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Help a Disabled Veteran Regain Health and Happiness

Organized by: Jeremiah Bloink

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I am a disabled US Navy veteran. At this point in my life I need gastric surgery to bring my weight back under control. I weigh more than 350 pounds and have developed reactive arthritis, increasing joint problems, sleep apnea, and I am starting to experience acid reflux symptoms. My right shoulder (30%) and left knee (10%) are what I am compensated for by the Veteran's Administration, while my right wrist and both ankles are "service connected, but non-compensable". I am going to college on the GI Bill, but all of my disability and the majority of my college benefits go to paying my mortgage and utilities and maintaining my home. The surgery I am trying to fund is called a "gastric sleeve" and is, based on my own research and the advice of bariatric specialists, the ideal procedure for me. However, this procedure is not covered by my health insurance (or most health insurance policies) and the VA will only cover the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure. There is no certainty that they will approve or accept my application for the procedure.

I know that many of my health problems are the result of my lifestyle. I should have not become complacent and I should gone to the gym and watched my diet. But, the pain of my injuries kept me from many of the activities I used to enjoy and from working out. As the pounds piled on so did difficulty with exercise and with mounting depression and negative self-image. As anyone reading this who is overweight, or used to be, knows this became a self-perpetuating cycle. I in no way deny my own culpability in my current state, I have done much of this to myself. However, I am tired of being in pain, I am tired of wearing clothes that hide me from everyone around me, I am tired of hiding in my home so that people don't look at me. I promise that if you can find it in your hearts and minds to help me achieve this goal that it will not go to waste. I have a powerful mind that is driving me forward in college, but without a healthy and powerful body to go with it I will not be able to achieve the utmost potential of my goals. Thank you greatly for your time and consideration.


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Jeremiah Bloink

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