My Dad Died & I Got Diagnosed with Cancer

My name is Juan Jr., and 2021 has hit me with a lot I'm not well-equipped to handle. In short order, across March and April:

I ended up in the hospital for a kidney bleed;

My Dad, a career Army veteran, lapsed into a coma;

My Dad died;

...and I was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

I've just had surgery, where they removed the kidney, but also found out there was more cancerous material than initially expected. In the meantime, I'm still trying to figure out how to put my Dad's house in my name, but lawyers are being evasive about doing this one simple task, and I can't make any other decisions about the house until its done, so I'm stuck in limbo. I need to be able to just flat-out pay an attorney to do the job.

My finances are depleting, because I'm still paying the mortgage... there's roughly $7,500 left on that... but I can't afford to keep doing this in the long run without the house in my name to open up options. I'm also accruing tens of thousands in cancer-related debt, because treatment is not done... the extra material wasn't identified until after the surgery to remove the kidney to address the cancer they'd already found. So there's more work coming.

Right now, I need help dealing with my Dad's house; there's work I can't do until it's in my name, and the bank has offered to grant me hardship assistance when it's in my name, but they can't do that before.

My background is former homelessness and poverty; right now, I live check-to-check on a small, private, long-term disability program granted by my former employer, due to severe depression, post-homelessness-based PTSD, complications of Graves Disease, and the like. I'm not equipped to deal with legal forms, bank minutiae, or the like; I don't know who to contact, what questions to ask, or how to handle them. I do have help, via family who know about things like "home equity finances", but I still need to pay an attorney to get these transitions done, and one thing I lack is funds.

I also need help just living month to month while my finances ride out these complications; there isn't much left on the mortgage, but, until it's in my name, I still have to pay it, and that's left me relying on public assistance and the kindness of others. The bank is ready to help, but the transition needs to happen, first.

In the bigger picture, I also need help dealing with cancer expenses; assistance isn't quite as accessible as I'd hoped. I need to be able to travel safely to appointments, to get groceries delivered (I eat cheap, but I can't walk far or lift anything after the surgery), and my therapist, who has been a huge help, is no longer on my Ambetter insurance. She's made a large sliding-scale allowance, and used her position as a social worker to help me get resources I need (including a bit of groceries) but, along with the mortgage, and travel-care expenses, all expenses are adding up. I also need physical therapy, which was blocked by my insurance when I needed it most just as I was released from the hospital.

Any of these would be difficult, but the timing of being crippled by cancer and surgery right as I need to deal with my Dad's death and his house is an incredibly awful one-two punch. I could really use a hand.

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Juan Rodriguez
Chicago, IL

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