Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Basically, the Money Thing

*Below is the original situation. See Breadwinner*

Update: See 5/21 "Bounce with him"

The trouble with the plan is that for one thing, just by the time we had been granted the first of our own dream team of pediatric specialists, our hospital bill hit about a gazillion dollars.

When I called my insurance company on the way to the emergency room, they had this advice for me in my hour of need: "Make sure your anesthesiologists are in your plan. They tend to overcharge."

Duly noted. I did, in fact, ask one of them about this on the way into the first MRI. She didn't know. She paused, with the stretcher holding my infant son halfway into the door of the big magnet that was going to tell me how big his alleged tumor was and if it was worth operating on - "Do you want me to check?" Um, no. Thanks, though.

So money is an issue. Thomas's chemo is going to make it impossible for him to attend day care, so one of us has to stay at home. Since the insurance, what little we have, is mine, I'm back to work in a couple weeks and Scott is going to be Mr. Mom. That's Scary Mom* to you.

We thought Thomas's medical bills capped out at $10,000 out of pocket for us, but it looks like that's only for covered doctors and procedures. Uncovered procedures and things like those pesky rogue anesthesiologists are just going to keep piling up.

There's a lot of help out there, but some of the more obvious avenues - like Medicaid - are closed to us and we are pursuing grants and help from foundations, but those things take time. We are talking with our mortgage company and other creditors about programs they have for situations like this. We already live pretty thin, though, so there aren't that many places to cinch the belt.

So, we need your help. Our immediate circle of friends and family has been unbelievably generous and thoughtful and kind, but they're basically tapped out. We've also, fortunately, heard from literally hundreds of prayer groups, churches, businesses, long-lost friends and relatives, and others who have heard Thomas's story and want to help out in some way. If you're one of those fabulous individuals, you can donate to your little heart's desire. As much or as little as you want. You could even commit to a small amount each month.

We're encouraging groups, however, to sort of Name It And Claim It - choose a bill or a need and raise money to pay it for one to seven months. We'll even send you a copy of the bill or receipt if you want to hang on the wall or something. We're thinking plans like this:

  • Be a Surrogate Scott: Carry us financially through one month by donating $2700
  • Mortgage Sponsor: $1100 pays our mortgage for one month
  • Car Star: $500 would give us a bit of a car (or house) safety net
  • Utilities Star: $300 pays utilities for the month
  • Food Star: $100 buys well over a week's worth of groceries and incidentals

You've been asking how to help, so that's how. Thanks so much to all of you who already have donated cash or helped out with food for us or taken care of dogs or listened to us - we are so incredibly blessed.

Much love - Scott, Sarah, and lil T

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