Liz and Joe have lived on the Outer Banks for many years. Joe works in law enforcement and served our country in the National Guard where he was deployed to Iraq, Egypt, and Africa. Liz had several jobs serving the community in education, healthcare and counseling. She now owns her own house cleaning business. Liz’s mother and their teenage child live with them. Over the past few years, they have faced significant health problems causing lost wages and high medical bills.

After months of doctor visits, Joe was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The disease resulted in two hospital stays and numerous expensive visits to specialists. Liz began to experience severe pelvic and abdominal pain that lead to a surgical treatment. However, during the same period, after an MRI and a CAT scan, she was also diagnosed with liver lesions which are being monitored by an oncologist. Added to their health issues was a shoulder injury their son received while playing baseball, triggering scans, doctor visits, and physical therapy three days a week for five months.

Medical bills, co-pays, prescriptions, and physical therapy treatments along with a reduced work schedule soon put the couple behind financially. As Joe said,

“My wife and I are Christians. We have always helped others. When we needed help, we did not know how to ask for it.”

Fortunately, a friend recommended they apply to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation (OBRF) where they received assistance with outstanding bills. When asked about the assistance received from OBRF, Joe said, “We are humble. We did not want to ask for help. We felt that there were many people in worse need.”

Unfortunately, Liz’s mother was diagnosed with COVID. The entire family had to quarantine. Liz then became ill. She tested negative for the virus but continued to be short of breath, experience chest pain and run a temperature. She found herself unable to work and went to Interfaith Community Outreach (ICO) for help. ICO referred the family to OBRF once again and together the two organizations provided assistance.

Liz and Joe are hoping to soon be back on their feet. They are thankful for all of the help they have received over the last few years and are looking forward to being able to pay it back by helping others in the community in the near future.

*To honor our clients’ wishes, names and likenesses have been changed.