Jim and Rox's rocky road

Dear Friends,

This has been an interesting year for us, with some great blessings and some unexpected challenges.

Anyone who knows us knows Jim was unemployed for a year, getting by for several months on savings and sporadic freelance work after the severance ran out.

Thankfully, Jim was blessed in late spring with a rewarding full-time job, albeit one that pays significantly less than he was making before. Roxanna has a part-time job that pays barely above minimum wage.

Shortly after Jim landed that job, challenges started rolling in. This is not meant to be a sob story so much as an expression of bemused astonishment at our household's recent series of unfortunate events:

> First off, both of us needed new glasses. Despite the vision coverage that came with Jim's new job, our out-of-pocket expense came to more than $600.

> Then, Jim's young nephew died after a terrible illness, and we incurred expenses traveling to and from the funeral in Michigan.

> Our 11-year-old car started to show its age. Two major repairs this summer and fall ran into the thousands.

> Roxanna, plagued all her life with dental problems, needed a tooth implant to preserve her ability to chew and digest food properly. For reasons that are mysterious to us, our dental plan does not cover implants, which are very expensive. Although the endodontist gave us a big break on his fee, we had to shoulder the entire cost -- about $2,000 -- ourselves.

> Our furnace required $350 in repairs to give it one more year of life; we'll have to replace the 30-year-old unit before next winter.
> And then, as you may have heard, in October Jim had to go to the emergency room twice in three days with a kidney stone. That stone became embedded and will be surgically removed on Friday. Our out-of-pocket expenses from this misadventure have yet to be calculated, but they will easily surpass $2,000.

> On the day in between the two ER visits, Rox had to go to urgent care with an infection of her own.

Now, we realize that these kinds of expenses happen to everyone sooner or later. We also realize how blessed we are to have enjoyed good health and sound financial resources up till now, and that things could be -- and for some of you are -- much, much worse. We know it's the end of the year and the holiday season and everyone is stretched.

Nevertheless, we realize as well that we are surrounded by an amazing, loving community of friends, neighbors, colleagues and family, all of whom support us in various ways and some of whom may be in a position to help out financially. And that you can't help if we don't ask.

Therefore, we are appealing to you, our community, our true family, to assist us as you are able and willing, whether through prayer, encouragement or a small cash contribution.

Please, please, PLEASE do not feel guilted or otherwise compelled into giving; that's the last thing we want. If contributing might possibly cause any resentment or ill will or financial pain, don't do it; it's not worth it to you or to us. Paying our bills comes in a distant second to preserving our relationship with you.

We pledge by all that is holy not to do anything frivolous or extravagant with any contributed funds; we're just trying to pay these bills and avoid going into long-term debt. If this appeal offends you, we sincerely apologize.

Thank you for loving and caring about us, whatever form that may take. You mean the world to us.

Jim and Roxanna

Disclosures: Please be aware that you are NOT donating to a nonprofit organization and your donation is NOT tax deductible. Also, GoFundMe covers its operating expenses by keeping approximately 8% of every donation. Finally, you should be aware that we intend to tithe (i.e., give 10% of) donated funds to God via North Decatur United Methodist Church; if this bothers you, you should not donate. Thank you!
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Jim Kavanagh 
Decatur, GA
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