A Scan for Fred's Son
During my time here in the USA I’ve been getting around in Ubers. Have you heard of that? Uber is an app which you download on your phone and which allows you to connect with drivers in your area. It’s essentially a taxi service and in the last couple of weeks I’ve ridden my fair share of Ubers to get from A to Z and have met some interesting characters along the way!
Today my Uber driver was a delightful Texan man by the name of Fred (see picture of jovial looking moustached fella above). You know when you meet someone and instantly you realise you’re in the presence of a beautiful soul? Well that’s how I felt as soon as Fred and I started to talk.
During the course of our journey we chatted about the usual stuff and it wasn’t long before our conversation turned to our families. Fred asked me about mine and I asked about his, specifically if he had any children because Fred struck me as the kind of guy that would make a fantastic Dad! He replied that he did indeed have children, two boys, but that one of them, Justin, passed away three years ago at the age of 33. He died in his sleep of a brain aneurism that nobody even knew was there. “At least he went quickly and peacefully”, my new friend said softly.
Fred went on to explain that it turned out both his mother and father had had aneurisms but fortunately neither of theirs had ruptured. His fear, which is entirely understandable, is that his son Tyler, aged 32 may also be at the mercy of a hidden aneurism. “Surely a brain scan would be able to tell either way”, I piped up. Therein lies the problem.
In the UK if we need a brain scan we get one. It may be necessary to wait longer than we would prefer but as much as we like to complain the NHS (National Health Service) generally comes up trumps. That has been my experience at least. In the USA, however, if you don’t have medical insurance - and it’s estimated that about 15% of the population are in this position - then you either pay for the treatment yourself or there is no treatment. Simple as.
A brain scan in the USA costs approximately $1200 (£770) which isn’t mere pocket change for the average person, particularly for someone like Fred who has had his fair share of challenges and setbacks.
Following some kind of family dispute (I didn’t ask him for details) Fred had to let go of his company and I’m guessing it has been a bit of a financial struggle ever since. And I say “guessing” because not once during the course of our conversation did Fred complain or exude a “woe is me” attitude, not even when talking about the passing of his beloved son: “I had a choice to stop living or keep on living and so I chose to keep on living. It’s what my son would have wanted”.
Now in his sixties and finding it difficult to get work in his area of expertise, Fred is driving for Uber to make ends meet and he hopes to be in a position soon to get the brain scan for his son. But I don’t want him to have to wait. He shouldn’t have to wait.
You know Warriors, sometimes in life you just need a helping hand to get your head above water and that is what I would like us to do for Fred and his family. I would like Fred’s son Tyler to get that all important scan. I would like Fred and his wife to have peace of mind and feel secure in the knowledge that their younger son is fit and healthy.
And that is why I have set up this page where you can donate a pound or two, or a dollar of two towards the cost of the scan. Whatever you are able to give.
I have never asked you for money before and I never will again but I was so impressed and uplifted by Fred and his incredible positivity in the face of adversity that I felt compelled to do something.
I hope you’ll join with me my Warriors of the World.
Together we can be a powerful force for good.
GW, over and out.