‘Everything was going fine, then all of sudden you have cancer’

“Everything was going fine, then all of sudden you have cancer.”

Those words from Trevor Berger, the Atwater, Minn., police chief, are a reminder of the thin ice we’re all living on in the nation’s health care system.

His family fell through the ice last month when he was diagnosed with stage 3B esophageal cancer, the West Central Tribune says. Now, he and his family have the expenses of medical treatment to bear.

He approached the Kandiyohi County Veterans Service Office in Willmar, Minn., to see if any help was available, particularly at this time of the year, for a family with three young kids. County Veteran Services Officer Trisha Appeldorn contacted the VFW.

On Wednesday, the couple and their youngest son arrived at the VFW to tables full of gifts for the kids, and $3,000 in money and gift cards, including gas cards to help pay for the trips to the Mayo Clinic.

In just two weeks the VFW was able to get all the presents for the family. Many were purchased by patrons of the VFW, while others came from people who heard about the Berger family through social media. The VFW also matched the money raised up to $1,000.

“The VFW is so kind to help us with this,” Appeldorn said. “Anyway we can help someone. This is something we want to do.”

Berger is a Navy veteran. His doctors say they’re optimistic about treating his cancer.

  • In any civilized nation this man’s worries would end with his diagnosis, because his fellow citizens would join together to support his medical treatment through their taxes. In this country recovering from cancer treatment, if you’re lucky enough to do so, is the START of your problems.