I am, and always have been a hardworking, God fearing, law abiding, neighborly giving and helping hand type of guy. The 58 years I have been on this earth has been filled with a magnitude of people whom I have helped financially. Ones I have guided spiritually, encouraged, loved, coached, mentored, trained and assisted them in their walks of life. Most recently as a Licensed Realtor, Licensed General Contractor and Home Flipper, I was constantly on the move. I was able to maintain a certain level of financial success while providing for my family and still assisting others.
January 21st 2021 is certainly a day I will remember for the rest of my life. While there have been many memorable times throughout my lifetime (many filled with joy and happiness), January 21st 2021 was the one that brought me and my family to our knees in horror, fear, disbelief, sorrow and grief. A few weeks prior to that day, I began to feel slightly under the weather. I knew with the COVID pandemic in full swing, with mandating, masking, shut downs and vaccinations, that there could be a chance I had been exposed? While historically, I have been fairly healthy and physically fit, the symptoms I had been experiencing were unlike anything I had experienced before. My symptoms were not those of COVID, as my skin and whites of my eyes had turned yellow, I became lethargic, I had bouts with diarrhea and my body itched from head to toe. My thoughts were that I could struggle through the symptoms and be my normal self in a few days or so. That would not be the case. When the symptoms did not disappear and started to get worse, my wife encouraged me to go to the doctor and get checked out. I explained to my wife that I would have to use a portion of our savings (as we did not have health insurance) to pay for the doctors visit.
I made a visit to Urgent Care on January 13th 2021 to get checked out and have blood work done. Things rapidly escalated from there! Blood tests were returned very quickly and I was informed that my Bilirubin count was extremely high at 27 while my normal count should have been between .03-1.2?? Within hours I was admitted to ER, had a sonogram, a CT Scan and was visited by a surgeon. The surgeon informed me that there was blockage of the Bile Duct and they would need to install a stint to allow bile to flow properly and they would also need do a biopsy of the mass causing the blockage. January 14 2021 I underwent the two surgical procedures encouraged by the surgeon. The afternoon of January 15th 2021 I was discharged and informed that I should contact the Surgeon on January 21st to follow up on the results of the biopsy. I did as instructed and contacted the surgeon . The surgeon informed me that the biopsy results indicated that the mass causing the blockage in the Bile Duct was cancerous and malignant. He then diagnosed me with Bile Duct Cancer and referred me to a specialist for further evaluation and diagnosis. January 27th 2021 I visited with the specialist who then diagnosed me with Pancreatic Cancer and recommended the Whipple procedure. He stated that there was a tumor on the head of the Pancreas which was blocking the top of the Bile Duct preventing bile to flow correctly. The specialist was quite confident that he would be able to remove the tumor from the pancreas and remove any cancer that may be near. I was counseled on the 8.5 hour Whipple surgical procedure. I was informed about the 13 day surgical recovery period, possibility of diabetes, possible complications and needed medications. There was no way I would be able to afford any of this!!
I was horrified. as was my wife, family and friends. The stress of being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer was more than enough to deal with, now I had to deal with the reality of how I would receive any medical treatment. Unsure, I moved forward with the scheduling of the Whipple procedure for February 18th 2021. I knew my faith in God would get me through the spiritual hardship, but I also knew that God did not have any money to pay my medical bills… I Underwent a successful Whipple procedure of removing the tumor from the pancreas head, removing part of a duct, removing a portion of the small intestine, removal of the gall bladder, removal of a portion of the stomach and taking some abdominal muscle samples. The surgeons then had to connect everything back together.The surgeon then informed me that their belief was that I had two separate cancers at the same time (which was an anomaly) and they were sending samples to have them evaluated. Results indicated that both the Gallbladder and Pancreas were cancerous. I was then scheduled with an Oncologist to discuss Chemotherapy. Ultimately it was decided that the most aggressive Chemo treatment would be needed to aid in preventing further cancer growth/spread. It was a six month Chemo infusion therapy which required being in an infusion chair for approximately 7.5 hours per treatment. During the Chemo process it was them determined that the first three cancer diagnosis’ were incorrect and I actually had Stage IV Metastatic Gallbladder Cancer which had spread to the Pancreas. I then went from an “anomaly” to now a “case study”?? Doctor opinion was that, had they known the correct diagnosis initially, the Whipple procedure would not have been performed , as once cancer has spread to other organs, such a patient would not be a candidate for the Whipple procedure. I successfully completed the Chemotherapy infusion treatment and was then referred to a radiation oncologist. The medical team felt it best with all things considered, to be on the safe side and have 25 radiation treatments. Ultimately the Radiation Oncologist recommended an additional 3 radiation treatments bringing the total to 28. I successfully completed the 28 radiation treatments, but have not been unscathed. As a result of the medical procedures and processes I now have neuropathy in my left hand, partly in right hand, my lower legs from knees down, experience frequent muscle spasms , deal with chronic fatigue, have hair thinning and must be on medication for the rest of my life.
The doctor appointments, medical procedures, testings, permanent side effects, healing time, follow up and process has brought me and my family to financial disaster. Since the onset of the cancer I have not been able to work my jobs at the level needed in order to achieve the finances necessary to financially survive. The lifting, bending, twisting restrictions, loss of strength to the core of my body and the neuropathy in the hands has been a major deterrent to any work as a General Contractor which has forced me to shut down my construction business along with home flipping. That has caused me a great loss of yearly income. Due to the medical side affects, I am not able to do my Real Estate duties at peak performance levels either. Neuropathy in the lower extremities restricts my ability to stand on my feet for periods of time with muscle spasms coming at unknown times and severities. This has forced me to seek social security disability assistance in order to somewhat survive. Going from $93,000.00 a year with the previous three jobs, to $33,000.00 yearly social security has been a major significant financial blow to me and my family. Within a matter of 18 months my family and I have gone from tying to build savings, to trying to stay alive!! The $60,000 reduction in income did not reduce the amount of financial liabilities! Federal Tax liabilities, State Tax Liabilities, Vehicle loans, License fees, Auto insurance, Credit card Debt, business loans , rent, utilities etc.. did not stop. While creditors have expressed their sympathy for the sad situation that has been thrust upon me, they (in the same breath) demand payment or force litigation. They now contact me on a daily basis, file law suits, file garnishments and seek to confiscate personal property. I have NEVER been one who has been in such dire need. I have never envisioned myself not being able to provide for my family. I have never been one to wonder where I will have to live. I have never been one to seek government assistance. I have never been one to seek hand outs. I have always been the one helping those in need!
I am seeking financial assistance of $117,000.00 to pay back taxes to both Federal and State, pay judgements filed against me and remove garnishments. I am asking from the bottom of my heart and with the grace of God that if you are one who is able to financially help me in this time of dire need, your financially help will be greatly appreciated. Throughout my life, I have paid it forward, but I have now been forced to become a receiver.
Thank you for your consideration,