VanderBerg Recovery Team
Organized by: Evert VanderBerg
My name is Evert. I am here to ask for help because I don’t know what else I can do. So I am here to share my family’s story in brief. Last year was the worst in family’s history.
We had two significant events in the last year that deeply hurt two out of four of the people I love completely. First, my daughter (16 at the time) was raped by two other teenagers. That night changed her forever, she had been a girl full of consent laughter, smiles, and blessed with creativity and intelligence beyond that of either my wife or I. Until you live through rape it with someone, you can’t understand how it destroys them so completely in every way. I lost part of my child because of selfish, stupid, violence. It is the kind of theft that can’t be restored and talking about here flips my insides. I pursued and got justice (slowly) for her, my wife and I got help for her and have been fighting to get my little girl back to where she wants to live again.
Second, my father Hayo (75 years old) was hospitalized from severe osteoarthritis in his spine about a month into my daughter’s ordeal. The diagnosis was that five of his thoracic vertebrae where crumbling and the spinal discs essentially gone. The surgery required to protect him consisted of a metal superstructure to bridge and support his back. He is my hero, he was raised in Holland during World War II and experienced that horror through the eyes of a small child. He immigrated here at the age of 17 and has worked without stop until now. He has always been there for us without question and it has been my turn to be there for him. Only half of his costs were covered by insurance and the rest had to come out of our family’s pockets. This life changing event has left him with limited mobility, continuous pain, and a lower quality of life.
These two events took all of my family’s resources, strength, trust, compassion to make it through. My father is making it, my daughter is on a good path to recovery, but now I am losing the battle to pay off the debt that we accumulated in the good fights. I work 60 to 80 hours a week on two jobs but due to long term health issues my wife cannot. I am failing my family in being able to protect and provide for their future. If you can see it in your soul to help us in our recovery you would be making it possible for all of us to have success in our futures.