My heart breaks to report that our great friend, classmate, veteran, and patriot Jim Skopek of the West Point Class of '77, has fallen on extreme circumstances. In a matter of weeks, he has gone from an alert, vibrant, caring father to sometimes not knowing his own name or those who have been dear to him for decades. Those of us who know him recognize the strength of character behind the eyes, the acceptance of inevitability when his mind is hampered by aggressive cancer from completing simple tasks. In the space of weeks, he has been taken from enviable health to an expectation that he has only weeks to live. For we who love him, to see him this way is heartbreaking. I am grief-stricken. Jim is in hospice, and as I write this revision (1/24/19), he is bedridden. Only last week, he was on his feet. He took to his wheelchair four days ago. That lasted two days, and he cannot speak.
To make matters worse, he had just started a new job. His mental incapacity coincided with the time during which he should have applied for his new employer's health/medical insurance. Sadly, that transaction was not completed.
The focus of this campaign is to raise funds to ease the family's suffering by helping to pay bills, such as funeral, legal advice, and other related expenses including travel by family members and those needed to help with his current care. All contributions go directly to a special account outside of Jim's estate and controlled by the family. (Note: I take care of my own travel expense.)
Our fear is for the financial calamity that could befall his daughters, now in their twenties and still at the beginning of their lives. All that Jim had worked to leave them is jeopardized by medical bills that would be charged to the estate. As much as possible, we would like to see Corinne and Krista emerge from this calamity financially whole, the way they would have been without the tragedy of Jim's illness.
Please donate what you can. Jim lived a noble life, a friend to all. His family and friends have circled around him to provide comfort during these days. The need for financial support is immediate.
If you can get to Raleigh, North Carolina and visit him, please make the time while there is time. Seeing his eyes light up will be worth the trip.