$23,885 of $50,000
222 donations

Lets rally around the Hanhauser family and support them as Bob battles his Crohn's disease and the related medical expenses.

The photo above is of the Hanhauser family taken about 9 years ago.  There is Alyson, beautiful inside and out, her Dad Bob, her Mom Julie, and her red haired, freckle faced, cute and charismatic brother Ian.  The smiles in the picture were a reflection of good times and a warm and loving home.  Bob had been coping for many years with Crohn’s disease, an ailment which damages and/or destroys the intestines.  He had been through a number of life threatening crises.  However, somehow he had always been able to recuperate sufficiently to enjoy his family and work to continue supporting them. Then, when 14 year old Ian died suddenly of a rare and fast moving cancer, tears replaced the smiles, and the Crohn’s disease began taking a nightmarish toll on the whole family.

     Before and after Ian’s tragic death, Bob had 5 bowel surgeries, leaving him with insufficient intestine to adequately absorb nutrients from food.  While most of us take the simple, necessary, and usually pleasurable act of eating for granted, Bob can no longer enjoy such a “luxury”. There are no Christmas dinners, no Thanksgiving feasts, no birthday cakes, not even daily family meals for Bob.  He suffers from extreme malnutrition and is being kept alive by an infusion of medicines and nutrients, administered every 12 hours, through a port in his chest. Each of these treatments is extremely costly, as are the many additional medicines he must take and the ever increasing number of medical specialists he must see.  Bob also suffers from a congenital neurological disease called Progressive External Opthalmoplegia  which affects his hearing, eyesight, and ability to swallow.  These combined illnesses manifest in weakness, extreme chronic pain, memory deficits, impaired balance,  periods of confusion, and constant fatigue.  In recent months, there have been serious falls resulting in deep cuts, broken ribs, and a broken collarbone. There was also a large malignancy which had to be removed from the skin on Bob’s forehead.  Bob can no longer work or drive. 

     There are many problems and complications related to Bob’s health status, often followed by complications to the complications.  The Hanhausers have medical insurance, but the out-of-pocket medical bills for Bob’s hospitalizations, medications, nutrients, dental care, surgeries, physical and emotional therapies are astronomical and ever increasing. Julie is a Cleveland Clinic nurse and is working many extra shifts, but her salary cannot cover these expenses, especially when combined with typical household bills, vehicle expenses, and her own and Alyson’s medical needs.  She and Bob may be facing $50,000 of debt in the coming year, and this financial hardship will continue throughout Bob’s lifetime.

     The Hanhausers are a close knit family and have always been givers.  The love and generosity of their spirits are incomparable and unconquerable. Until Bob became so ill, they had organized annual walks in their sweet Ian’s memory, donating the proceeds to cancer research or animal rescue facilities. They  continue sharing their love and support with Alyson’s and Ian’s friends, and amazingly, still volunteer to assist friends in numerous ways when time and energy permit. They have also shared their home with many rescue dogs, at one time adopting and raising 6 homeless pets. The role of being in need themselves is new and difficult for them. We are hoping that now, at this challenging time of their lives, their generosity will come full circle back to them.  This fundraiser, with a goal of $50,000 has  been started to alleviate some of the financial stresses they are facing.   Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.


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