Joan: We have 13 children, a very large family. We have four girls and nine boys, and one of our sons is adopted from Korea. To me and my husband, family really is just a gift from God. It's been a source of so much joy and delight. We are so blessed and thankful for all of our kids.
Rick: We spend as much time together as we can. As our kids have gotten older and moved out of the house, it's more difficult. We have family movie night occasionally. Every Thanksgiving, we have a big football game in the park behind our house. It's called the Blinn Bowl. We came to Medi-Share for the simplicity of the program. Because we had been with another similar program, but it was very difficult administrative. It was a hassle. It was just very, very difficult. Medi-Share has just been a benefit to us. We've been members for well over 10 years. It's been reasonable in terms of cost. It's been exceptional in terms of care.
Joan: When I first got cancer, our oldest son was in the Air Force Academy and our oldest daughter was in law school, and so everybody wasn't together. It was right at Christmas time, so we waited until they came home for Christmas and had a family meeting, and sat everybody down and explained it as best we could. We decided we weren't going to be afraid to use the cancer word. Told them the big C was Christ, and we were going to be trusting him to help us through this. And that we weren't going to be making fear-based decisions, but we were going to seek the Lord each step of the way. But actually just hearing the words you have cancer is very, very, just life changing.
Eight years later, my husband had a tremendous need for Medi-Share.
Rick: It was sitting at my desk working one day and I felt an aura come on. It's really the only way to explain it. I knew something was different. So I laid down on the bed and told the boys to get ahold of Joan, who was walking in the park. And as soon as she came back in the room, I told her something wasn't right. And the next thing I remember is I was in the ambulance.
Joan: And the ambulance came and all the paramedics and they took him to the hospital, and it turned out that he had had a stroke along with a seizure.
Rick: I was scared. I remember saying to a friend of mine who showed up, I looked out the end of the ambulance and I said, "I'm really scared, Gary." But really, by the time I got to the hospital, I was pretty peaceful about it. Fortunately, prior to all this happening, I had been exercising for probably 25 or 30 years, 45 minutes a day, six days a week. And it still happened. They found that three of my arteries were blocked, one of them 100%. So they decided to do open heart surgery. When they got in there, they found a fourth one that was completely blocked. So I had a quadruple bypass operation.
Joan: After that, he developed atrial flutter and needed to have... He had three episodes of arrhythmias that were significant enough that he needed an ablation. So it was a very long process.
Well, again, you're put in this situation where you're going to either choose to trust God or be fearful. And it was a bigger struggle, but we made a decision, again, we're not going to make any fear-based decisions.
Now he's had no arrhythmias, no problems. His cholesterol is fine. He exercises an hour a day and he watches what he eats. He's lost quite a bit of weight. Through my husband's incidents and all of those things that we had to do, Medi-Share was wonderful. We didn't have any difficulty with our medical bills, with seeing the people that we needed to see. We were able to do cardiac rehab. We're just very thankful.
Rick: When you're the provider for 15 people, it's good to know that your medical expenses will be taken care of in any emergency situation.
Joan: Medi-Share facilitated us learning a lot of things about nutrition and lifestyle that has dramatically affected our life longterm and our health. We've made significant changes in what we eat.
Rick: Medi-Share's great because we, as members, get to vote on how the money is spent and how it's distributed.
Joan: The way that Medi-Share is set up, that they're encouraging health, I love that about Medi-Share, that they encouraged health.