Help Chris and Jan Cover Expenses

My sister Jan Werkau and her husband Chris are in need of a little help from their friends. Chris was hospitalized this week after struggling with a variety of illnesses since last fall.

They do not have health insurance coverage and Chris’ hospital expenses are already beyond their ability to pay.

Due to increasing severity of Chris’ illness, for the most part, they have not been able to work their small business and only source of income for the better part of the last 6 weeks and have exhausted their modest emergency fund.

Jan tells me that they are already working with the hospital and other agencies to come to a positive outcome and she speaks highly of the doctors and staff at LRHC in understanding and providing care for Chris despite their current financial situation.

We understand that Chris’ diagnosis is not unusual, but its severity and extent took them both by surprise given Chris’ lack of any sort of previous medical issues.

Their plan is that Chris will be back to working their business full-time as soon as he is able. Meantime, Jan is taking jobs, doing shows, booking work, as she has been able to on her own while trying to care for Chris at home before he was hospitalized, and now that he is back at home. The fact is, their business depends on them both and Jan hasn’t been able to take the jobs to earn what they need on her own.

Both Jan and Chris have struggled deciding whether they would let me tell their story and ask for your help. They are both proud people and not used to asking for help. 

I don’t think it’s easy for either of them to admit defeat and despite their efforts, the illness, subsequent hospitalization, and unknown future they find themselves in an untenable situation.

I’d like to help them both get some relief knowing they can cover their monthly expenses and begin to tackle what will inevitably be a huge hospital bill and on-going care.

Both Jan and Chris are active in the community and give their time and resources to many local causes over the few years that they have lived in Fergus Falls. Chris serves on the board of A Center for the Arts and Jan serves on the board of the FF Farmers Market. They frequently donate products and services to raise funds for charity, non-profits, school and other youth programs. Girl Scouts, FF Otters Band, hockey, DU, MS, Someplace Safe, Chamber of Commerce, Kaddatz Galleries, AC4TA and other organizations have all benefited from their contributions. They regularly conduct classes for Community Ed in FF and Battle Lake, run the local wine club on a volunteer basis, and are a part of the local food and art scene. This past holiday season they organized and ran the Holiday Art & Artisan Market at the depot, all while, apparently, Chris' health was failing. 

From Jan:
“Asking for help, especially financial help, is THE hardest thing I have ever done. It’s not something we do. It’s not really built into either my or Chris’ DNA but despite our best efforts, we are at a place where we don’t have a lot of other options. I can’t express how deeply appreciated any contribution you can make will be and we will literally be forever in your debt. Our "emergency fund" kept us going in January and now we find ourselves in a totally unexpected situation. It's embarrassing and  unimaginably difficult.”

We all appreciate whatever you can give to help them get through this difficult time. 

- Brian

Donations (61)

  • Anne Sinno
    • $200 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Brian Olson
Fergus Falls, MN
Jan Werkau

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