Twenty years ago Laurel and I left our engineering jobs in the Southern California aerospace industry and moved to Sedona, AZ to start a better life. It was a hard adjustment but well worth it. We love living here and raising our daughter in this beautiful part of the country.
Over the last two years we have been hit hard by cancer. Early last year Laurel suffered a recurrance of Melanoma (skin cancer) which required major surgery and an extended stay off work with associated costs of rehab and recovery. She is doing well and is currently in remission. Several months after her recovery, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (a bone marrow cancer) and have been undergoing chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. My insurance is covering a large part of the treatment, but I will have to stay at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix for 3 months while I recuperate and the insurance doesn't cover the 30 days of 24/7 care, lodging outside the hospital and the transportation I will need to complete my treatment. Having just gotten through my wife's recovery and maxed out my credit cards to pay for her non-covered expenses, I don't have many options left to pay for my non-covered costs.
Laurel is a high school science teacher, and in Arizona teacher salaries are among the lowest in the country, but she loves what she does, and the kids love her, so she will continue to do this until she retires.
I work for a medical device manufacturing company, love what I do, and get paid a decent salary but not enough to keep up with the non-covered medical costs of my disease.
Robyn is a college student working toward a degree in Biology. She eventually wants to work in the area of medical research involving the practical applications of naturally occuring venoms!
Until we were hit with our cancer costs, we had managed to pay off most of our houshold debt and were planning toward eventual retirement in our futures.
We have always been responsible community members, and supported many charities in the past. I never imagined I would have to ask for charity for myself but here I am.
With your help I hope we can get our medical debt under control so we can continue to enjoy the things that brought us to this part of the country.
My pledge to you is this: We will use every dollar raised to pay for the costs of my and my wife's treatment, and any money left over will be donated to the Mayo Clinic Foundation to help pay for the next person who needs care.
- Rick Burd
- Sedona Red Rock High Thespian Club
- Susan Stater
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