”
It may be surprising for you, but it wasn't for me. I was actually expecting it because we are living on one income in in Southern CA. The cost of living is intense with three kids and facing all the unexpected medical expenses and stresses related to Salems condition.
If you don't know about our journey with Salem just check out Deanne's Facebook page.
Here's a short update: on Wednesday we met with his geneticist for the results of his blood test that took place a couple months ago. Salem has a the 5q12 syndrome. According to our doctor only 10 others in medical literature have it. It means that on one copy of his 5th chromosome 40 genes are deleted. His short stature, low muscle tone, wandering eyes and develpmental delay all fit with this syndrome. Down the road it is expected that we could find that he has a delays in speech, droopy eyes, seizures, and autistic features as well.
The only thing to do for him is therapy. In our conversations with California Children's services we don't expect he will be accepted into their program because his syndrome isn't one of the categories they typically serve. We will certainly work to get this support so we can have free services but without them we will have to pay $240 per month for his and Ezra's therapies which are definitely essential. We've been feeling the pull of these costs already with the MANY appointments to figure out what's going on with Salem.
If you don't know about Ezra, he had a prenatal stroke that causes his right side to be weaker than his left, a mild form of cerebral palsy.
Despite these challenges, God is ever present us on this journey and has been shocking us with His faithfulness in the midst of all the challenges.
We have shared freely and have found that it has been totally worth it to be vulnerable. Whether sharing about it from the pulpit at church, in conversations or on social media the response has always been so supportive.
It is so special when people tell us they're praying for us out of the blue and to know that they haven't forgotten what's going on with us.
One touching phrase that we've heard numerous times but haven't known how to respond to is, "Let me know if I can do anything to help."
Partnering with me to help alleviate this burden would mean the world to Deanne and would certainly be a great help. So I'm putting this request out to family and friends knowing that you would want to support our family and show love to Deanne for her 30th birthday.
She has student loans because soon after she started graduate school we received a surprise gift we call Eden today. She resumed her studies just before Ezra was born and as she has felt called to stay home with our now three children she has found grad school and starting her career no longer fits. She wants to work someday but she feels her purpose right now is to pour everything into our three kids especially with the special needs that Salem has.
The price tag that we are looking at for Deanne’s loans is over $45,000.
I'm hoping that in this 30 day countdown to Deanne's 30th birthday on July 16 we can raise at least $30K. If we pass the goal we will absolutely apply anything above and beyond to the rest of her loans. Helping with her loans will make the monthly medical/therapy costs more bearable.
Would you pray over this request and conspire with me to bless Deanne with this beautiful surprise?
Please keep this top secret from Deanne. Share it but only through private messages.
Thank you for your consideration.
We'll be in touch.
God bless you all!
If you don't want to give through GoFundMe to save on their processing fee you could use my Google Wallet account with my email: [email redacted] or direct message me on Facebook (Nick Snell) for other ideas.