December of last year, after 2 emergency room visits within 3 weeks, I learned of some medical conditions that I needed to address. I took FMLA (Family Emergency Leave). For those familiar with type of leave, it is UNPAID LEAVE. At the time, I was in a very strong financial position to address my health scares and take the needed time to focus on my health. During this period, we learned that my brother-in-law kidneys began to fail and was put on the donor's list. Despite my health issues, after series of tests, I was classified as a high-risk donor. Without hesitation, I didn't care what happened to me, I needed to do this for my family and for him. Even though I had returned to work for a month and a half, I went on FMLA again for the transplant surgery.
For 6 months into the year, I was on medical leave and that put a financial strain on me. I could share with you everything that has happened to me in the past 8 months. I've reached out to Living Donor, Veterans, Emergency Relief, and any other Organizations for assistance. However, it is a process that requires Board approval and in some cases certain protocols needed to be met before being considered. Unfortunately, I did not meet them in some cases and eliminated from consideration. Financially, things have turned for the worse, I've defaulted on most of my credit card accounts, personal and auto loans. Even though I have arranged payment plans, I've begun to default on those as well and am trying to fulfill my obligations to prevent further legal actions. I've exhausted all of the little income and savings I had to stay afloat. My family, brother-in-law's family, Fairfax Transplant Center, and friends have assisted me and without putting themselves in a financial risk, they cannot help me anymore.
To be clear - I never gave up one of my kidneys for any monetary gain.
There has been moments of depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, stress and many times I just closed the doors to my home because I was embarrassed and ashamed by secluding myself from everyone, turning off my phone, and my pride got in the way.
For months, I've posted ads on social media in hopes to find a roommate and I appreciate everyone for sharing those posts. Many came to see the place, I lowered the rent, negotiated on utilities, etc., and for whatever reasons, they backed out. It made me feel a certain way, but the rent had to be paid. I've applied for loans, but because I took advances on my credit cards to survive, my credit has taken a plunge and those credit loan applications were turned down. I owe 3 months rent (to be exact $5,550) and as the end of the month approaches, I have to figure out the next steps. I know I'm asking for a lot, but this would alleviate the most important issue at hand.
Until recently, I returned to work and with the income that comes in will go to pay back my family, my brother-in-law's family, and those individuals that offered to help in my time of need. I'm not even sure what percentage GoFundMe takes, but I'm not about to ask for more that what is really needed at this time.
I'm embarrassed to have to reach out publicly in regards to my situation. I don't know of any other options besides the ones I've been trying to reach out to. I know there are far worse situations out in the world than what I am experiencing at the moment. This is hard and emotional for me, I've never been in this position, and I hope that you can help in any way.
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