Stephanie Packer, wife and mother of four and a former Church youth counselor, was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2012.
Prefer to donate by mail?
Stephanie Packer, wife and mother of four and a former Church youth counselor, was diagnosed with scleroderma in 2012. This autoimmune disease has attacked her lungs and other vital organs. Most days bring her excruciating pain and she struggles to breathe. She can no longer eat and digest food, so she takes nourishment through a tube with the aid of her husband, Brian, who helps care for her. Stephanie and her husband have done everything they can to fight this terrible disease while continuing to raise their four kids, Brian Jr., Scarlett, Jacob, and Savannah. It hasn’t been easy. Brian had to leave his full-time job at a lumberyard to care for his family. He works just weekends now when other family members can help out at home.
Her condition is still terminal, but Stephanie wants to live as long as she can in order to be with her husband and young children and to honor her Catholic religious beliefs, which forbid suicide. Her medical team is working on two experimental treatments that could help her, so there is still hope.
At one point, her insurance company refused to pay for treatments to prolong her life. They informed Stephanie that, because her home state of California had just passed legislation approving assisted suicide, she could receive life ending medication for a co-pay of $1.20!. After some discussion, the insurance company reversed their position, and Stephanie’s treatment plan has been able to move forward again.
Would you be willing to make a year-end tax-deductible gift of $10 or more to help the Packers? Click here to make your donation now, Stephanie’s experience with insurance led her to become a Patient Advocate & Spokesperson for end of life issues. She testified at a NJ Senate hearing against legislation that would legalize Physician Assisted Suicide in that state. We agree with Stephanie that it is morally indefensible to leave the terminally ill at the mercy of their insurance companies.
While medical issues dominate the Packers’ family life, food is another concern. They regularly run out of groceries. Their parents are very supportive but can do only so much. Help comes from some surprising places though. One day when they ran out of their last juice and protein, they received a bunch of gift cards to a local restaurant. With those, they ate lunch and dinner there until they were able to buy more groceries.
It is difficult to deal with the food insecurity on top of the medical issues. The Packers would love to be able to buy higher quality food for the family. Fresh produce and protein are expensive though, so most of the time, they make do with processed food and carbs.
We are asking for $10,000 for the Packer family. This will supplement other funds already collected towards the cost of an experimental treatment that may give Stephanie more time with her kids. In addition, your donation will cover transportation between the hospital and home and basic groceries and living expenses during her treatment. If each person who links to this site donates at least $10 this month, we will meet our goal for the Packers.
Because you’ll be donating through our 501 ( c) (3), your contributions are US tax deductible to the full extent allowed by the IRS. Click here to make your donation now
We thank the Center for Garden State Families for bringing this case to our attention.
UPDATE FROM STEPHANIE PACKER- January 2017: " I cannot thank you all enough for helping me. With everything I have received so far, I have been able to pay off all but 2 of my debts, and I have caught up on some much needed things. I FINALLY was able to purchase my boys some brand new clothes that actually fit and they were so excited to be able to find clothes that express their own individuality! Thank God I was able to get some new shoes for the boys as their shoes have several holes in them which is obviously not good with all of the rain! The kids finally accepted a couple of birthday party invitations as we usually have to decline because I have not been able afford the purchase o birthday gifts for the child that is having the birthday. The list goes on and on... I am so thankful to you all ..."
Thank you and may God bless you mightily!