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This fundraiser ended on 06/24/10

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A community coming together to help a family in need. Catherine Meintsma is suffering from Evan's Syndrome and the medical bills involved to treat this disease have gotten out of hand. This family needs help now, please donate to help this family!

Could you image going to work one day and being told your services where no longer needed after several years of service to your employer? Now add to this fact of losing a job with healthcare benefits; and, finding out that a family member is suffering from a major medical disease and you cannot provide any health insurance or adequate funds to pay the large medical bills that are coming in. Imagine the stress and burden that lies upon a family in this situation. This is exactly what life has become for the Meintsma Family of Coopersville, Michigan.

In February of 2009 Joel Meintsma received the dreadful news that we all worry about today, he was advised that his services were no longer needed in trade skill position he held.  Catherine returned to work for a local hospital part-time to provide health insurance benefits to their family. 

In November of 2009 Catherine began to feel sluggish and just drained of energy. She went to the doctor and tests were run showing she was anemic and she needed a blood transfusion to bring her levels up again. The first transfusion did not work, and she was placed on steroids and another transfusion was scheduled. Things were not getting better; in fact they were getting worse. Catherine was experiencing more bloody noses and coughing up more blood with each transfusion. The doctors continued to run tests trying to figure out what exactly was causing Catherine’s symptoms. Transfusion after transfusion, test after test, still no answers just a pile of medical bills that they are still not sure how they will pay. Then in January an answer to a prayer, they finally found out what they were dealing with, what they had to fight against. Catherine was diagnosed with Evan’s Syndrome. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body makes antibodies that destroys the red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. The bad news, there is no magic bullet to cure this disease and even worse there are only 20 doctors in the United States that treat this disease.

The treatments first where steroids which did not work and now Catherine has begun chemo treatments, which cost about as much as a new car! The health insurance the Meintsma family has is through Catherine’s employer so she has to work in order to obtain the 80/20 insurance coverage she has. The COBRA payment for a family of six is too expensive for them to pay, if they pay the COBRA so Catherine can stay home and get well they will lose their house for not making their mortgage payments. As much as it kills Joel to see Catherine having to go to work two days a week after receiving chemo treatments, there just was no other option available. They applied for state help and were denied because they make too much money. Without the insurance Catherine cannot receive her chemo treatments. While there are no guarantees these treatments will work to put Catherine in remission and allow her to live a normal life, they have to try it because that is all they have right now, even if it is a long shot.

This family of six has supported its Coopersville community in so many ways, through Joel serving as a city council member, Catherine volunteering for the area public schools and the children serving on school councils and athletics. The entire family is very involved with St. Michael’s Catholic Church. It is hard to image an everyday family faced with such hardship over a year’s time, but it happens.

If everyone that views this site just gives $1.00 we can help this family and provide a little relief in regards to how the medical bills will get paid.  Please show your support today and complete the donation form below!!

Thank you for your support in this cause for HOPE FOR CATHERINE!

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