We never know where the path of Life will bring us… moments that shape us, that challenge us and make us uncomfortable ..it’s in those moments that we grow and become who we are meant to be.
None of us are free from those unexpected plot twists in life. We stumble, we fall, we pray, we learn, and if we can, we harness all we have- to Live. Frequently, when we are facing those dark times, we get that little miracle we so desperately need; That moment that we can catch our breath, that assures us, we are going to be ‘Ok’. That moment has yet to come for this family.
Allow us to share with you their journey ……
Once upon a time, in a quaint suburban community, a modest young family was enjoying their life together. Making their house a home- filling it with memories of family and friends, joy and laughter. The girls attend elementary school, Janet worked part time, and was involved in every school events and PTA, as well as the girls’ activities, Ernie worked on his career and provided for his family. Not unlike any other family, they lived with hopes and dreams and the promise of the future together. Life was good.
Suddenly and unexpectedly in 2015, Ernie lost his job. A setback, but one they could overcome;, he was confident he would find a new job. In the weeks that followed, as Ernie was seeking employment, he was feeling unwell. He put off seeing a doctor due to the lack of health insurance from unemployment. As his discomfort continued, he was forced to get medical attention for what he thought was a pinched nerve in his neck. After a brief evaluation he was immediately sent to the hospital. Unbeknownst to him, he was about to embark on the unimaginable battle of life and death.
The tests would reveal the challenges he and his family would have to face. He was admitted to the hospital and after extensive work ups, labs, scans, biopsies, a dismal diagnosis was determined : At age 49, Ernie had Brain Cancer, the host organ was the Kidney and additional nodules were detected in his Lungs. The prognosis was devastating. He had been given a year, maybe two at the most. Regardless, he was determined to fight and beat the odds.
They knew the road was long, and without insurance, extremely stressful and complicated. But they would go through it together and do everything they could to survive. Janet is an incredible woman, wife and mom who dedicated every ounce of herself to her husband’s battle and the loving needs of their beautiful daughters. The disease would take away Ernie's physical abilities- those things most of us take for granted. His quality of life would diminish. The demands on his wife and family would become overwhelming. The financial and emotional stress from the ongoing medical costs month to month -from multiple surgeries, cyber knife procedures, treatments, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, travelling to doctor appointments and the added cost of medications became increasingly unmanageable. This family made every possible provision (without ever asking for help) to lessen the financial burden. The most difficult of which, was selling their home, their vehicle, along with some personal belongings as well.
As time went on, any improvement gave him a glimpse of winning, as he continued to fight. He never gave up, he refused to lose, knowing that meant leaving his three greatest loves and reasons to live. He faced each new day for three years, with determination, proving the doctors wrong, hoping for a more positive outcome. Unfortunately, Ernie never got that little miracle to turn the page and finish his story with a great ending.
Ernie lost his long battle with cancer in 2018 at age 52. Those last few years gave them a few more life celebrations together, memories, and all those precious hours in his daughters’ lives as they grew into beautiful young people.
These three, strong, brave ladies are now preparing for their new life story. Janet knows the greatest challenge is to rise up from the insurmountable medical debt, to be present, being able to provide financially, actively and emotionally as a single parent. In addition to the loss of health insurance, there was insufficient life insurance benefits. Janet and her girls are extremely blessed with the love and the bond between them. They have come so far and have withstood an unbelievably destructive, life- shattering storm. They know what they need to do…but are taking those first steps with trepidation and uncertainty.
As friends, family, acquaintances, and empathetic individuals, we have this opportunity to add to our story, by playing a small part in theirs. We can help to be the inspiration, to be that little speck of a miracle for them, so they can turn the page and begin again.
It is our hope that we can relieve them of a small portion on the unpaid balance of financial liability, so they can continue their story and create a life that is good…a beautiful and amazing life.
By Doing what we can, Giving what we can, and even sharing their story .. We can make their first steps into their future, a place of love and promise. Please join us in offering Janet and her girls a hand up, to lift them up, so they may stand strong.
In every life story…We know Kindness matters...
And our purpose, is to Be the reason someone believes in the Goodness of others.
Many Thanks, Love and Blessings
Be well and Live well.
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