Jim is a loving father, husband, brother and proud Navy vet. Jim is also a strong man who has faced and overcome a lifetime of medical issues. At birth it was discovered that Jim has a condition called Kartagener's Syndrome which causes the cilia in a person's body not to work properly or not at all. 50% of people with Kartagener's are situs inversus which is a really fancy way of saying that the placement of all the organs is reversed from the rest of the population. This makes for a fun time at the emergency room! Only about 0.01% of the population is situs inversus so Jim gets lots of attention when he has to go to the emergency room. Most medical staff go their entire career without seeing someone like him. The Kartagener's syndrome has caused more issues. Because the cilia in his lungs and sinuses don't work properly, Jim is prone to Pneumonia and sinusitis. Because of his lung condition, Jim ended up developing emphysema about 10 years ago. The disease progressed to the point that he had to retire at age 47. Jim is stubborn and strong and found ways to overcome and/or live with all of his medical conditions. That brings us to the present. A couple of weeks ago Jim was diagnosed with cancer. Tumors were discovered on his liver and a PET scan showed he also has a lesion in his lower esophagus. The tumor markers in his blood and a biopsy of his liver show that he does not have liver cancer. He is undergoing more testing and biopsies this week to find the primary source of his cancer. He is also starting chemotherapy this week to try and shrink the tumors. For the first time, Jim needs to reach out for help in overcoming a health issue.
How you can help:
Over the last couple of weeks we have begun to understand why cancer patients are 2X more likely to file bankruptcy than the general population. Jim has medicare and a medicare supplemental insurance but when you have co-pays for every doctor visit, higher co-pays for all the specialists you have to see, even higher co-pays for the tests you have to have and then you have to pay 20% of the cost of your chemo drugs it begins to feel like you don't have insurance at all. Jim will be having chemo and doctor checkups every two weeks for the foreseeable future. This will cost roughly $1600/month just for the drugs and oncologist. The months he needs PET scans to check the progress of treatment or other tests, the cost will be higher. Any donation made to this page will go to cover his co-pays. More than that, any donation made will go a long way to giving him hope and peace of mind that he will be able to continue his treatments and not have to worry constantly about money. No one should feel like they have to make a choice between getting treatment and taking care of their family. The stress of a financial struggle takes a patient's mind off of the main job they should have...staying positive and getting better.
It is amazing how a large number of people coming together and each giving a small amount can dramatically change a person's life. Helping out someone you may not even know can also make a dramatic difference in your own life. We all have blessings that we need to remember to be thankful for and sometimes "paying" those blessings forward through encouragement, support and caring enrich our lives in ways we may not even know. Encouragement, support, love and caring mean different things to each of us. Sometimes just a simple message saying "I'm thinking of you and wanted to see how you are doing today" makes all the difference on a bad day.
Jim had two criteria before he agreed to let me set up this fundraiser. 1. That I made it clear that all the funds raised will go to his co-pays and medical expenses. 2. Any funds raised above what is needed for his medical expenses will be paid forward in the form of donations to groups that assist cancer patients with their co-pays.
Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated and mean more than you could ever know. It would also help if you could assist us in spreading the word about Jim's fight to get healthy by passing this link along.
Love and blessings,