We left our old life, friends and everything we knew in California behind and were going to start over again in Colorado. We had such high hopes that we'd finally be able to get a firm foundation under us so we could pursue our dreams. California was burning us both out. Kerri couldn't get a full-time teaching job and my career was stalled. Every dollar I was making went to paying rent and bills, with very little to nothing left over.
We decided to give Colorado a try because we both knew people there, and Kerri had spent some time there the previous summer and really liked it. We looked into rents, etc, and realized that we could have a house in CO for less than we were paying for an apartment in CA. Add to that the fact that Southern Colorado has been growing and they were building new schools everywhere so it was practically a no-brainer. We came out for a job fair last March and, shortly thereafter, Kerri was hired by a charter school in Colorado Springs. I got a job doing what I did in CA- for about a third of what I was making, but at least it was better than nothing.
The trouble all started in July, 3 weeks after the big move. Kerri started having abdominal pain and nausea, which got more and more intense. Based on the symptoms, we thought it was maybe a kidney stone. It finally got to the point where we had to seek medical attention. Since she hadn't officially started her job, her insurance hadn't kicked in yet, and my insurance wasn't due to start until December. After going to an urgent care facility, they referred her to the ER because her pain was too severe for them to treat. The ER poked, prodded and scanned her, running what seemed like every test known to man. The only thing they found was a large cyst on her ovary, in addition to 3 fibroids, but that still didn't explain the pain in her upper abdomen. They gave her a prescription for pain meds and instructions to follow up with her PCP, which she didn't have yet. Needless to say, we got a bill for over $5000 for that.
Although she was still having pain and many sleepless nights, everything was going ok until late October, when she had another major pain attack. Back to the ER we went and they discovered that she was severely anemic and needed a blood transfusion. They also thought she might have upper GI issues, possibly an ulcer. Two days, two units of blood, a CT scan, colonoscopy, endoscopy and several injections later, they sent her home again. Her insurance had kicked in at this point, but we still received bills for over $2000 in copays and deductibles.
Fast forward to the beginning of February and she's back in the ER with the same pain as before. It never really went away, and she didn't want to take time off from school, but it got so bad that this time that she almost passed out from the pain right in front of her students. They checked her blood again and she now needed 4 units of blood on top of everything else. The attending physician was focusing on the GI issues and ordered another CT scan and endoscopy. They didn't see anything concerning, a bit of “thickening” of the stomach lining, but nothing that could explain the pain. She was referred to a surgeon for possible exploratory surgery.
Because of the severity of the pain, she has to take powerful pain medications that make it hard to function normally. Being a middle school teacher, it's hard enough to focus without either being in severe pain or having "medicine head". As a result, her doctor ordered her to stay off work until this could be taken care of.
This is where the real problems started. Because she hasn't been at her job for 12 months, she doesn't qualify for FMLA. Worse yet, they do not offer short term disability at her job. This means that, until she is released by the doctor, she has no income and could possibly lose her job and insurance. This presents a problem for us because what I make does not cover all of our monthly expenses, let alone all of the additional copays and expenses we'll inevitably face if/when she has to have surgery. We set up our budget so that she would pay the rent, groceries and incidentals for the month, and I would cover the rest. It was still very tight, with little to none left at the end of the month. Now that she has no income, we can't pay our rent and now we're facing the possibility of eviction.
In addition to these medical problems, she also has endomitriosis and other reproductive issues. We had been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for years and were told that our only option would be IVF, because of something called a hydrosalpynx (Google it). IVF isn't covered by any insurance we know of and cost tens of thousands of dollars, which is why we're not even considering it right now. She also needs immediate dental work which, even with insurance, will cost around $2200. As if that weren't enough, she was also just diagnosed with fibromyalgia and is starting treatment for that.
So, here we are, at the end of our ropes, flat broke and on the verge of homelessness. We already sold everything of value we had before the move so there's nothing left to sell to try and raise money now. We don't have good credit, so there's no way we could qualify for a loan, and the few credit cards we do have are already maxed out. I'm in the process of trying to find a second job and build my production business, but that won't help us in the short term.
We've never asked anything of anyone and are, more often than not, the first ones to help if someone is in need. This isn't something we would have even considered but many of our friends suggested we try crowdfunding so, here we are. Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated. We just want to finally be able to live the life we've dreamed of.
DonationsSee top donations
- melina gaglioti
- Reaghan Cooke
- Cheryl Adams
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more