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A Friend In Need

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If your child plays tournaments in the Southern section, you have probably seen and/or met Bill Kallenberg. If your child has ever played Kalamazoo, you have probably seen and/or met Bill Kallenberg. If your child has played college tennis in recent years, you have probably seen and/or met Bill Kallenberg.

My son and I have certainly met Bill and are now lucky to call him our friend. Bill’s photos are hanging on our walls and are on our shelves and are even on my son’s TennisRecruiting page.

Our friend Bill needs our help.

Here is his story:

Some of you are aware that for the past few years I have had a “growing” abdominal hernia.  Last summer it was protruding enough that I felt “pregnant” at times.  Surgery was eminent.  The generous people from the Cedar Falls Bible Conference in Iowa raised over $8000 to help cover that need.  I was hoping to schedule the surgery in late October or early November.

Early on a Wednesday morning in mid-October, I awoke with severe abdominal pain and a high temperature.  My worst fear was that the hernia had ruptured so I packed a bag and headed to the emergency room of our local hospital 5 minutes away.

After running some tests and a scan, it was determined that the intestine and a torn stomach muscle had intertwined and was causing the pain.  Surgery was needed but not as an emergency at that point.  The doctor “massaged” the hernia back into place and then gave me a more urgent message.

The scan or MRI or whatever they did revealed a 6.1 centimeter abdominal aortic aneurysm which needed surgery in the very near future.  It was a large size and if it broke loose it would kill me in 10-15 seconds.  I was told to avoid strenuous exercise, running and weightlifting.  I remarked to the doctor, “do I look like I run and lift weights?”

I was also told not to travel via plane or lift anything with a weight to it, avoid yard work and climbing numerous levels of stairs.  Above all, try to live with as little stress as possible.  My response was, “you’re telling me I could die at any minute if this thing breaks free, I have no insurance or money to cover this surgery and I’m not to have any stress?”   (The total for that seven hour trip to the ER was $8700.  I’m working on a payment plan with the hospital on that one.)  Sadly, I had to cancel three speaking engagements scheduled for late October and November.

As most of you know, I have no medical insurance.  I couldn’t afford it and gave it up 2 years ago.  I tried to get Obamacare last year at the deadline, but signing up with the same coverage I had with my private insurance turned out to be $1800 more than I was paying and both were with the same company.  Go figure!

Needless to say, something has to be done and done as soon as possible.  After talking to a couple of insurance exchanges and not getting anywhere with them, I called two hospitals to inquire about the costs of the aneurysm surgery.  DeKalb Medical and Emory Hospital’s price quotes for the procedure and all related expenses were within $400 of each other.  The total for the vascular surgeon, all related medical personnel and facility use (including one overnight stay if everything goes well) is $72,525.  This also includes post surgery follow-up.

I have been told that it will take 7-10 weeks following surgery to be able to resume my schedule of travel for speaking and tennis-related photography.

I need your help.  Any donation whether it be $10, $25, $50, $100 or more will add up.  You can even share this page with your friends if you wish.

If you would prefer to send a check rather than contribute online, make the check payable to SLD and mail to:  SLD   PO Box 451088   Atlanta, GA  31145

More than anything else, I would appreciate your prayers for “peace” and for God’s provision.

 

 

My son and I would like to challenge all of you who know and love Bill to help him now in any way you feel is appropriate. Whether it’s making a monetary donation, helping to spread the word through your own social media outlets, or simply sending him a positive thought or prayer, I know our friend will appreciate knowing he has your support.

To donate to Bill’s GoFundMe campaign, simply click here. To connect with Bill on Facebook, click here. To see some of his incredible action photographs, click here.

On behalf of our friend Bill, my son and I thank you.

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