Their heart for people is evident as they willingly opened their home for fourteen people to live with them and countless others staying with them for free over the years. Those people included Master's Commission students, young adults, a pregnant teenager and eventually her child, and a foreign exchange student. Later they were sent as unpaid missionaries to Australia, where they served people willingly for a year and a half.
After a lifetime of service to others, Jerry and his family need our help now. He and his family have come under some very difficult circumstances and desperately need our prayers and support. We have set up this page in order to help Jerry and his family with their medical bills as they work through this trying time.
In 2010 Jerry was running up to 35 miles a week and decided to run across the USA. Soon after starting to pursue this dream, he discovered a bulls-eye rash and within one month he could barely work. By two months he was bed-ridden. He went to the Mayo clinic twice, numerous doctors and specialists to determine the cause, but it was not until Lyme disease was diagnosed in 2011 that he began to focus his time and money on recovering from this debilitating disease. Flying back and forth to Seattle for the next two years for heavy treatments got him barely back to work with the help of a powered chair. In 2015 he was starting to regain strength after untold specialists, doctors, and treatments; but his disease relapsed with new symptoms preventing him from working. He re-visited all of the doctors and specialists to find help, but by 2016 he had exhausted all his known options. He has been unable to work for over a year; sleeping 13-15 hours a day and suffering from many neurological and physical issues that make simple things like showering, dressing, and talking completely exhausting.
He has applied for his teacher disability but was rejected and is currently re-applying. Social Security has been processing his paperwork for over 8 months and still has not kicked in. In paying for his treatments and tests he has maxed out three credit cards and is on the fourth and has little income to pay them off. To make matters worse, in April of 2017 Jerry’s wife Renee came down with pneumonia and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Even with medication her heart is currently only working at 30%. She can work part time but can no longer carry a full load for Jerry and their kids. They currently have 3 adult children, 2 underage children, and a toddler child who Jerry and his wife are raising. They are planning on selling their house soon so that Renee can be closer to the heart institute to get help quickly if needed.
There is some hope for Jerry in that an out of state specialist in Lyme treatment is willing to see him and treat him remotely. However, this is not covered by what little insurance they have remaining. But after an extensive consult, the specialist believes that Jerry can recover from many of the effects of Lyme and regain his strength and mobility. They have decided to move forward with the treatment and trust that the funds will come in that are needed to pay for it. Jerry believes this is his last hope after trying everything else.
Jerry misses so many things from being healthy, but the biggest is not being able to be the dad and husband he wants to be to Renee and his kids. With this treatment he has a chance to be both of those again, and even a partial recovery would allow him to care more for Renee. He hopes someday to pick back up running, golf, hunting, and playing basketball.
Please keep Jerry and his family in your prayers and give generously to help give them hope again. Every little bit can pay down the enormous debt they have built from both of their treatments so far, and can help them pay for Jerry’s current treatments. Thank you and God bless.
- Lisa Phillips
- Ben Delaney
- Kris Ellingson
Organizer and beneficiary
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