“Never in a million years did I think I would find myself in this position.
On June 11th, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
On July 7th, we learned the cancer had metastasized to my liver.”
So begins Mark Savery’s first journal entry on his Caring Bridge page, which is available as a link here . Mark will continue telling his story on Caring Bridge, giving updates on his treatments, advances, setbacks, hopes, fears, and the realities of living with Stage IV colorectal cancer.
Our job here on Go Fund Me is a little different. Some of Mark’s many, many friends are here to speak on Mark’s behalf. And Anne’s. We’re here to help them by alleviating one piece of anxiety that this diagnosis and treatment have created:
Crippling medical debt.
We all know that the American system of funding health care is badly broken. We’re writing today to ask for your help in offsetting the enormous financial burden that this diagnosis will create.
Mark is one of the healthiest people we know. He has spent 40 years developing his aerobic system on the bike, and he has spent the last 20 practicing yoga, resistance training, stretching, eating well, and taking excellent care of his body. With Anne’s help, he has also spent the past few years practicing meditation and other mindfulness techniques, which have been proven to improve health by reducing anxiety, stress, and depression.
This a guy who won a World Championship in Master’s Cyclocross in Louisville. This is a guy who got randomly stuck with a last-row call-up at Master’s World Cyclocross Championships in Moll, Belgium a few years later and rode through the entire field to finish in 6th place.
But he’s still been walloped by a very, very serious cancer.
As healthy as he is, if it can happen to Mark, it can happen to any of us.
The diagnoses and treatment can also bankrupt a person.
Mark paid into employee-sponsored health care systems for 20 years. When he left Trek in 2017 and transitioned to his current role with Factor Bikes and Champion Systems, he was without health insurance. Now, he has joined a plan made available on the Affordable Care Act exchange, and like many healthy people, he chose a high-deductible plan through Obamacare to cover emergencies. His employer is helping cover the $800 monthly premiums.
But Mark’s previous deductible was $5000. A colonoscopy and biopsy blew through that. His 2020 deductible is $10,000— an MRI and oncologist bills met that total. In five short months, he’ll have ANOTHER $10,000 deductible for 2021, which he will easily meet with ongoing chemotherapy treatments and possible surgeries.
So, Mark and Anne are facing $35,000 out-of-pocket in the next few months. That’s a conservative estimate, one which does not account for out-of-network or uncovered treatments his oncologists and health practitioners will recommend.
Public health experts know that health and socio-economic status are inextricably linked. The rich often have better long-term prognoses from major diseases like cancer. And while Mark and Anne are certainly not destitute, they have also spent their careers serving others in public education and the bike industry, caring more for their impact on their communities than they did for their own bank accounts.
Now, their friends ask you to reward the Saverys for that service. Anne worked as a teacher and administrator in the Omaha Public Schools for decades. She needs our help. Mark coached junior cyclists, led cycling clinics, and supported cycling in a myriad of other ways his entire life. He needs our help.
They have supported, nurtured, cajoled, counselled, pushed, and loved all of us. Now, it’s our turn.
In the coming weeks, you’ll see testimonies here from their students, friends and colleagues, sharing just how much Mark and Anne have done for us over the years. Mark’s Caring Bridge page will keep you apprised of his fight against his cancer.
Our long-term, $100,000 fundraising goal designed to provide Mark and Anne with every available opportunity and resource for this fight against this disease. Give whatever you can—and please share links to this page on your social media. The wider we can spread this news, the more Mark and Anne will see how much their lives have touched so many other lives.
- Thomas Price
- Eric Bailey
- Larry Steinberg
- Keith Bontrager
Organizer and beneficiary
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