Give back 2 John

**UPDATE** 03/10/2018**
Mayo Clinic has accepted a payment of $21,000 instead of the original amount owed! This leaves John with enough left over for physical therapy and follow up. Thank you all for your immense kindness and loving generosity! John and his family are truly thankful for the blessing that you have all been to them. THANK YOU!!!

01/24/18 Update: Featured on TV at KWWL NBC Iowa 7!

01/06/18 Update: Featured on TV at KGAN CBS Iowa 2!

01/02/18 Update: Featured in the Cedar Rapids Gazette!

01/04/18 Update: Featured on the Steve Deace Show!

This unique Go Fund Me is for my Uncle, John Janke, a man who accepted the daunting challenge of adopting three precious children in his fifties. He is currently the pastor of Northbrook Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Seven years ago, my Uncle John and Aunt Terri were approached by their two daughters about the possibility of adopting three siblings, aged 1, 2, and 11. My uncle was 50. Their daughters were adults.

In 2002 John became the pastor of a small church in a rural farming community in Tama, Iowa. He would spend the next 12 years there.

It was during this tenure in Iowa (2010) that Rachel and Alicia approached John about adopting the three children.  J (11) was about to be split up from his two sisters T (2) and L (1).  After the parents’ rights were terminated, the foster family wanted the girls, but not J.  This meant that J would lose his home, his mom, and his siblings.  To John and Terri, it seemed so wrong that anyone, especially a child, should walk through life totally alone.  They asked themselves, "Why not us?"

And so, John became the happy father of five children.

His three youngest children came from a home that was extremely unsafe for them.  This situation left them suffering with serious physical and mental health problems.

At John's age, dealing with the physical product of these children's mental health issues-- in addition to having two of his children in diapers-- took a huge toll on his body. 

In the spring of 2015, John was diagnosed with two ruptured lumbar discs and two bulging lumbar discs. Because of the severity of the damage, he underwent surgery. 

The surgery was successful, but the problem remained. Two years later (2017) doctors found that the lowest lumbar vertebra was cracked in two places, allowing it to slide out of position. Additionally, the disc material was mostly gone, creating bone on bone trauma. Because of the complexity of the diagnosis, John’s primary doctor referred him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. It was decided that the only viable option was a complicated spinal fusion. 

But there was just one problem—out of network.

These three cringe-worthy words have led me to tell the story of John—a story of love, pain, and recovery. The surgery was performed just a few weeks ago at the Mayo Clinic.

As John sits at home recovering, he faces a lifetime of debt. John's Affordable Care Act Insurance Plan covered only a portion of his health bills, but left John and Terri with a substantial balance. Between surgery, physical therapy, and other costs, John's debt load will be close to $60,000-$70,000.   

So, why should you help? Everyone is in need. But John’s story is, as I said before, unique. He has devoted his life to helping others, even when it has been inconvenient and sometimes harmful to himself. He looks beyond his own pain and his own desires. John has shown the deepest love to all five of his children, and he has done it all without a thought for his own needs.

The Bible says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." (James 1:27, NIV)

My Uncle John has embodied these principles and is determined to pay for his own bills, even though it will take years to accomplish the task. The actions of my uncle’s life have moved me to tell his story and of his need for help. I simply ask that you consider giving back to a man who has given so much to others.

Thank you for taking the time to read and share John’s story and to consider how it might affect you.

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David-Allie Janke 
Troy, MI
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