In April we brought you the heartbreaking story of Aaron Jamison, a young man with terminal cancer who was selling advertising space on his cremation urns. Readers stepped up to help. We asked Aaron for an update; his note, below.
An update? Well... Life has been, as it is for most of us, a roller-coaster over the last few months.
The story you helped take world-wide led to me doing tons of radio interviews across the nation. That resulted in lots of emails and comments of support. One of the DJ's, Johnny Dare of 98.9 The Rock in Kansas City, arranged plane tickets and hotel for us to cross off a bucket list item and go to New York to see a Broadway show. It was the trip of my lifetime that we could have never done on our own.
Recently the little car, 1998 Mazda Protege, which was given to us when we lost our car in bankruptcy last year has been dying almost as quickly as I am. (That's a joke. But it's funny 'cause it's true.) We've put more money into it than it's worth. Seeing the death of our little car coming we sought out a small car loan. Finally found a company that would lend to us at a fairly decent rate of 12 to 14 percent in spite of our bankruptcy. It's a $5000 loan that requires a $1000 down payment.
The general manager of a national dealership here locally (I'm not giving out his information because I haven't asked his permission and I'm sure he doesn't want seven thousand people contacting him for a deal like this.) has offered us a 2003 VW Passat for the exact amount they took it in on trade at... $6000. They're even throwing in the tune-up, oil change and detail at no charge. This car is worth thousands more. So it's an amazing deal that only God could have put together. The big problem is we have to come up with our $1000 down by some time next week. So we're praying, emailing and searching.
We have a fundraiser comedy improv show this Saturday night but that was originally set up to try to catch up on more hospital bills (I've had a few ER trips recently) before they start garnishing my wife, Kristin's, pay-check. To be honest, if it's like most comedy shows, we'll probably end up losing money on the show anyway. But if you read the info at the link, or on my blog (http://www.judasforgiven.com), this is also a "bucket-list" achievement for me.
Then, just yesterday, we went to the Social Security office, to confirm that everything was on track for my Medicare to start in January. This is what we'd been told last January. Whomever told us was incorrect. It's actually a two-year wait. It's going to create a huge problem since my COBRA insurance runs out in December of this year. I've been making jokes that I need to die by December or we can't afford it. We're still struggling in the fact that 100% of my disability check goes to pay for COBRA insurance, co-pays and hospital visits.
The urns aren't completed yet. I'll send you a picture when they are. They found a chemo combo that kind of works for me. It's not going to cure me, but it is giving me more time than we expected. I'll go off of it in a month or two and we'll be back to that three to five months waiting period. But the new chemo combination, which you can read about on my blog, is kicking my butt. Kicking it hard. It's made little things very difficult.
You and your readers were a huge support for us. Please pass that along. It wasn't just their financial generosity, as important as that was, it was being able to go and read their comments on the story. Knowing that these people who really didn't know if I was a jerk, nice guy or fictional character opened their hearts and took us in. Tell them for me, because I don't have the audience you have, that I've prayed for each and every one of them. I'm thankful to them, and to you, in a way that I can never really express.
As often as my wife and I spend confused or crying because of our lives and current situation, we often think of the kindness of the gawker community. It's a group that, I'm almost ashamed to say, I was unaware of until all this happened.
Thank you again.
under His mercy,
Aaron, Kristin & Belle
PO Box 72047
Eugene, OR 97401