I’m Jen Byrum, a single mom of two great teenagers, Jacob (16) and Quincy (13). I’m also one of the friendly faces you see behind the bar at Webb Custom Kitchen in downtown Gastonia. You’ve probably also seen me at Freeman’s Pub. Some of you may know me from radio, after 16 years with 102.9. The proudest moment of my broadcasting career will always be helping to raise close to $1 million for Levine Children’s Hospital. I grew up in Charlotte and am a Charlotte Catholic and Western Carolina University graduate. On January 23, 2018, I will celebrate three years of sobriety.
Over the last year I’ve been dealing with constant hip pain and a worsening limp all while working on my feet as a bartender. Without health insurance, I saved enough money for an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. In October I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis, which has destroyed my right hip. The doctor was shocked by the X-rays saying he didn’t know how I was even walking, especially in a profession where I have to hustle on my feet for many hours. I was shocked as I looked at the X-ray which showed zero cartilage and the bone on bone reality causing my horrible pain.
With tears flowing, I was told that at age 47, I need a total hip replacement. My surgery is scheduled for Friday, January 18. I now have health insurance which begins with 2018. I am blessed to have family and friends who will be by my side for the procedure.
The greatest hurdle will be financial during my recovery. I’ll be out of work for 4-6 weeks as I heal. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. And if I go back to work too soon I risk damaging the new hip.
I have 8 weeks from now to save as much as possible. I’m also working very hard to manage the pain without prescription pain meds. I am working with my naturopathic doctor, my chiropractor and using many natural remedies. I pray I’ll be able to continue working right up to the surgery. My fellow bartenders and the staff at Webb have been amazingly supportive.
How you can help:
Without help, I’ll never be able to finance two months with no income. I have always been a strong independent person and asking for help is quite humbling. I am trying to raise $5000 to cover my living expenses while I heal for nearly two months. I live modestly for a girl with two kids but there is rent, car and health insurance, power, gas, phone, groceries, gas and other minor necessities I must cover. I am petrified and embarrassed to ask. I would be so grateful if you could find it in your heart to help in any way.
God has been so good to me and has always gotten me through life’s most daunting struggles. In my sobriety I have learned many things. Family and friends are absolutely everything. Always be grateful. Fear and worry don’t solve anything. You have to admit when you need help. Trust in God and believe there is a plan for your life. Work tirelessly to live your truth and you can’t keep it unless you give it away. I try to live this way each day.
Trust me I know that especially at this time of year, not everyone is in a position where they can help. I am just appreciative you cared enough to read this! If it’s not too much trouble, maybe you would please share this with friends.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I’ll keep you updated as I push my way towards January 19. I am forever thankful for your friendship and love.
DonationsSee top donations
- Bob and Aimme Coleman
- Frank Bognanni
- Tom Cox
- Suzy Klein
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more