Comfort, life, love…

The Fixer-Upper

“I met the love of my life, Rick, in June of 2011. He was a ‘fixer-upper’ and a good fisherman,” Rose describes. But just two months after Rick and Rose met, Rick’s father suddenly passed away. Because of the stress of losing his father, Rick ended his relationship with Rose.

Rick and Rose

Rick & Rose

Several months had passed. Rick, being the handy man he was, worked for a heating and cooling company. Coincidentally, his company sent him to fix the system at the nursing home where Rose was working. “We fell back in love and married a short time after that,” Rose states. But that was when the problems started. Rick was always great at fixing things. Unfortunately, the one thing that he could not fix was his cancer.

Rick started having lower back pain. When it was checked, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Rick and Rose were living off of only her income, but eventually, she had to quit work in order to take care of Rick. They quickly became delinquent on most of their bills. “It was very troubling. We didn’t know what to do,” Rose describes.

Rose confided in Vickie Guess, a social worker for the Heartland Hospice where Rick was a residing patient. Rose had known Vickie for years from previous experiences with Rose’s family members and a friend, who were at one time Heartland Hospice patients. Vickie assisted Rose through the grant application process, in hopes to help Rick and Rose with some of their past-due bills.

When Vickie told Rose she had been approved for a Memorial Fund grant, Rose started crying. “I felt so relieved. I was relieved to be able to get caught up on some bills. My relief then gave Rick assurance, knowing I would not have to struggle once he was gone” Rose’s grant was fully completed in the month Rick passed away. “He didn’t have to worry about me financially, in his final days,” she explains.

Overall, Rose is just so grateful for the financial assistance and for the help from Vickie. “Through this experience, I learned that there are a lot of people willing to help you go through this,” Rose states. And she is forever grateful for the Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund.

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