This is the story of a 53-year-old man who has worked in the maintenance industry for over 30 years and has been rendered  by doctors to choose between quitting his job or become wheelchair bound within 6 months. This is the story of his immediate need for help, after he received the news  that the cancerous disease in his spinal cord has gotten to the point where any normal work or strains to the back -even much walking- can speed up the process to where his spine will basically depress to the point where walking will be almost impossible.

 

In December 2015,  after receiving his  monthly 16 shots in the back and getting multiple X-rays, he was ordered by doctors and surgeons.The news that his spinal cord has depressed to the point where it can no longer be uncompressed without surgery, stung more than the cold needles that entered his skin monthly. He was told that if he continues to work on a daily basis, he will be wheelchair-bound within 6 months.

 

The horror of learning this took him and his wife by surprise and  both came to the sudden realization that very hard times were about to be unleashed upon them. Having been awarded custody of their 6-year-old granddaughter four years earlier and having his 52-year-old wife already be in need of knee replacement and unable to work, this nightmare seemed to be one that he would have difficulty to wake from. The husband and wife were advised to get a disability lawyer asap and so they did back in December. Even a band-aid on the huge expanding crack that had begun to be his life would be of help. The lawyers immediately set forth a disability claim on the man's behalf. This was all good on paper but with not being able to work, living paycheck to paycheck and having to raise the 6-year-old granddaughter, money was already running low.

 

 

Income tax time came and as fate would have it, the IRS decided to keep the entire $3,800.00 income tax return which was due to the husband and wife, because the wife still owed $2,875.00 on a school loan and with the interest accrued it amounted to over $4,500.00. The government, more specifically the IRS, thought they needed the money more than the husband, the wife, and the little granddaughter. After the man and his wife learned of that horrible scenario, they were forced to use the remaining paychecks from his job to pay as many bills as possible in hopes that he may be eligible for unemployment. After registering with the local unemployment agency and fighting with them since January 7, 2016, they finally received a check from unemployment on February 25, 2016, for $1,250.00 which was immediately directed towards paying the mountain of unpaid bills that had piled up after his job leave. Shortly thereafter, they were informed by the unemployment department that because the man cannot actively work or search for work, he will no longer be entitled to collect unemployment. This was the gift that the government had decided to give hard working individuals who have paid hundreds of dollars weekly in taxes from their paychecks for over 30 years.

 

The man and his wife were forced to sell as much of their belongings as possible in early March to keep paying the ongoing bills. They now head into April with no answers from the disability claim and no solutions as to how to get any funds to keep supporting their granddaughter. They were told by friends about to making a gofundme account and so they did. The account is currently up and running. Being from the older days of life, neither the man nor the wife have that many internet connections with Facebook, Twitter or other outlets so getting the gofundme account out to many people is not very easy.

 

Now, I wish that this story was made up from my imagination. However, unfortunately, this is the reality for thousands of Americans across the United States. More specifically, this is the reality for one of my close friends. This story has touched me on a personal level, as I understand the unexpected curve balls that life can throw at us. Not only do these curve balls knock the wind out of us, but they also can leave us without hope. Our poor government and the greed of the United States' IRS, will continue to cause individuals to suffer. There are currently no programs  available for people within these unfortunate situations, and this has to change. I deeply hope that one day we get a president who can look into situations like this and possibly come up with immediate solutions for our older citizens who have contributed so much of their money to the IRS and government through their years of hard work.

 

If anyone wants to donate to this couple and help them pay their bills and raise their granddaughter, the link for the gofundme account is here: https://www.gofundme.com/4wka2gzg?pc=expt_em_co_shareflow_m_89_2

 

All help and donations will be greatly appreciated as no amount is too little.

 

Thank you all on the family's behalf!

 

Published by Mike Panek