Our friend Phil “Hawk” Hawkins was recently diagnosed with Advanced Liver Disease (ALD). This diagnosis comes on the heels of his wife Michelle’s continuing treatment for breast and ovarian cancer. The short story is that Phil is going to need a liver transplant. He is in otherwise good health and has been deemed an excellent transplant candidate. His long-term prospects for recovery are very good.
The Hawkins family has already successfully faced multiple challenges: their two adult children, Chelan and Chance, have special needs and require 24-hour supervision. Michelle’s cancer treatment has been ongoing for two years and continues to this day. The family is thankful each day for the care and support they have received over the past two years. However, they need our support to continue their fight.
Michelle’s continuing recovery will require multiple treatments and medications that are not totally covered by health insurance and Phil’s medical bills are also not completely covered. Both Michelle’s and Phil’s medical treatments will require recurring trips and extended periods for up to a month in the Bay Area, where the cost of living is among the highest in the country. Additional expenses include vehicle costs, care for Chance and Chelan and incidentals. These costs are likely to run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Phil recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service after working 35 years in fire and aviation management. Despite the challenges in his personal life, Phil has provided vision and leadership while serving as a wildland firefighter in the Hotshot, Helishot, Helitack, FireWatch and Aerial Supervision/Leadplane programs. His performance in those jobs always far exceeded standards. Indeed, his service to this country and fellow firefighter has been outstanding.
A proud, rugged individualist, Phil would never ask anyone for help, and it has taken much effort to persuade him to allow this fundraising effort to go forward. Those of us that are fortunate enough to know the Hawkins family know them to be kind, caring, patriotic, moral and selfless people. Their love for and dedication to one another is truly touching and inspirational. There is no family anywhere that is more deserving or worthy of our support.