Have you ever encountered a person with a heart of gold, who can’t seem to catch a break?
Let me tell you a little about our dear friend Paul LaRocque. At the age of 4, he began a battle with Hodgkin’s Disease that would continue throughout his life. He received large doses of radiation to combat the cancer and managed to fight it off. Unfortunately, those radiation doses created problems lurking in the background that eventually would return to haunt him.
1999 Paul had a valve in his heart repaired. So far so good. Fast forward to…
2009 Thyroid cancer: Paul had half of his cancerous thyroid removed in 2010 and was put on medication permanently
2011 Paul had several nodules removed from his lungs
2012 Paul had tumors removed from his groin area
2012 Another heart surgery to repair a valve
To compound things, in June of 2006 an accident at work shattered Paul’s right elbow, which forced him into medical disability. He wears a permanent brace, which severely restricts his ability to work. He suffers from asthma and a heart arrhythmia that may eventually lead to a pacemaker implantation. The doctors have been clear that he can expect more complications down the road.
What’s remarkable about Paul is that he is no pity party. He will be the first to say he is thankful for each day he wakes up, and that plenty of others have it worse. He also is the first to help out any person in need, giving his last few bucks or even the shirt off his back if necessary. He is a fighter and a positive influence on everyone in his life. Anyone who knows Paul is aware that his humility will always keep him from asking for anything, but we know he needs our help. Luckily he does have insurance, but the copays, deductibles, regular testing and procedures, and fuel price increases have finally sapped his resources. The latest blow was when he filed for assistance through the Massachusetts Health Net program, which helps people with astronomical medical bills…..and he was denied.