"In April 2015, I was diagnosed with incurable Stage 4 colon cancer. I had planned to get life insurance when I turned 50, but the diagnosis came less than one month after my 50th birthday, and I had not yet done so. At the time, my wife Lori was 41, my daughter Madison was eight and my son Max was five. The cancer was discovered on April 4. Max turned six on April 7.
The doctors told me that they could prolong my life, but not get rid of the cancer. Since then, I've gone through 23 rounds of chemotherapy, over a dozen radiation treatments and six surgeries. I've basically exhausted my chemotherapy options. Due to the spread of the cancer, it seems likely that I am nearing the end. I am asking for your help for my wife and children. I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid for my family.
While Lori works, I have been our familys main breadwinner. We have some money saved and equity in our house, but, without depleting those funds, they will be unable to cover basic expenses: e.g., housing, child-care, auto expenses, etc., not to mention big ticket items like college.
I know that there are many in more dire circumstances. Yet, I am asking for your help. Lori and the children have already been through so much: watching the side-effects of Stage 4 cancer and the grueling treatments; visiting me at Sloan Kettering in New York; seeing me lose over twenty pounds, skeletal, barely able to walk, dealing with bowel obstructions, nausea, hair loss, broken ribs, etc. Watching me pass away will be difficult; and the future is filled with uncertainty. I will not be there to play ball with my kids, to help them through adolescence, to walk my daughter down the aisle when she gets married. My wife will not walk on the beach with me after we retire. My heart is heavy for them. I would give anything if I could wipe it away.
After I pass away, Lori's income will be approximately one-third of our combined income now. She is afraid she will be unable to pay the mortgage on her salary alone, or the costs of maintaining our house, and that they may have to move from the town in northern New Jersey where our children have spent their lives, where they have a community, support and friends. She is frightened that there will be no money for things many take for granted - after-school sports or vet bills for our dogs, for example. I am guilt-ridden about not securing life insurance before the diagnosis.
We do not anticipate any meaningful family support. Lori's family has provided virtually no assistance, financial or otherwise, since I was diagnosed, and has few assets. My parents both passed away a few years ago. I have received a small amount (about $8,000.00 before tax each year) from a trust they set up, but, ironically, even those payments will cease once I pass away. Other than that annual payment, my parents did not leave us anything- nothing for me, nothing for Lori and nothing for our children.
I cannot change the past, but I can try to help my family's future. That is why I am asking for your help. I have set a goal of $500,000. 100% of the money is to be used to off-set the expenses associated with raising our children, their education and basic living costs over the next ten to twelve years. I know the amount seems high; the reason is that it is meant to cover expenses spanning over a decade, and, as many of you know, these expenses can be quite high, particularly in the area where we live. As I mentioned, Lori will suffer a tremendous decline in her income after I pass away. She is terrified.
All funds received will be placed in a trust for the benefit of Max and Madison, to be used solely to help cover expenses associated with housing, education, extra-curricular activities (sports and music, for example), and basic living expenses. Your donations would do a tremendous amount to help to ease the anxiety and burden that we are facing. God bless all of you and thank you".
- Lisa Vintzel
- Robert Zeitlin
- Debra Alessi
- Randy Morgan
Organizer and beneficiary
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