Jan Rogers, Wichita, KS
- Total eligible bills
- Provider discounts
- Total bills shared
In over 50 years of being a Christian and 43 years of marriage, our family had never faced a more difficult time than late summer and early fall 2016.
In mid-August my husband, John, and I learned that our daughter-in-law left our oldest son. Two weeks later, our daughter and son-in-law announced that after 16 years of marriage his adultery was causing them to divorce.
We were shocked; they had attended Christian school together and we were all members of the same church.
Still reeling from these revelations, after another few weeks we heard the news that completely changed our world: John had kidney failure resulting from late-stage multiple myeloma.
We had joined the Christian Healthcare Ministries Gold program in April 2012 and in the four years since I’d had a few minor health issues.
John, however, was never sick.
In October 2016 John suspected he had a kidney infection and visited our primary care physician, who ran some tests.
I was running errands when John called to tell me the test results and that he needed to go to a hospital intensive care unit right away. I dropped everything to return home and drive him to the ICU.
After what felt like thousands of tests, we learned the diagnosis: John had lesions (tumors) throughout his body. The lower spine lesions were more advanced, which is what caused his kidney failure.
Since multiple myeloma causes cancer cells to accumulate in the bone marrow, John suffered multiple fractures; over time he went from walking with a cane to not being able to walk at all. At one point his arm was in a sling and he had difficulty breathing because most of his ribs were fractured. Eventually he had to use an oxygen tank.
Shortly after we learned the news I realized I would be an “accountant” of sorts; I had to keep track of the constantly-arriving medical bills. Though in retrospect I see I didn’t have to be nervous, I was nevertheless overwhelmed at the thought of calling CHM. Never before had we faced such high medical costs.
The CHM staff was terrific; the representative I spoke with was patient in answering my questions and listened intently as I explained what was happening in our lives. She prayed with me about John’s illness and all of the other family trauma we were experiencing.
John and I were amazed, too, by the overflowing of love evidenced by the numerous cards and prayers we received from CHM members—Christians we’d never met but who nevertheless are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. John would read and re-read the encouraging notes, knowing that he was being surrounded by God’s love through each and every one of you.
On June 27, 2017, God decided John had suffered enough and took him home to heaven—only eight months after his diagnosis.
He left behind quite a legacy: he was the spiritual head of our home, a godly father and a loving grandfather. He was always the first one to point out that God’s hand was at work and looked past his own circumstances to encourage our children in their struggles. He saw the dark valley of cancer as an opportunity to tell the hundreds of medical personnel he encountered what God was doing in his life, no matter how bad his day had been. Doctors, nurses and technicians all witnessed God’s love and mercy in John—delivered along with a smile. Though not perfect, he was the embodiment of Micah 6:8:
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Thus far I’ve received nearly $117,000 in discounts on John’s medical bills and CHM members have shared nearly $65,000.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the enemy has been hard at work attacking our family, but I’m even more sure that my faith is real and that God will make something good come of these trials. There are still tears and moments of weakness, but I rejoice in knowing that John feels no pain—only joy—in God’s presence and that many lives were touched and changed because of him. The Lord is truly near to the brokenhearted.
Thank you, CHM friends, for being the hands and feet of Jesus to our family.