I'm really not sure where to start. How do you ask people for money?
Well, my name is Baden Ronie and I'm writing this on behalf of a family friend of ours by the name of Jacqui Ritchie. She's a terminal cancer patient, and another victim of the UK's crazy benefit system.
Jacqui was first diagnosed with breast cancer and a rare form of genetic cancer called BRCA about 4 years ago. After a lengthy fight and having both breasts removed she was told it was beaten. At least for the time being.
Then a year ago both cancers returned. She refused treatment because the chemotherapy from the first fight destroyed her body, and even with treatment the doctors said that the chances for this second case were practically zero. She was classed as terminal.
Jacqui worked through the first battle (while also ckeeping up her work with Homestart) with cancer, continuing her career as a self-employed hairdresser. And when the cancer came back she kept working as well. She carried on working until a blood clot in her leg left her incapacitated. Between the clot and the cancer her health went downhill rapidly, so she was unable to work for a long period of time. She contacted the relevant departments to inform the government that she couldn't currently work and was told to continue claiming working tax credits, so she did. A few months later she was forced to give up working entirely as her health dropped again, leaving her skinny, tired and sore. She currently takes heavy doses of morphine and is having various health problems, including constant infections in her teeth due to weakened immune system. Jacui's sight has also deteriorated quite badly, again a side effect of the chemo.
Since being diagnosed the UK government and its benefit system has proved a disaster. After realizing she would have to stop working entirely she phoned up to ask about benefits and was told that she needed to apply for Universal Credit. After doing so, she was refused because she had been in receipt of working tax credits. Once that was dealt with which took several more weeks she appealed to the decision and was granted Universal Credit.
Despite following their instructions and being told that everything would be fast-tracked through the system owning to doctor's stating she had less than 6-months left she didn't get any money for two months, which has left her in debt. For example, she couldn't pay the bill for her two children's phones, and so the company is now hounding her with debt collectors.
Now that Jacqui's benefits have been awarded the problems continue: they've failed to pay the rent several times, again leaving her in debt and facing potential eviction. Back payment she is owed for the first two months has never been paid. Now the benefit's system has told her she owes them thousands in overpayment of working tax credits for the period in which was unable to work, despite them being the ones that told her to continue claiming. She now has to attend a hearing/court case to dispute the matter, despite being unable to drive, having bad health and struggling to concentrate due to morphine she would have to take to manage to journey. On top of that, the housing benefit department has also declared she owes them money, too, and has began taking their cut.
At the moment she's struggling to pay bills, and get decent meals. Going out to eat has been a highlight for her as it gets her out of the house, but the lack of funds has put a stop to that. The benefit's system is supposed to help people like her, but so far it has caused her nothing but stress. A terminal patient shouldn't have to worry about things like this in 2019, and yet here we are.
In short, she needs some help to get debt collectors off her back, to pay the rent, to get some food and generally just try to enjoy some of life for however long she has left. Any help you would be willing to offer would be truly and deeply appreciated. Even a little amount would help stave everything off until the hearing where everything can hopefully, finally be sorted out.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I know it's a lot to ask people to donate money to someone who isn't even comfortable being named, but all I can tell you is she's a hell of a woman who has kept fighting, and is determined to still be around in years to come. Like she said, if she can keep watching Netflix and going down to the local cafe for some food, then she'll be happy.