Occasionally I become disheartened by the behavior of people and I conclude that there isn't much hope for the human race. Whenever I think about contributions to humanity, I think of Jonas Salk who refused all profit from the polio vaccine.
Each time I am grousing about people, my husband will ask, "How about Tim?"
Tim was a friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I told Tim, "If you need anything, you know you can depend on us." He said, "I know that, and thank you, but I'm OK." As the weeks went by, he needed to have an operation and he had to be off work and use his disability insurance. His wife had been injured at work and she was attending college to prepare for a different career. Each week I would call to ask how they were doing and he would continue to tell me that his disability checks were covering their expenses and he wanted to make sure his wife continued her schooling, but they were OK.
After a couple of months, I received a call and he said, "You know you told me that if I needed help, you knew some resources." I learned that he had used all of their savings; taken out all of his 401K investments; the 66 % payment he received from disability was not covering their expenses; he was in debt $2,500 for doctor and hospital bills; he needed to start a round of 35 chemotherapy visits and he wouldn't have funds for the co-payments.
I asked him to let me make some phone calls and I would call him the next day. I also asked him to let me help him write an appeal to his insurance company. He said he didn't think it would do any good, but I reminded him that I had written an appeal for my mother and they had reconsidered. We wrote the appeal and I mailed it.
I took him to Community Action to inquire about any benefits available.
Weeks before Tim called me I had been to the Medical Arts Building for therapy on my shoulder and I'd noticed a cookbook being offered for sale at the Receptionist's desk; I asked what group it was to benefit, and the Receptionist told me it was for The Tree Of Life and its mission was to help cancer patients. I called the Tree Of Life and told Tim's story and I was told to have him write a letter telling what was needed and submit it and they would consider his case. I typed a letter, took it to him for his signature, and mailed it the same day.
I recalled that when I'd gone to a Candidate's Forum before the last election, one of the candidates told that she belonged to a sorority with a charitable mission to help cancer patients. I got in touch with her and she told me they were meeting that very next night to decide where to allot their funds. She told me to have him write a letter and get it to the Secretary. I immediately typed a letter, took it to him to sign, and I hand-delivered it to the Secretary at her place of business.
I called several people to ask their churches to donate and I imposed on a friend to ask her St. Vincent de Paul group to donate. I called my brother and told him that the Catholics were giving $200; of course, the Pentecostal had to match that. I sent out a letter to friends and family. I had a yard sale.
Gerald told him that he would drive him to Wilmington for the five-times-a-week, 7-week chemotherapy treatments.
Because of the generosity of family, friends, churches, and the charitable groups, we were able to raise the $2,500 to be able to have him out of debt.
He recovered wonderfully well; he returned to work and his wife completed college and was working in her new field. Several months later, Tim called me and said, "You're not going to believe it, I just got a check from the insurance company and I want to re-pay you and Gerald for all you've done."
I said, "NO, NO, we don't want that!" I did NOT say what I was actually thinking, which that he might need the money in the future. He said, "Well, I'll call your brother and the others." Several people reported to me how he'd tried to re-pay them, but each had refused.
He could have so easily kept that money, and nobody would have known, and of course, he had every right to keep the money, but he instead wanted to re-pay those who had helped him.
A couple of weeks later, I was attending a funeral and a woman who worked at Community Action beckoned for me to come to sit with her. She said, "You know, I've been working there for 30 years and NOBODY has ever returned money to us until your friend came in and gave us the money!"
I said, "Kinda restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?"
See pictures from BuzzFeed which will restore your faith in humanity.