We recently learned that my wife, Josefina "Joy" Grate-Thomas, has stage 3 rectal cancer.
Our ordeal started on Friday, November 17 when I took her to have a colonoscopy to investigate the cause of occasional, light rectal bleeding. We expected the procedure to be routine and to reveal nothing serious. What we found out, however, was beyond anything we had imagined.
An obviously malignant mass was discovered within her rectum, a disaster unfolding in slow motion.
Though we have what is considered to be good health insurance in our area, and though we both work full time jobs making a moderate income between us, the co-pays are exorbitant to the point where the never ending process of testing and treatment will soon cost us our home and land us in unpredictable, untenable circumstances.
Joy’s treatment will begin with radiation and chemo therapy for five and a half weeks followed by surgery to remove the mass. Then she will have more chemo therapy lasting up to one year. There will be tests and scans at regular intervals, each with a copay of $250 or more. This adds up very quickly. Radiation therapy alone will run into the thousands.
Since her diagnosis, we are faced each day with anxiety over just how uncertain our future is, especially for our three year old son. Despite this, we try to stay positive and focused on getting her the best care possible. It will greatly help her if she can focus all her energy on treatment and recovery instead of on all the financial burdens that comes with it.
Her insurance covers everything after a total of $7,150 has been spent in copays. This starts over in July of each year. Therefore, for the time being, we only need this much between now and July. Other related expenses may also accrue which could have us raising the target fund for this campaign.
Your donations will allow us to at least keep our home and provide for our child. They will only be used for medical and related expenses, such as gas and lodging when visiting other cancer centers outside our area for diagnostics and treatment. If my wife is forced to stop working due to the progression of this disease, donations will be used to keep us going until, if at all possible, she can return to work.
I've never considered using a service such as this for anything, but we have been backed into a corner and we are above all afraid for the safety and wellbeing of our child due to extreme financial duress and instability.
Any help at all will be forever cherished as a gift from the heavens.