Just after our daughter Indi was born I decided to go to the doctor because I had noticed the left side of my stomach was slowly getting bigger. The doctor ran some tests and it turned out to be an enlarged spleen due to chronic myelogenous leukemia. I refused treatment at first out of frustration and ignorance. I didn’t want cancer, and denial was easier than treatment. I was hating life.
My wife Isabel and the doctor convinced me to start treatment. I preferred to never have to even deal with leukemia but since that was not possible I started chemotherapy. Aside from a few side effects the treatment seemed to be working, that is until February of this year.
My blood levels were dropping too fast forcing me to go to the hospital for platelet and blood transfusions several times a month. Then one day during an appointment my oncologist suggested that I see a specialist about possibly getting a bone marrow transplant. Isabel and I were shocked.
Our first visit to the bone marrow transplant specialist was in April. During the visit we never discussed the ‘possibility’ of a transplant but instead the absolute necessity and urgency of getting one right away! The possibility of a transplant was shocking, but the necessity was overwhelming. This turned our world upside down. How could we have ever planned for something like this? The cost of a transplant is astronomical and we had no way to pay for it, but we had no choice, I had to have the transplant. To compound matters, the day before our first visit we found out Isabel was pregnant with our second child.
A short search and a week later we found a donor. My awesome sister, Jodi, turned out to be a match! All we had to do was run some tests and wait for insurance approval. About a month later everything was a go and the transplant was scheduled for June 20th. Still unsure how I would pay for all of this I prayed, hard. Isabel prayed hard. Just about everyone we know prayed for us. We put our faith, the transplant, the financial burden in God’s hands and continued to pray faithfully that all would be well.
The transplant was a success. However, my body is still in the process of adjusting to the new stem cells, and as the doctor has explained many times, my body will continue to adjust for at least six months post transplant, meaning I can’t return to work just yet. My faith, still strong, and still hopeful that God is with us every moment and that everything will return to normal. As for the financial part, well, God’s timing, right?
While I was in the hospital the bills started rolling in, and to this day they keep on coming. One large invoice has already gone to collection because I was only able to make one payment. I’m not one to ignore responsibility but because I haven’t been working since May and have not had an income since July, I have been put into the difficult position of prioritizing our budget for absolute necessities over all else. I chose family over medical bills; bills that to-date total over six thousand dollars.
Because we had no income we lived off our emergency fund, then out of savings, then checking. With all our resources now exhausted, we have nothing left. I applied for unemployment and was approved, however a week after I received my first check, the Texas Workforce Commission denied my request and ordered repayment of the only check I’d received. This is where your generosity can save the day.
In short, we need financial help with our monthly expenses. We tried everything we could think of to manage this ordeal on our own. We’ve sought out assistance through various cancer organizations as well as the Texas Workforce Commission, none of which worked out.
I feel embarrassed having to do this, to ask for money from friends and family, from strangers, but we’ve been backed into a corner with only one way out, you. You can make a difference by helping us during this difficult and awkward time. We appreciate any help you can offer. We trust that this is part of God’s plan, His plan to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah).
Everyone needs help in life. It’s very difficult to ask people for help but when we have no other choice we have to step out of our comfort zone, humble ourselves and ask those around us for monetary support. Your gift will help pay for medical expenses, insurance premiums and mortgage payments, and will be very much appreciated!
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