Several tests later, including x-rays, EKGs, MRIs, blood tests, more MRIs, it was determined that Stephen has a brain tumor called a glioma. It is a cancer, but not in the way we normally think of cancers. It won't spread to his other organs, but it will come back.
Once the doctors knew exactly what we are dealing with, Stephen had brain surgery to remove as much of the glioma as they could. The surgery wounded his brain, and now Stephen is going through physical therapy to teach his brain how to re-form the neurons that were destroyed.
Holly and Stephen are fiscally responsible adults. They have been through the Dave Ramsey financial classes. They are both college- educated and both have full-time jobs as educators. They have health insurance. But, no one plans to have a brain tumor when they're 34 years old. After first having to meet their insurance deductible with the 6-day stay at John Peter Smith, and then having to pay the 20% co-pay until the out-of-pocket limit was reached, they now owe $6500 to JPS. However, the physical and speech therapies which are teaching Stephen's brain how to do what it used to know how to do cost $1070 per day. He goes every day so he can get well enough to return to work at North Crowley Ninth-Grade Campus where he teaches math. For now, those daily rates are covered by their health insurance. But, they are teachers. The "year" starts over September 1, and they have to meet their deductible all over again. So the first week or so of therapy will burn through $6000 very quickly. After that, the 20% kicks in, so Stephen will only be paying around $200 or so per day. When they finally reach their out-of-pocket limit, they will be $17,000+ in debt.
They are fiscally responsible adults. No one plans to have a brain tumor. Savings won't cover this.
If Stephen or Holly have ever touched your lives, as teachers to your children or as youth workers at Pathway Church, you know the kind of people they are. Their faith is strong and they are trusting God to bring them through this. I want to take the financial worry away from them so they can focus on healing and on their family. Please help them if you can. And, if you cannot, please offer your prayers on their behalf. Our God is an awesome God.
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