Jan Wirth has worked as a dental assistant for decades, beginning her career working in a hospital emergency room doing dentistry on children suffering from injuries from car accidents and other tragic accidents. Later, she took a job working for a dental practice that served welfare patients who could not afford dental care. Over the years her patients, young and old, have grown very fond of Jan, sending birthday cards and Christmas cards to her at home. Now they are sending get well cards and notes of love and support after hearing that Jan has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Advanced Lung Cancer. We were diagnosed shortly before Christmas 2017, after Jan had spent several weeks trying to kick a persistent cough.
After more than a week in a hospital bed at The James Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio, we found out that the cancer had moved to other parts of her body. Specifically, her spine, pelvis, ribs, collar bones, shoulder blades, lymph nodes and adrenal gland. She is in a tremendous amount of pain and we expect to start the chemo therapy in less than two weeks. As of now, she gets by on some jello, juice, smoothies and love from her family. Her days are spent in bed or on the couch trying to stay ahead of the pain that has set up in her entire back and stomach. We are not yet sure how much life the chemo therapy will give her. We do know, however, that without treatment, she will have less than 6 months left of life.
After hearing of the cancer, Jan established two goals: One, to see her granddaughter born and, two, to see her son from California get married. Goal number one has been realized as her granddaughter came into this world on December 23rd. Her son is to be married on
February 10th of this year. Her future daughter in law has postponed the event in California and moved the entire celebration to Ohio because Jan would not be able to make the trip west. Despite this, it's
not likely Jan will even make the wedding in Ohio due to her weak condition. This goal may not be realized.
Jan's husband Mark, has drastically reduced his hours at work in order to stay with her as a full time caregiver. He keeps her "angel network", which consists of family and friends, updated on her condition on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. They offer to help in any way possible, a testament of what a wonderful woman Jan is and how she has helped so many people in her life.
As can be imagined, the bills have gone unpaid and they still arrive, as expected, in the mailbox every day. Your generous donations will be used for her medical bills, food, medicines, and other expenses that
have been neglected over the last few months. We are worried that we may lose the house as well. Arrangements have been made to sell one of our two cars, even one of our dogs is being sold to cover a few bills. To cover more expenses that are sure to come, a spring yard sale is being planned as well. Everything and anything are being considered to help pay the current and future medical bills and expenses.
No one can predict when a catastrophic illness such as cancer can strike a family. But when it does, the gestures of love and support fromfriends and family, including get well cards, phone calls, offers of food
and help with the housework can go a long way. But they don't stop the "business end" of things. The bills keep coming and those people need to be paid. They are sympathetic to your situation but still expect a check in the mail.
When Jan's three children were growing up, she always taught them that life is full of CHOICES. Choices to always do what's right. And if wrong choices were made, to accept responsibility, learn from it and
remember to do what is right. Even today, the grown up friends of Jan's children still always bring this up when visiting. Jan has left a lasting impression on so many of us. Please help us keep her loving and caring
lessons going. Thank you for your generosity.
- Lauren Kerpsack
- Linda Morrison
- Terry Hughes
- Kathleen Altier
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