Hi, please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Dan, also known for being a dedicated and proud Lincoln team member located in the Southeast Region, a “Warrior” and a “Survivor.” These last two words have been used by many to describe me, and I have to say, I agree 100%. Please allow me to share just a slight peek inside the world of someone battling the “BIG C,” yes Cancer.
It all began for me with my first diagnosis in the summer of 2018 when I was told I had Kidney Cancer. I had my right kidney removed, followed by a course of chemotherapy afterwards, a precautionary measure. The recuperation time was painful, and the Chemo, well, we will not go into that one. It was roughly 9 months until I started to feel somewhat better. To this day I still need to take medication and adhere to a strict diet. Things could always be worse, I am blessed to be here and sharing my story with you.
For anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of becoming extremely sick, had surgery, etc., even with good insurance, it is very difficult as the bills pile up, and you are not working either. There is so much additional stress and anxiety just fighting your disease, that it just doesn’t seem fair to add additional huge medical bills not covered by insurance and not to mention no income, watching your savings deplete. But, once again, you pick yourself up each day and move forward, there is no other alternative or at least there wasn’t for me.
Moving on to 2020 after treatment and Dr.’s monitoring me closely, I finally was healthy enough to return to work full time. So, I reached out to an old industry friend who was working as a Regional for LPC. She and I had an amazing chat discussing a new Lease Up set to begin shortly in West Palm Beach, Florida. I decided to apply, was offered a job after going through the hiring process.
I joined the LPC family 3 years ago on June 22, 2020, to be exact. As I went through my onboarding training classes, there was one thing that immediately caught my eye and that was “Lincoln Charities.” For me, that was a sign I was joining the right company, a company with a heart, a company that cares about its employees and stands up for so many causes.
I was placed at the “Lease Up” in West Palm Beach, Florida, in the role of Leasing and Marketing Professional and later Assistant Business Manager. I was so incredibly blessed by the team at this Lease Up; we became family and still are to this day even though two of us are now at different properties.
Thankfully since my Kidney Cancer, I was seeing the Oncologist every 3 months. Sadly, during my time at this “Lease Up” on one of my usual follow-up visits to the Oncologist, he became suspicious and wanted to run more tests. The results came back that I did indeed have Cancer once more. I was first told I had Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, surgery to remove lymph nodes, chemo, and radiation once again.
I still battle with my Lymphoma, but I’m stronger than my disease. My Oncologist sat me down on one of my treatment days to tell me he feared I had more Cancer in my body, sadly he was right. After many different scans and tests including a biopsy, I was told I had Prostate Cancer Stage 2 as well as a very rare cancer called Thymoma. My Prostate Cancer meant another surgery to remove it, and my treatment for the Thymoma was targeted radiation and chemo once again.
I am not going to candy coat this at all, with no immune system I had Covid more than once, several hospital stays, surgeries, and the maximum rounds of targeted radiation plus chemo a body could handle. Some days I was not sure I could get out of bed, but each day I did the best I could. I had been without a paycheck for quite a while, living off my savings and paying for what my insurance didn’t cover, but God bless LPC for all their love and support.
When I was well enough but still on treatment, I was even able to return to my same property. Many coworkers said to me that I should apply to Lincoln Charities. I always said, no there are people who need it so much more than I do. So, I did not even though I was drowning in debt, medical bills, and had been living off my savings for over 5 years.
Continuing my battle with my team of Oncologists at the Lynn Cancer Center (who I credit for saving my life) they insisted I undergo genetic testing (as if my medical bills were not expensive enough). I did as they asked, and we found out Cancer is genetically a part of my make up. I knew it ran in my family, having lost so many family members I told the Dr’s this information was for them to have in order to help treat me, I did not want to know any of the results. I choose to live for today, to embrace life and its challenges head on.
I fought my way back once again to a place where I was able to return to my LPC family, so very grateful for all my LPC friends had done and what LPC as a company had done, but even more that I was here to enjoy each new day! I worked at 2 additional properties since that day I returned to my LPC home.
Let us fast forward to the present. I recently had another scare with Cancer, a very big scare. Only this time, I knew I could not afford the deductibles, living out of the bank again, not to mention the fear of “I have Cancer again!” This is when two incredible people, my Regional VP and a Senior Regional (the old industry friend I reached out to in 2020) applied on my behalf to Lincoln Charities.
Everything happened so quickly! When I got the call, I was going to be a recipient of the Lincoln Charities, I felt the stress leave my body, and tears of gratitude roll down my cheeks. Those who know me will tell you I am never at a loss for words (lol). This time I was left speechless; there just are no words, none that would ever begin to express my gratitude.
My surgery was May 11th, 2023, and the hospital required a large sum on that day. I had an emergency check in time for the day of surgery followed by a 2nd check that was able to assist me with all my expenses for 60 days. I am so very proud to be a member of the LPC family and overwhelmed by Lincoln Charities, the way we take care of our own! I now want to be an ambassador for the charity. Can you imagine if each and every LPC employee were to donate just $1 or $5 each paycheck how much that would help!
Oh, by the way…this time, I was blessed. I did end up with close to 200 stitches but NO CANCER. I’m back doing what I love best…THANK YOU LINCOLN CHARITIES!