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Health woes leave single mom behind on medical bills

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, at 6:04 a.m.

Share the Season is an annual campaign that offers one-time aid to people affected by unforeseen hardships. The people are not identified to protect their privacy.

A few years ago, doctors diagnosed this 32-year-old single mother with a chronic lung disease that constantly robs her of breath. An autoimmune disease also attacks her lungs, and, in November, doctors told her she had diabetes.

The diseases make it hard for her to keep up with her 5-year-old son, the woman said. And now that she’s missed work because of a recent hospitalization, she is having trouble keeping up with medical bills, too.

“I caught pneumonia and basically just got sick all the way around,” the woman said. “I just didn’t have any money to pay my bills.”

She used to work full-time in customer service, but doctors told her to cut her hours “to help get my health back on track,” the woman said. Desperate to pay a rash of medical bills her insurance didn’t cover, she turned to Share the Season for help.

“The bills were so high that I knew that if I didn’t get them paid down, I wouldn’t be able to go to the doctor on a regular basis,” she explained.

Now, the woman said, she can take care of her son and continue seeing the three medical specialists who keep her diseases under control.

“It basically relieved the stress off of me so I know that I can continue to get the health care that I need.”

So far, Share the Season has raised $158,547. Donors include: Ted and Marcia Ayres, in memory of Josh Yearout; Baughman Company, P.A.; Bill Bennett; Cessna’s U.S. Government & Special Missions Team; Anne Coffin; Steven and Janis Cox; Tate and Shelley Duncan; J. and Judy Grisham, in memory of Anna Lee Johnson; Ray and Eldena Griswold, in memory of Betty Janzen; Lou and Terry Heldman; Roseanna and Richard Jones; Geri Lynde; John and Barbara McCune; Leo and Virginia Merriman; Max and Penelope Moss; Kent Moxley; Ann Murray, in memory of Aaron Cunningham and Jerry Murray; Rosalie Myrtle; Bernie and Alberta Nichols; Jack and Beverly Parker; Phyllis Peete, in memory of Wendell A. Peete; James Riley; Gregory and Cynthia Schlitter; David and Laura Shriner; Howard and Judy Sieler, in memory of Betty Sieler; Sims Enterprises – Jack and Pam Sims; Rosemarie Vogel; N. Brent and Mary Jane Wooten; and 16 anonymous donations, including one in memory of Edith Downs.

Send contributions to Share the Season at the Wichita Community Foundation, 301 N. Main, Suite 100, Wichita, KS 67202.

Donations also can be made through PayPal online at www.wichitacf.org. Donors will be listed in The Eagle; please note if you prefer to remain anonymous. For more information, call 316-264-4880.

To apply for help: Download an application at www.sharetheseason.org, or pick one up at the Salvation Army, 350 N. Market, Wichita. For more information, call 316-263-2769.

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