It's Happening: Stepping up in a Big Way to Fill a Big Need

By Julie Perine on September 16, 2018 from It’s Happening via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Last week, I wrote about 1977 Bridgeport High School graduate Joff Rolland, who is fighting a second round of cancer and had to undergo an emergency cricothyrotomy leaving him with a tracheostomy ad feeding tube. Joff’s immediate need – and one which his daughters Sarah VanKirk and Brittany Rolland had hit the ground running to help fund – was specialized medical equipment necessary for him to return home from the hospital.
 
“My dad is completely ready to come home; however, we can’t afford the medical equipment necessary,” Sarah told me on Sept. 6. “It costs more per month than what my parents have coming into the house.”
 
Sarah had implemented a T-shirt sale and her Brittany had launched a series of mini photo sessions; proceeds of both to help pay for the equipment. But the T-shirts hadn’t been ordered or the photos shot before some generous members of our community paid for the equipment in full.
 
“I have no clue which person ended up paying for them. I just know that my mom was sent to pick up his supplies and get him from the hospital,” Sarah said. “This came the day after the article was released.”
 
The generous give gave Joff a two-week supply of the equipment he presently needs. Going forward, he will need monthly supplies, very costly medications and Ensure to consume through the feeding tube. Joff does have disability through his employer, but it is just a portion of his working wages.
 
“While I’m so happy that my dad is finally home, we are not yet out of the woods financially, due to these recurring monthly costs,” Sarah said. “He will be starting chemotherapy again in the near future, as well, so I am unsure if that will add more prescriptions – or what cost that is going to entail.”
 
Both fundraisers – the mini photography sessions and T-shirt sales – are in action. T-shirts are available in limited sizes and are $15 each. Information on both fundraisers can be found HERE.
 
During Joff's most recent hospital stay, he couldn't use his voice to communicate. He was given a dry erase board, which worked fairly well. But he soon had a better idea. He asked for his daughter Sarah, who knew sign language. He had taught her when she was al ittle girl. The method of communication was ideal. That's just one other sign, Sarah said, that God is - and has always - been with their family, seeing them through. 
 



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