Medical Expenses

Chad  is a 44 year old father of 7 with 4 grandchildren.  This is our story.

In September Chad started not feeling well. We were told he had pneumonia, high blood pressure and Diabetes..... After 3 x-rays and rounds of antibiotics we requested a CT scan. The scan revealed an abnormality in his left lung. We were referred to a pulmonary specialist for further tests. In November a broncoscopy was performed and was unsuccessful. The next week they did a fine needle aspiration to perform a biopsy on the abnormality. 2 days before Thanksgiving Chad was diagnosed with Non-small cell carcenoma. The next step was a P.E.T. scan This was done a week before Christmas. We were then referred to a cardio vascular surgeon. At this point there was the possibility or removing the portion of the lung. New years eve we met him and received the news that surgery was not an option. The cancer was in his left lung, possibly his right lung and 2 lymph nodes. The surgeon presented Chad's case at a weekly conference that consists of 20 specialized doctors and surgeons. This was to get input from them to see if further testing was needed for staging or if there was enough evidence to start treatment. 2 weeks later  we had our first appointment with the oncologist. They have have decided Chad's course of treatment will be Radiation and Chemotherapy together and the appointment was set up to meet with the Radiation Oncologist. While at this appointment Chad's was experiencing pain in his left upper leg. An ultra sound discovered blood clots. He was put on a blood thinner. Wednesday we went to meet with the Radiation oncologist in Knoxville. His cancer was staged at 3b possibly a 4. The good news is There is an office in Sevierville saving us hours of daily driving. After this appointment Chad had to go in for an MRI on his brain. This is the last test needed before treatment is started. They need to make sure the cancer has not spread to that area. After the MRI radiology asked us to wait for someone to look at the results before we went home. 20 minutes later they come out to tell us they are sending us to the ER. The brain scan had shown Chad had had a series of strokes and he was not even aware. While in the ER and all of the tests they were doing results had shown he had also experienced a heart attack and did not know it. He was at that time admitted. He has been poked and prodded more in the last 2 days than ever in his life. A CT scan of his lungs yesterday revealed he has blood clots in his lungs also. He has been put on blood thinners and is at this time getting a TEE test done. For this procedure they run a scope down his throat to get a better picture of his heart. This test had shown a blood clot had formed in the right ventrical.  Through all of this is has felt like 3 steps forward and 15 steps back. We wanted to know more before....well you know. We are taking everyday 1 step at a time. Chad spent 11 days in the hospital this stay and it seemed as if all was going well. Start dates for chemo and readiation set again. Then... Superbowl Sunday Chad had another stroke. This was was not so nice to him he spent 13 days in the hospital this time and his left side has been severly effected. Chad is now in a wheelchair due to the effects of the last stroke. He was finally  able to start radiation and chemo for his cancer. We are 5 weeks in and with everything he has been through he contunues to stay in good spirits.

I never would have thought at 41 this would be something we would have to experince. We moved from Northern Michigan to Tennessee 1 year ago to slow down, enjoy each other and life. This turn of events was definately not in our plan. I still work full time and take care of Chad daily.  He is now able to transfer himself from the wheel chair into bed, into another chair, in and out of the car, and to use the restroom on his own. These are trmendous strides for him with everything that has been thrown at us in such a short period of  time.
When all of this started we did not have medical insurance and no matter where I went no one would insure him until 1/1/16.
Chad has been unable to work since June 2015. Even though I am paying as much as I can afford monthly I have become overwhelmed. It is very hard for me to ask for help and anything would be greatly appreciated and never forgotten. If you are unable to help all I ask is for you to say a prayer and pass this along.
Have a Blessed Day :)


 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • 200 $ 
    • 40 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 100 $ 
    • 52 mos
  • Colleen Rittersdorf 
    • 500 $ 
    • 53 mos
  • Michelle Ratliff 
    • 100 $ 
    • 53 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • 20 $ 
    • 53 mos
See all


Heather Brookins- VanderMark 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more