Up until now I have braved this awful disease with determination, bravery and a lot of emotional support from friends and family. I did not, under any circumstances or at any point, surrender. But it's getting much more difficult to "push through" as the tumors are increasing in frequency and aggression. I have never asked for financial help but I'm afraid it has come to that. I need treatments that my insurance will not cover and there will be reconstructive surgeries down the road that will not be covered. The thought of asking for money from my friends and the public brings me to tears because I pride myself on being self sufficient.
My two children ages 14 and 17 have witnessed and helped me go through countless surgeries, daily radiation, and months at a time of recovery. Not only have they had to see me suffer and worry about my health, they have missed out on things like vacations we couldn't afford, school clothes that there wasn't any money for, sports/school events I couldn't attend because I was in hospital or home recovering. They deserve not to worry about the power getting shut off or losing our main source of transportation.
I have accomplished a lot since my diagnosis in 2007. While undergoing treatments, I have been raising two kids, I earned an Associates degree with honors and kept our home running as smoothly as possible while NEVER missing a due date on a bill. I'm proud of that. Mostly the degree... but I really didn't want to make any excuses even when people said "honey, don't worry about that right now!". So, I just figured it out. I took on a second (sometimes third) job, I cleaned houses, babysat, helped people organize their closets and whatever I could do to make sure I had enough to support us and put food on the table. But now, "figuring it out" is becoming extremely difficult as my savings has slipped away to nothing and I currently can barely walk let alone work. I thankfully have insurance- several kinds. However, as we all know, medical insurance does not pay for expenses incurred while sick. To make matters worse, Aflac insurance won't cover any of this. So, right now, this is my current situation;
I am physically unable to work- (I can't say I'm emotionally ready either).
I don't have disability coverage due to my "pre existing" condition.
I cannot collect unemployment as I am not "physically available for work"
Disability through social security has a 5 month waiting period- IF I get a favorable decision. I'm awaiting word any day but even with that, my benefit will be less than 800 dollars a month. That is just not enough.
The other thing is this. For the last 7 years I have been under the knife and under the radiation beam way too many times and the truth is, this is not getting any better. While I was in the hospital, I was lucky to experience for the first time "bio energy treatments" better known as Reiki. On my first treatment a calmness washed over me instantly and I know that this kind of "alternative" treatment would be very helpful for me along with others like acupuncture but it can be very expensive and not covered under my insurance. I am asking for help with the cost of some of these types of treatments as well as support with our living expenses so I don't have to stress about us becoming homeless while I fight for my life. I know that many hands make light work and if everyone I know can pitch in a little bit, and share this story with the people they know, it can really add up quickly. So whether your support is financial or otherwise, It will mean so much to us and you never know, it could save my life.
One more thing, I am currently gathering a group of friends who I will call "Team Crystal" and we are going to put together a few fundraisers like A really fun BUNCO night. If anyone has any ideas please share and/or would like to join send me your contact info :)
Thank you for reading about my story! :)
- Kristen Klassen
- Merran Gray
- B & C Klassen
- Becky Foote
- Kierstin Mohr
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