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Deborah Rangel's Fundraiser:

Lupus and Wounded Warrior recovery

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Deborah Rangel via Crowdrise
July 21, 2012

Beginning a new chapter in our lives. Scary but if life didn't have challenges the happy times wouldn't be great.  See more

BENEFITING:

Deborah Rangel

THE STORY:

I am a 41 y/o wife and mother of 7 (4 at home, 3 grown). My husband (Paul) is in the U.S. Army. We are in the middle of a personal and financial crisis.
Paul has deployed twice, once to Mosul, Iraq 2004-2005 and again to Afghanistan 2011-2012. After his Iraq deployment he was put in the Wounded Warrior Program for about a year. He had TBI, PTSD and a broken back. Although he had the option to medical out or cross-train to a different job, he was determined to return to work with his brothers in arms in the Infantry. I feel he felt guilty as there were many of his friends getting wounded and KIA while he was recovering from his own injuries. After recovering the best he could, he went back to work. He volunteered for deployment 2011-2012. After coming home it was obvious he was suffering from his prior injuries and a very severe case of PTSD. He is now being med boarded out of the Army. He is trying to get into the Warrior Transition Battalion here but the process is taking longer than expected. His Med Board starts in just 2 weeks. We are facing him being discharged without the services WTB provides like retraining and job placement. We have no savings left and that brings me to my story.
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2003 after suffering from 3 Pulmonary Embolism. I also contracted meningitis because my immune system went haywire. I was very fit as personal trainer. After I recovered I continued to help support my family as a fitness instructor even as I had issues with my health because of the Lupus. It was the best way to support my family despite frequent Army moves. Three years ago, the problems associated with Lupus became more than I could handle. Although I've been able to keep my body as healthy as possible, I began to lack the energy, endurance and good health required to train others in the gym. I found myself home suffering the effects of fatigue related to my illness. Our income dropped but I kept a good budget and we managed.
I became more ill again recently and just had major surgery June 26, 2012. Within 48 hours I became very sick with Ventilator Associated Pneumonia. My lungs have been negatively affected by Lupus and I easily get sick and have severe asthma. Being on the ventilator during my surgery stressed my lungs out and my right lobe became infected. I am still recovering from the surgery and the pneumonia, getting better slowly but surely.
Now for the crisis. I am faced with medical bills as Tricare is rejecting claims by my healthcare providers and surgeon. Anyone familiar with Tricare
knows how difficult they are. I am now trying to pay them and hope Tricare eventually reimburses me. I am doing this only because some of the bills are close to a year old, when I became ill which eventually led to the surgery in June. My fear is that unpaid medical bills will diminish my husband's efforts to find civilian work. He will be applying for jobs that may require background checks
I am trying to get to school to get my real estate license so I can again help support my family. We can no longer survive on one income. It is a good option for a woman in her 40's to do as a second career and I can work when I'm well but take time if I really need it.
We have fallen behind on our mortgage by a month and a half. That's $1,866. I need to catch up on this as soon as possible. I also need at least $600.00 to register and take the 96 hour course to qualify for the test.
Any help provided would be greatly appreciated. This is a very stressful time for us and for our children. Our biggest fear is that we will be in financial trouble when he gets out.

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