I am Tim VanLoon a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. I worked as a truck driver. Not a glamourous profession, but an honest and hard working and dedicated one. My wife and I were living the American dream. Several years of renting and living in substandard houses made us decide to try and buy our own home. We searched and searched and finally found a home that has everything we wanted and dreamed our home would have. We weren't sure that we would even qualify but we tried anyway. I served four years active duty and three years of reserve duty in the U.S. Navy. This was our chance. I used my VA to help purchase our home. This saved us from mortgage insurance and a down payment. We worked very hard at our jobs for a long time. We deserved this. This was our turn to live the American dream. After a few little obstacles, our dream became a reality. We were approved. We closed on our home thirty days later and moved in that week.
We were so happy, excited and proud. WE WERE HOMEOWNERS. YESSSS!!! FINALLY!!!
Thing were going great. Birthday parties in our backyard, cooking burgers on the grill, planting flowers, painting walls and changing pluming and light fixture all in an effort to make our home, OUR HOME. We were so happy. Holiday parties get-to-gethers with friends. Work and home life was pretty well balanced and going well.
About one year after we closed on our new home, I just wasn't feeling right. Something was wrong. I was tired all the time, had trouble eating, losing weight faster than I could put it on, cramping, multiple trips to the doctor. The list goes on. One night I was awakened by intense pain and agony that made me believe I was having a heart attack. Luckily, this wasn't the case. It was my gall bladder. Two days later, my gall bladder was removed. I started my recovery and felt better for about a month. I went back to the doctor with the same complaints and some new ones. Through numerous tests, examinations and referals to specialists, it was finally diagnosed. My official diagnosis was Crohn's Disease. Crohn's disease is an auto immune disorder. Basically, the walls of my intestines become inflamed, they get very thick and hard as a rock in places. This is an extremely painful and debilitating disease. Fortunately, it is NOT contagious. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE IS NO CURE. Due to the numerous doctor visits, multiple medications, infusion therapy and sometimes frequent hospital stays, Crohn's disease is also known as TheRich Man's Disease. This is very unfortunate because in no way, shape, matter or form, am I a rich man. Very far from it.
Due to an unfortunate injury at my job, I am now left with a permanent disability to my leg which will not allow me to return to my normal work function. As a consequence, I lost my job because I could no longer perform my assigned duties.
My story goes on. The Crohn's disease has progressed to the point where some of my intestine had to be removed leaving me with and ileostomy. For lack of a better term, I have a poopbag attached to my stomach that I must live with until it is determined that my bowel and intestines can funtion normally again. It is quite possible that, I may have this forever, due to the unpredictability of Crohn's.
My medical bills are mounting, upwards of 90,000 dollars at this point. In my state, we are only allowed six months of unemployment benefits (26 weeks). I am down to my last month of benefits. I have no income and My wife suffers from fibromyalgia so her earning capacity is limited at best.
I am raising money to help us keep our home that we worked so long and hard to achieve. I am also raisng money to pay medical expenses for both of us. I am also raising money to help pay for our car so that we can make it back and forth to doctor visits. Any and all assistance is GREATLY APPRECIATED. The sooner we can receive funds, the sooner we can catch up our mortgage and car payments and pay off some of these medical bills. We are already three months behind on our mortgage and car payments. Unemployment just does not cover everything. We did not expect any of this to happen. We certainly didn't ask for any of it. All we wanted was to live in our own home, keep our jobs and "Live the American Dream." Without assistance we will surely lose our home, our car and basically our very way of life. We are good people and just fell on unexpected hard times.
Please, anything anyone can spare to help us in this time of great need is greatly appreciated. I can't even begin to say how much this would help us emotionally. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you in advance.