Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What remains of Team Danica

When I saw the return address of the Canton Clerk of Courts I think I stopped breathing.  Since Akron Children's filed the lawsuit against us for very old medical bills we have had this additional feeling of anxiety added to our usual worry.  I have begun to understand what happens when something like this becomes public record. The other medical creditors have ramped up their already aggressive tactics to collect.  The letter was actually a beautiful "DISMISSED" notice for the suit against Dan and I.  I want to frame it, hang it on the wall and live with the reminder of God's faithfulness to provide for us and deliver us.  

Last night while I was watching special coverage of the horrific tornado in Oklahoma I was surprised to hear the news anchors telling it straight about what they called "faith based FEMA".  This is what I've been saying all along in our journey.  Community is the best place to care for one another and solve big overwhelming problems born of tragedy.  It is how we bless and are blessed and how gratitude can grow from some of the ugliest things in the world.  

Our first Team Danica donation was in April, 2010.  Do you remember this story?  Would you believe we are still driving on those tires?  Since then the number of people who have loved and supported us from near and far is achingly beautiful.  The Akron Children's law suit was not for bills incurred during our search for answers.  It came from before we ever heard the word "chiari" or for the months and months of physical therapy, scans for Klippel-feil, Botox injections or MRIs. It was for a several day hospitalization that occurred from a strange virus Danica had resulting in high fever, dehydration and a measle like rash.  

There was a lemonade stand, a Chic-fil-A fundraiser, Cookies for a Cause, wear jeans to work fundraisers from clients of the company I worked for in Northern Virginia, a Com Doc ice cream fundraiser, Sugardale Credit Union fundraiser, private donations here on our website, an angel from Australia, a family from California, cards from all over from friends of friends and even friends of people we didn't know.  If you had time you could read back through the archives of this blog and find story after story of how we were cared for.  By the time Danica needed her second brain surgery and fusion we had been adopted by The Canton Chapter of the Foundation for Community Betterment.  This was the biggest fundraiser to date.  It was love on top of love on top of love.  

Wisely we had been counseled to set up a separate "Team Danica" account.  This kept money specifically for her bills and care apart from other very real needs our family was experiencing.  In the completely overwhelming task of juggling the insane amount of bills that came in to our house I also had to decide some kind of priority system for paying them.  This was determined by all kinds of things I began to understand along the way.  One of the most important was keeping current providers paid so they would continue to treat Danica. This made Cincinnati Children's our top payee once she began treatment there in spring of 2010.  As a result this very old Akron Children's bill somehow got lost in the shuffle as well as intentionally not paying University Hospital Systems any more money for the first brain surgery.  I knew this would slide into collections.  The paper would keep coming, the calls would get more and more frequent and harassing, but Danica would have the care she needed NOW.  Our life was about day by day at this point.  Nothing mattered if we couldn't help her in the moment.

Since the recent lawsuit I began a massive project and dug out every single piece of paper I have filed.  Several small trees were crying.  I was crying.  

This is what we have in collections for Team Danica.


This is what remains.  

Here's what I know.  


University Hospital dismissed the money we owed except for $928.45.  This is a miracle in and of itself.  The remainder is owed to Cincinnati Children's.  

How in the world does $250,000 of medical care become this?  


And the biggest miracle of all is Danica Jean.  You gave her the best life possible.  We could not have done this without you.  

Look at her.  
This remains!  

("Team Monica" health update tomorrow.  Although I am being crushed right now from a bad storm approaching and have been bleeding rectally today after improvement from my special compounded medicine I can still say I have felt better in the past two weeks than I have in well over a year.  This has given me an adrenaline rush for life I have forgotten is even possible.  I don't take a minute of it for granted and find myself reaching in a million directions to try to grab some life.  My spreadsheet is a bloodbath.  I have over 30 creditors.  The amounts owed for some of them are staggering.  It feels impossible.  Do I just quit opening the envelopes?  Do I change our phone number and hide when the doorbell rings?  No.  I will press on because I have seen mountains moved.  I believe in impossible things because I've seen them appear from the most unlikely places and at the most desperate moments of doubt and despair.  When I think I can't do this another day I feel myself moving and look over to find you and you and you carrying my mat.  My Hope remains!)


  1. Amen and Praise the Lord! Thank You for once again sharing your heart with us.
    You are so loved my friend. I wish I could be there and hug you to pieces.

  2. Again you have been on my heart for days. Through your witness I have grown in my prayer life, I have come to trust the Lord on a deeper level, I am more grateful daily. I praise the Lord and thank Him for you!