A Friend Indeed

My sister has been friends with Megan for as long as I can recall. I guess it was probably only when they started high school, but that was “only” 18 years ago, by which I mean, they have been friends for a long time. And during a time when plenty of my sister’s friends were not terribly nice to her annoying little sister, Megan was always kind to me, always made me feel like she was my friend too. And these days, she is.

2012 has not been a kind year to Megan. She is married to a man named Peter. A man she made go to the doctor in March for some odd symptoms that she thought would be diagnosed as a hefty case of not taking good enough care of himself. And instead, they found out that Peter has a brain tumor. A dangerous, deadly, malignant brain tumor.

Picture stolen from Megan’s facebook page

Through surgery, chemo and radiation, Peter attempted to work as much as possible, because he loved his job as the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Mesa, Arizona. And the people there supported him as he did the best he could. He was unable to work full time, but he worked enough to keep his job and his insurance.

This week, via email, Peter was fired from his job.

From a job he loved.

From a job that provided him insurance.

Effective January 1, Peter, who is being actively treated for terminal brain cancer, is without insurance. Because his work has fewer than 20 employees, there’s no COBRA. Because Arizona is run by the worst woman in politics people who don’t like Obamacare, there’s no state high risk pool that he can fall into to get coverage. When I asked Megan today she said that the best case scenario is that he will be without insurance for a month.

His doctors are doing what they can to help, but there is a very real possibility that Peter will need very expensive medical care next month. And the month after that. And so on. He can’t go to the federal high risk pool until he’s been without insurance for a time, and if they do find insurance comparable to COBRA, it will be astronomically expensive, especially considering that Peter no longer has an income.

To be perfectly honest and not at all eloquent, I’m completely outraged at this situation. I’m angry at his work for not trying harder to let him continue working, for doing this right before Christmas. I’m angry at the year Megan and Peter (and Peter’s 2 children) have had to endure and for the future they face. There are so many things here that are totally and completely unfair and I am angry for my friend and her husband.

I can’t fix it, even though I desperately want to, so I’m asking you to help me. I completely understand that it is the costliest time of the year in an economy that sucks, to put it mildly. But I also know that this is the season of giving. It’s the time of year when we wrap up boxes with shiny ribbon and pile presents high and I’m hoping that you can give one more gift this year. I’m asking you to give a gift to Peter and Megan- a gift of assurance that they won’t be devastated by their bills, that they can make sure Peter gets adequate healthcare as they figure out their next steps.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single dollar helps. If you can spare anything, be it money or prayers or even just good thoughts, the Sterlings can use it. All money goes directly to Peter’s medical care, and donations can be sent via real mail (they’re looking into PayPal now) to:
Peter Sterling Donation Account
(payable to Megan Sterling)
Gateway Commercial Bank
6860 E Warner Rd, Mesa, AZ 85212

If you would prefer to send it electronically, you are welcome to paypal me the money (overflowingbrain@gmail.com) and I’ll get it to Megan (we can work out a receipt method so you know your money is getting there, I just need a little while to figure out how). And just to be crystal clear that I’m not doing any of this for my own benefit or attention, all the money I make this month and next month from ads on my blog will go directly to Megan and Peter, so retweet and share the link as much as your heart desires, it will only benefit the Sterlings. My only goal here is to help my friend and her husband through (what is hopefully) the toughest time in their lives.

If you want to know a little more about the situation, this is the story of what happened this week and earlier stories about him can be found here, here and here.

Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you for helping my friends.

3 Responses to “A Friend Indeed”

  • Stephen:

    Katie, I’m sending money. However, the fact that you are “outraged” doesn’t give you the right to disparage our duly elected leadership in Arizona. Here in the best state in the Union, we realize that borrowing to pay for shit we can’t afford is unsustainable. Choices are hard sometimes, but it is WAAAAAY better to err on the side of fiscal discipline when making decisions for the long term health of our state’s finances. Sometimes life sucks a big one. And that sucks. Really Bad. But namecalling and emotional disparagement doesn’t fix anything. Compassion and charity do.


    Katie Reply:

    @Stephen, You know, fiscal discipline is one thing- toying with people’s health and livelihood is another.

    I am trying not to use the word hate, but I really, really, really dislike Jan Brewer. I really do. I think she has been among the worst elected officials in the history of this country. I think she has set women back (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/12/governor-jan-brewer-signs-arizona-s-extreme-new-abortion-law.html), I think she has set democracy back, I think she has set any hope at any sort of racial harmony (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/jan-brewer-immigration-benefits_n_1820271.html) back decades. And her hatred of Obamacare has harmed my friends. Your point is fair, but it remains that my friends are in this situation because there’s no state high risk pool, so I feel entitled to my complicated feelings about your state’s leadership. Apologies for the namecalling, it was probably unnecessary, if a little tongue in cheek.

    Also, best state in the Union made me laugh out loud. You’re a funny guy, Stephen. :)


    Kathy Reply:

    @Katie, Gosh, if Stephen was in the same situation as Megan and Peter would he be singing the same song? I guess (hopefully for Stephen) we’ll never know.


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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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