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The Time is Now to Help: Medical bills turn into financial crisis

By Sal Dimiceli
October 7, 2014

Dear W.C.,

I am very grateful for the help The Time Is Now to Help gave my son years ago when he was so sick from his cancer treatments. The Time Is Now to Help was there to help his wife and children when they could no longer pay their bills and after his death. He did not have health insurance so his family was overwhelmed financially. You were a God send to him and his family during such a terrible time. I thank The Time Is Now to Help for all you did for him. He was my only child. It has been the worst time of my life losing him. Now I find myself in need of your assistance. Since his death I have had several financial challenges myself. Now I find myself unable to pay my rent. I have no one else to turn to.

Scared Senior

Dear Readers,

I remembered this family we helped over five years ago. It was very tragic to see a man with so much to live for, two children, a loving wife and a loving mother, stricken with such a terrible disease. He tried to fight but lost his battle.

Now, five years later, I receive a letter from his mother in need of help. I remembered how kind she was and how grief stricken she was when she lost her only child. It was a family you do not easily forget. I called the mother and set up a time to visit.

The mother was living in a small old apartment building. She was waiting anxiously for my arrival and invited me right in with a hug. She was much frailer than the last time I had seen her. The years of grief had taken a toll. She began to cry, thanking us again for being there for her son and his family. I held her as she cried and tried to console the grief she still felt. After a few minutes she collected herself and said, "Goodness, look at me already crying. You barely got in the door." I silently prayed for her, asking the Lord to strengthen her.

We sat down to talk and she filled me in on all that had happened in her life since her son passed away five years previous. She had suffered with first pneumonia that required a hospitalization, and then a bad fall last summer that fractured her hip. She had a few bills on a table in front of her. There was a car repair, late rent notice and an overdue utility bill. I could see her finances had spun out of control in the last few months. She looked ashamed as I asked to see them, saying, "I don't know how this happened. My medical bills took all I had."

We went over her budget. If she had some savings to get her through this time in her life she would not be in this position. I could not criticize her for helping her daughter in law and grandchildren when they had suffered such a loss. I asked about the daughter in law and grandchildren. She said they had moved several years ago to be closer to her parents. The grandmother told me how she had recently written and shared she had a nursing career now and the children were in high school. I asked if she had written back. She said she had not because she did not want to distress her about her present problems. I suggested she share with her daughter in law what she was going through and let her decide if she wants to continue communicating.

After talking for over an hour we had a budget worked out for the future. We would need to pay her overdue rent and utilities to bring her budget into balance. We helped with some food. If any necessities come up, like a need for new glasses, a prescription, a car repair, anything not in her budget, she would be in trouble again. I knew more had to be done. I asked if I could call her daughter in law to say hello. She gave me her phone number.

The next day I talked to the daughter-in-law. She was very happy to hear from us. She asked about The Time Is Now to Help. She said, "All of you at The Time Is Now to Help were a God send during such a painful time." When I brought up the mother-in-law she told me she wanted her to move in with them a year ago and live together but the mother in law told her she did not want to be a burden and said no. We talked more and came up with a solution.

A week later the mother in law called to share the news. Her daughter-in-law had not only written to her, she had also sent some funds and a plane ticket. The daughter in law said in the letter, "I always felt so guilty about leaving you there all alone. I was so overwhelmed with my own grief at the time that I did not know how to help you in yours. I was not in a place to help you financially or mentally at the time. Now that I am stronger I am offering you the same love and kindness you gave to me and the children when your son, my husband, left this world. I know in my heart he would want me to help you. Do you think you could come for a visit and see if you like it here? We would love to have Grandma back with us. My job has many long days and it would be great to have you here when the kids are home. Please say yes!" She was crying by the time she finished reading this letter. I knew in her heart it was what she had always wanted.

The next month she was on the plane. She only returned once to clean out her apartment and settle affairs in Wisconsin. She is now happily living with the daughter- in-law and grandchildren. Thanks to all of "Your" support she was given the assistance needed to get back on budget and prevent her eviction. Thanks to God's grace she was reunited with her family and had a place to call home.

Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./Sal

Please Help: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken. A Very Special Thank You: Fox Charities, Clarence & Marilyn Schawk, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Martin Group, John Stensland & Family, Barbara Kufalk, Steve Thornton, James & Janet Jurik, Milton & Carol Ann Ancevic, Michael & Phyllis Patek, Michael & Sally Anne Chier, Daniel Stolgren, Charlotte Millard, James & Jean Knavel, Lawrence & Linda Schultz, Pat & Steve Werner, Joseph & Karen Cerniglia, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.            

Furniture Donations:  Please contact Love, Inc. for all your furniture, clothing and household item donations. Call 262-763-2743 or 262-763-6226 to schedule pick-up.   

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