Mike Blackburn, a Vietnam era Veteran, and his wife, Pam Blackburn, are long-time residents of Athens, Alabama where they have raised their three daughters. Last year, in August of 2014, Mike was admitted to the hospital with severe pain in his stomach, which was initially believed to be a ruptured appendix. Unfortunately, the Doctor informed the family that his condition was much more serious and that, short of a miracle, he likely only had 6 months to a year to live. Mike was in stage 4 liver failure, which was apparently contracted in the early 70's while he was an Orthopedic Medic in the Army during the Vietnam war. Mike has been additionally diagnosed with Peripheral Vascular Disease, 100% blockage in both legs, Coronary heart disease, COPD and Emphysema. Mike has been in the Birmingham VA hospital 5 times, totalling 2 months in the last 6 months. He is facing MAJOR medical treatments, possibly a liver transplant, and weekly visits to the VA hospital in Birmingham.
The family's financial situation is serious. Before his diagnosis, Mike and Pam were the full-time caretakers of her mother, who had advanced Alzheimer's. She died in December of 2013 after living with them for 13 years. Mike had just recently started a new job and he and his family were starting to put their lives back on track when he became ill. Mike is declared 100% disabled, critically ill, and has no life insurance. SS Disability has been applied for, but may take 18 months or more to receive. Mike is receiving VA disability, which unfortunately does not cover their monthly bills. To complicate matters, Pam is now having to be full-time caregiver and advocate for Mike, so is limited in her income options as well. This family is in need of financial assistance. Thank you so very much for your kind consideration!
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- karen Gardner
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