This is Jaimie Ramsey, writing on behalf of Joseph and Ruth Furr.
Joseph has been an athlete most of his life, skilled in sports such as skiing, mountain biking, Ultimate Frisbee, and roller skating. He was even a record-holding sprinter while at university. Anyone who knows Joseph has probably seen him display his prowess in at least one of these sports!
As much as he's passionate about sports and being outdoors, Joseph is even more passionate about his love for the Lord and for his wife, Ruth. Married since August 2011, the couple have a strong faith in Jesus Christ which has seen them through a number of challenges already in their lives as individuals and as a couple. Their faith is incredibly evident in their lives and they've been a powerful witness in every place they've lived and worked.
In spring 2017, Joseph was diagnosed with Graves' Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease. The condition is manageable, but not immediately life-threatening.
Despite beginning treatment for what they thought was Graves' Disease and changing his eating habits, Joseph continued to feel unwell and, after passing out at work, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. After blood tests were done he was officially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Thursday, July 13. We thank God that this was discovered when it was because it could have killed him in a week if it had not been discovered and treatments begun immediately.
Joseph is beginning chemotherapy treatments July 15, 2017. According to Ruth, "He will be in the hospital for a month, and he will be 33 when he reaches 'cured.' There is a 90% success rate at treatment. Praise God for that."
Joseph is currently in the ICU, in a sterile environment because his immune system is severely compromised. Ruth is with him as much as possible, but she still has to travel over an hour to get to their home and to work a few days a week. Commuting is costly but it's not financially feasible to get a house or apartment near the hospital.
Obviously, finances are going to pose a major challenge for Joseph and Ruth. They do have insurance but the premiums will be very expensive when they go on Cobra, and they will still have deductibles and coinsurance payments to make on massive medical bills.
Additionally, insurance might not cover everything.
They also are still paying off a personal loan (not mortgage) for their old house in Michigan and as yet have been unable to afford a new house in Colorado, due to the extremely high housing costs.
Furthermore, Joseph will of course be unable to go back to work for quite some time, and it will be challenging for Ruth's income alone to cover all their expenses.
Finally, funds are needed for meals for Ruth while she is with Joseph at the hospital.
Funds raised will go toward 1) medical bills, 2) living expenses, 3) other expenses as needed. Ideally we will raise enough that finances will not be an issue for Ruth and Joseph, so they can focus on other things.
Ruth and Joseph plan on tithing 10% of any funds raised, realizing that all gifts come from our Heavenly Father, and they want to give some back to Him.
Prayers are a priceless gift and Joseph and Ruth appreciate your keeping them in prayer! However, any way you can help financially will be a huge blessing and financial help is much-needed for them right now.
Thank you for your support of and love for this amazing couple!
- D.J. Marchiando
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