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Thank you for taking time to read more about my campaign.

First off, I never thought I would be in a situation where I would be seeking donations for medical expenses. It is indeed very humbling, if not down-right embarrassing as I have always been quite gainfully employed with above average income and benefits. But since March of 2019, through an unexpected turn of events, I have been “self-employed” and have not had any medical coverage whatsoever. I am caught in a health insurance “gap” where I earn only just too much to qualify for any assistance or government subsidized health care, but too little to afford to pay for surgery and still be able to pay my life expenses like housing, food, recovery etc. I currently have no funeral arrangements made either, and I am told that I should do that prior to surgery. So I would also seek to make my own arrangements as well to prevent from burdening my family with any expenses along these lines should it be necessary. 

[Regarding expenses up to this point, I have been primarily surviving since 2019 by consuming what little retirement funds I had available, in conjunction with whatever income I can generate through my sole-proprietorship company and sales success. This however is about to run out and I am basically hanging on by a thread].

The tumor in my left-side kidney is now close to 5cm in size, is in the middle area of the kidney, and is both inside and outside which means it can spread to other organs like the lungs or the liver. Based on a recent evaluation from the Urologist, the tumor has grown aggressively since the CAT scan in January, (when it was under 4.5cm) and the doctor said I need to have a total Nephrectomy (Kidney removal) including the fat sack outside the organ ASAP. If I were able to do this , while keeping my remaining kidney “healthy,” I stand a good chance of being cancer-free and living out a normal life. (This is a very scary and frustrating situation).

Although being self-employed has allowed me to get by during the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, things changed during January this year. I suffered a urinary obstruction that caused a 3AM ER visit to the local hospital. Not having insurance and trying to keep costs low, I requested only minimal treatment. So, I experienced the humiliation of a Foley Catheter, and was sent home with instructions how to use it… Then, 3 days later, excruciating side pain drove me back to the ER. This time a CAT Scan revealed I had two (2) kidney stones in my right kidney (causing the pain), and that I had a large tumor on my left kidney. (Cancer). I was told that taking care of the stones and getting the right-side kidney “healthy” again had to be done first. Then, after I recovered, the side with the cancer could be addressed.

It took two (2) separate surgeries, 3 weeks apart, to finally have the stones removed as there were complications with the first attempt. I am responsible for the debt from these surgeries to eight (8) different medical entities, some of which have been paid off, and others have allowed monthly payments to be made. At my current payment rate it will take 2-4 years to pay off the debt from these surgeries.

Non-Insured Self-Pay patients must have a down-payment before they will operate. This has been 50% for the first 2 surgeries, and the balance can be spread out over time. I would also need to pay 50% for the kidney removal surgery, which could have a total overall cost of 75K to 100K depending on various factors or complications.

So I still owe 20K balance on the first two surgeries to the first 2 different hospitals, which needs to be paid off before I could schedule anything new with either one. Once paid I would need to go in with at least $37,500.00 (50%) to have the total Nephrectomy scheduled. Afterward, I could be laid-up and unable to work for 6 weeks or more depending on results. I really have no idea what post-mortem arrangements cost, but I would opt for the most modest alternative.

That’s the short version of my situation. So any assistance at all would be greatly appreciated. If it helps, any donations are tax-deductible. The total goal amount I have listed is a well-researched educated guess of total costs based on estimates I received from the major hospitals in my area. The actual costs could be even higher depending on how well everything goes. So my listed goal may fall short. However if it does not, and the total amount donated exceeds my expenses, I will use anything extra to donate to someone else in a similar situation.

If I could only find a good outside sales position with benefits, which I have been diligently trying to do (preferably in the area of my expertise which is industrial fluid handling systems for paints, powder coatings, adhesives & sealants, and lubricants – including pumps, piping, metering, material handling, controls and automation) I could probably (eventually) handle all the debt burden of this myself. So if anyone knows of any employment opportunities… I would be indeed very grateful. I truly do regret how this has worked out.

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Joe

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