My name is Kim Hoffman and I have a dear friend and former classmate in need. She reached out to me and asked me to simply pray for her, but when I heard about what she is going through right now I couldn’t just pray…I needed to also do something for her. I convinced her to let me set up a GoFundMe campaign to reach out to all the compassionate people we know to try and help. My friend would like to remain anonymous, as she is a little embarrassed to ask for help and says there are others more deserving, so I will only use her first name. I will try to keep it as short as possible to explain her story. She has been helping people for many years through her job as a social worker, but now she’s the one who needs help. Please read her story below and help in any way you possibly can.
Denise has endured quite a lot during her adult life, but she has always managed to care for her family. Denise is a single mother of adult twin boys. Unfortunately, one of her boys is a Quadriplegic due to Cerebral Palsy. He had a stroke when he was only one week old and has severe Hydrocephalus. He requires both physical and occupational therapy plus suffers from immune system problems. He has had multiple surgeries and will need care for the rest of his life. And this is a very short version of all his medical issues so I can give you an idea of his situation. Their father became an alcoholic when the boys were very young because he couldn’t deal with their life situation and has never paid any child support. Denise has always managed to care for her boys all by herself (sometimes working 2-3 jobs) until this past year when she developed some health issues herself.
This past year Denise developed debilitating migraines. Her healthy son quit school to work in construction to help his mother meet her financial needs to not lose their home. Eventually, her special needs son had to move in with her elderly parents because she couldn’t meet all his needs even with his brother's help. Her son and parents (who are on a fixed income) have been helping her pay the mortgage and basic bills since October when Denise’s Neurologist put her on a leave of absence from her employer. And her employer didn’t offer short term disability. The medication she is prescribed costs $435.00 per month, but she was able to get assistance from the pharmaceutical company and reduce it to $203.00 per month…still more than she can afford right now.
The Neurologist discovered in November that her C1/C2 vertebrae are interlocked with her jaw. Depending on the position of her head, the C3 through C5 vertebrae are pressing structures that limit the flow of oxygen to her brain. When Denise’s head is upright, the interlocked vertebrae are compressing down on the rest of her vertebrae causing them to bulge. Her employer asked the Neurologist how long it will take to correct this medical condition and he estimated 6 months. Denise was then terminated from her position mid-December due to her absence causing them an “undue burden”. She is not eligible for unemployment because she is under a doctor’s care. She has filed for long term disability, but they are fighting her tooth and nail. She has spoken to the EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission and they say that an employer is only required to give you 12 weeks leave under the FMLA.
She has applied and qualifies for food stamps, but does not qualify for Medicaid in Texas because she has assets of more than $2000.00 (e.g. home and old car). Cobra insurance is $614.00 per month so she applied for the cheapest plan she could find under ObamaCare, which is $400.00 per month and doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. The Neurologist is estimating $25,000.00 for all the work that needs to be done to fix her condition, which includes getting specialized x-rays to ensure that her brain stem is not compromised and multiple surgeries. Denise told me that she knows there are people more deserving of financial assistance than she, but she does need help. She knows this is a lot of money and would appreciate any help she can get. All Denise wants is to restore her health so she can get back to work and care for her quadriplegic son. Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated!
She is in need of immediate assistance so she can get back to work as soon as possible. The doctor is estimating 6 months total recovery time so I am trying to get her any help I can. I have set up an account in my name since I have recently moved to Colorado and will send her any money collected.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read Denise’s story and helping in any way possible!
- Monica Cossio
- Jennifer Germani
- Marilyn Morales Carson
- Deborah Lea
Kim Begnaud Hoffman