By Kali Meister, Mercy Junction Administrative Assistant
It is no sin to need help. In fact, at some point in all of our lives we have required the assistance of friends, family, and our community. Crowd sourcing is a great way to reach out to specific communities and request necessary help.
Carolyn Shaw-Chandler and her husband Rodney Chandler, both unemployed, do not have insurance, and their medical needs are extensive. Carolyn is disabled with bone issues that have weakened her back and knees. She is undergoing testing for possible breast cancer. She also suffers from depression and anxiety.
A part of the Mercy Junction community, Carolyn has been involved in social justice activism with the center, and her story exemplifies the need for health care coverage for all people, and the suffering created by the sin of turning basic human needs into commodities in a capitalist system. Mercy Junction has been able to help out in a limited capacity with financial assistance, but more help is needed.
Carolyn is appealing the denial of her disability assistance — which also ended her Meidcare coverage — meaning a second surgery that would relieve her back issues, which might help get her back to work, is not covered.
“It’s difficult because these processes take time, and if this appeal is denied I have to start the entire process over again.” said Carolyn.
Carolyn also cannot afford a biopsy of her left breast, and though she does receive some financial assistance with her breast exams, the exam is the only element of her breast health with which she receives assistance.
When Rodney had insurance coverage, he was diagnosed with stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. He lost his coverage two years ago. His diagnosis was the last medical procedure he has had outside of what the local health department can offer, but that is very little to no help. The health department doesn’t offer biopsies or the further diagnostic tests he needs to assess his medical needs. Cirrhosis is a chronic disease and stage 4 is the decompensated stage where the only cure is a liver transplant.
Because the this couple cannot work, paying basic bills is always an issue.
“We were able to get some summer assistance with some of this month’s basic bills, but next month is up in the air.” Carolyn added.
The couple have a car payment, electricity bills, and phone bills. They do receive a small amount of food stamps to help their budget, but that doesn’t feed their 2 cats and 2 dogs or cover their preventative medicines.
Carolyn has set up a GoFundMe page on September 23,2015 with a $3000 goal. The couple have raised $920 of their goal so far.
Carolyn and her husband Rodney require help from the community, and this need is urgent. The beauty of crowd sourcing is that it is possible to make a profound difference. Just a $5 donation made by one hundred people is another five hundred. This is so much easier than it sounds. By sharing this story a community of helpers open up for this couple, and gives them the potential to have so many of their needs met with just $5 and the click of the donate button.
Please check out Carolyn’s GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/CarolynShaw to donate.