It is with a heavy heart and incredible sense of urgency that I ask for your help...not for myself, but for my younger brother, John Gudenkauf, and his family.
Just this past week John found himself helpless & crippled by extreme stabbing pain that radiated through his back, abdomen & leg. The excruciating pain & swelling continued & within five days John was hospitalized. The urologist told him he had a sizable tumor & most likely, testicular cancer. Within hours the tumor was removed & he was sent home to recover over the next few weeks. He has an appointment next week at the Cancer Center for final diagnosis & begin treatment (chemo or radiation, at this point too soon to tell).
Under most circumstances this type of news, albeit devastating & difficult to wrap one's head around, would be manageable. But not in this case, for John doesn't have health insurance. Over 2 ½ decades ago, John experienced a massive heart attack, leaving him with 50% heart functions & to this day, unable to secure health insurance.
John's tragic circumstances are further compounded by his current financial challenges. For 13 years, since his wife was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic lupus) and could no longer work, John has been the sole provider for their family, working 60 to 80 hours a week to provide for his wife and two sons, one of which still lives at home. Due to chronic health conditions, neither John's wife nor his son can work outside the home. Just like so many other business owners, John's business was hit hard by the recession, forcing him to let go of all employees and close the doors & go back to his roots as an independent handyman. A lesser man would have given up & put his head in the sand, but that's not John. John chose to take the honorable, responsible route by working hard to fulfill his financial obligations, while providing for his family...little by little whittling away at his debts, while paying for their living expenses. Always on time & never defaulting.
John is a man of great integrity, with an open & kind heart towards his family, friends & at times, complete strangers in need - always the first to help others no matter how seemingly hopeless his own circumstances may be. Heck, just today - two days after surgery "“ I witnessed John opened up his home offering a safe refuge & comfortable bed to complete stranger, simply because she was in needed.
This time John is the one who needs the help of others. Best case scenario, he's looking at a few weeks recovery, a mountain of hospital bills, & certain eviction. Worst case scenario, John is facing all the aforementioned expenses along with costly & debilitating cancer treatments, depending on the further testing.
Please consider donating. Our goal is to raise enough funds to get John & his family through the next couple months' living expenses, till he's back up on his feet again & able to work, thereby giving him what he so willingly gives to others: peace of mind & time to heal.
On behalf of our entire family, thank you for time & consideration to this urgent matter.
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