As we enter 2018, the Burdge family needs our help again. Barring no unforeseen additional medical expenses, the Burdge family needs $16,500 over and above Steve’s long-term disability payments, Susan’s income, and the commitments from their family in order to break even.
If you’re asking why you should help a family whose income does not meet its expenses, then I should start by letting you know that this is not a story of a lazy person looking for a handout. This is not the story of someone who failed to plan financially. This is the story of a hard-working man who had a good income, a savings account, a 401K plan, life insurance, health insurance, and both short and long-term disability insurance. To help you truly understand the Burdge family's need, you must first hear Steve’s story.
Steve had a successful career with a promising future. He had worked his way up the ranks in our company and was known for his passion, tenacity, and get-it-done attitude. At home, Steve was a devoted husband to his wife Susan and dedicated father to two young children. He would support his children in any endeavor and always pushed them to be better. On numerous occasions I saw him remind them that “Hard work pays off.”
Steve lived his life by that saying, too. Nobody worked harder than Steve…until he got sick. Steve was diagnosed with cancer of the ampula vater, a type of pancreatic cancer, and he was given only two years to live. That was five years ago.
Since then Steve has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. While those left him cancer free, they also leave him with a liver that is in a slow state of failure. Steve is on the liver transplant list, but given his particular health circumstances, he is unlikely to ever move up the list enough to become eligible for a donated liver. He has difficulty eating and sleeping, and because his body cannot efficiently derive the needed nutrients from food, he has very low energy. Nevertheless, he still pushes himself to be present as a husband, father, and a member of his church. He was even able to preach a sermon earlier this year.
As I hope you can see, this is not the story of someone asking for a handout because of poor planning. Steve believed he and his family were prepared for anything, even cancer. But this cancer diagnosis, and the subsequent treatment, has put him in a place where he cannot support his family. And like all of us, Steve wants the best for his family. He wants to send his children to college so they can be prepared for amazing careers and rewarding lives. But unlike many of us who have been saving for our children’s college years, the awful reality is that Steve’s best hope is that his children will be able to use the proceeds of his life insurance policy to pay for college.
Steve Burdge is my very good friend. We worked together for many years. Steve was the type of person you always wanted on your team, because you knew you would have someone who would fight harder than anyone the competition had. And that’s why I am so committed to helping Steve. Because I know, without a doubt, that if the roles were reversed, Steve would do that same for me.
If you know Steve and he has impacted your life, please consider making a donation. If you know people who were close to Steve, please share the link to this GoFundMe campaign on your social media. Whether or not you can donate right now, Steve and Susan thank you for thinking of them.
My family will provide a matching donation of $500 once the campaign reaches that amount, so if you want to donate, I encourage you to do it now.
Thank you for your consideration.