Help Brian's cause

As many of you know, the year 2014 brought with it the news that Mom had stage 3 colorectal cancer in January.  I was in a fellowship at the time and when Mom said she needed me to come home to Maryland to be there for her chemo, radiation, and major surgery, I didn't have to think twice.  There was no place I would have rather been.

In the medical profession, time on leave and time spent not in clinical duties is frowned upon.  I used up all of my available unpaid leave, to be with Mom.  But when my leave was exhausted, Mom still hadn't even had her surgery.  So, I resigned from the fellowship.  And many criticized my decision for doing so.  But this is my Mother.  She moved mountains for me and sacrificed money and her own personal well-being for me time and time again throughout the years.  Most of you know my bond with my Mother is one of undying love and unconditional terms.  

I looked into unemployment laws, and everything that I had read stated that if you exhaust every option for leave, which I had, and you still have to leave for an urgent and compelling reason, the state should not disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits.  Yet, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fought me tooth and nail.  They originally denied the benefits due to "failure to exhaust all of available leave."  So I appealed the decision, a hearing was held, and I attended it a few months back.  This time, they denied it again saying that my reason for leaving was not "urgent and compelling enough".  I guess they have never had a relative diagnosed with advanced stage cancer of any kind.  I will not focus on the unsympathetic attitude of those in the medical profession or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  I know I did the right thing, and I know that having gone through this past year has and will continue to only make me stronger. 

Now that Mom is nearing the end of her chemotherapy, she and I both know it is time for me to move forward with my board exams to become board certified in Radiology and move forward with my career. I desperately need your help in getting back on my feet, save my apartment from eviction (I am behind over 2 months rent), and moving forward with the next steps in my medical career.  

I don't have any regrets doing what I did to be there for Mom.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat.  Asking for help from friends and family is a last resort, but our financial resources as a family are tapped after our tumultuous 2014.  Getting another job in Medicine will take months given that's usually how long it takes for credentialing and processing of the state license, etc.

Please help if you can.  I will be forever grateful for each and every token of support and generosity, no matter how small.

As Mom would say, time to get back on that saddle!  

Fondly yours,



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Brian Michael Norris 
Millbury, MA
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