GPDren New Reader
3/17/10 6:03 p.m.

I guess a little backstory is needed first. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lyphoma mid 2009 and set a goal to be in remission early 2010. After two surgeries, a few months of chemo followed by radiation treatments I've met that goal. I just had my last procedure Monday and I'm officially in remission and done except for followup appts.

I've now set some new goals and made a few commitments to myself. One is to get a myself and a car into a competitive event. I've loved and played with cars my entire life but aside from two Mazda Rev It Up events I have yet to compete in anything or even just participate in a track day. Well, this year it will be the $2010 Challenge.

Here's my problem, I'm off to a good start for the Challenge but my household budget has been tanking lately. I just got hit with some medical bills which I did expect, but I found out today I will have maybe three more on the way very soon. We depended on the credit cards for awhile and I've locked them up and they haven't been used in a few months but the payments are of course still there. I'm very glad to be here and I know there are other's that are much worse off, but it's still frustrating.

I made the commitment to myself and I will meet my goal. It's just getting tough to do it without impacting my family too much. I don't want them to have to go without so I can have what I want. I'm sure you guys are juggling things also, how does everyone handle it? Where have you had to compromise to make things work? I'm speaking financially, not mentally.

MrJoshua SuperDork
3/17/10 6:09 p.m.

Build it cheaper!

MrJoshua SuperDork
3/17/10 6:12 p.m.

Ha, you are in Ga? I bet you could build a $0 challenge car with help from the other Ga people.

Marty! HalfDork
3/17/10 6:13 p.m.

Congrats on you remission, when I was 19 I was married to the first Mrs. Marty! and she was diagnosed with Hodgkins. Sucks paying for all the bills by yourself on a NAPA parts counter salary.

The only advice I can think of is to see if you can join a team for this years Challenge. There are plenty of folks in GA and splitting the cost x 4 or 5 is a cheap way to achieve your goal.

As far as handling things, friends and family, that's what they're there for. As long as you return the favor when needed.

oldtin Reader
3/17/10 6:43 p.m.

Send me a PM. I work in healthcare - specifically in a cancer center - part of what my department and staff do is find resources for survivors - there are programs to cover the out-of-pocket costs and programs that can even help with non-medical expenses. In the meantime - I'll see if I can find a sticker for a shift pattern for you - you know for the chemo-brain stuff.

aussiesmg SuperDork
3/17/10 7:33 p.m.

That is so cool Oldtin....

GPDren New Reader
3/18/10 6:14 p.m.

Thanks Marty! 19 that had to be tough to go through. At this point I'm not ready to join another team, I promised myself I would accomplish this. Worst case that could be an option though.

oldtin, thanks so much. If things get out of control I'll get in touch with you, right now I think there are other people that need the help much more than me though. I had good insurance at the time and was really lucky to not owe alot more than I do. The company I work for has since switched insurance providers and boy am I lucky they waited until now. I'd be in a very deep hole under the new plan.

I don't need the shift pattern sticker, the Bimmer is a slushbox. I'd accept a manual swap though I know what you mean about the chemo-brain stuff, there were times I couldn't hold a conversation and felt like an idiot. I'm glad to be done!

oldtin Reader
3/18/10 6:48 p.m.

Just get aggressive turning stuff into cash and get reluctant to part with yours. I sold off stuff, what I didn't sell to interested folks - sold by the pound to the scrapyard. For a lot of stuff that you buy - there's usually a cheaper GRM approach (there are store bought motor mounts and fabbed up steel tubes with bushings...). That's a win when you score the GRM solution.

This one is a little out there but you seem pretty articulate - write your story down and see if you can sell it. Work in conjunction with your hospital's PR dept or NHL group - get people to pledge donations for doing your project (minus the cost of building your ride...) - they may even pick up the build cost for you. Just a passing thought.

Volksroddin Dork
3/18/10 9:41 p.m.

oldtin, your the man

mtn SuperDork
3/18/10 10:02 p.m.
oldtin wrote: This one is a little out there but you seem pretty articulate - write your story down and see if you can sell it. Work in conjunction with your hospital's PR dept or NHL group - get people to pledge donations for doing your project (minus the cost of building your ride...) - they may even pick up the build cost for you. Just a passing thought.

This actually sounds like a really good idea. Get whatever Hopkins foundation-association-thing to sponsor it, then go raise money for it, with the excess going to the foundation or hospital. Put a success and wanting to give back-help-sob-story in it, and I bet that you could do great.

GPDren New Reader
3/19/10 8:58 a.m.

Some great tips and ideas oldtin, thanks! Our local cancer center where I was treated is great, I may talk to them and see what they think.

81gtv6 HalfDork
3/19/10 10:45 a.m.

GPDren, congrats. One thing you may want to check out, when my second son was born I was out of work for a while and had crappy Ins. We filled out a bunch of forms from the hospital and got like 60% of the bills written off. It is my understanding most places have some kind of program like that.

oldtin + a whole bunch of big numbers, thanks.

PeterAK Dork
3/20/10 10:22 a.m.

Congrats on beating cancer. Good for you setting some goals to enjoy your life.

GPDren New Reader
3/22/10 8:43 p.m.

Well, a few updates. I found out my grandmother is terminal and Hospice is saying two weeks. So I rotate the tires and change the oil on our Accord and Friday we jump in the car and drive the 400 miles to Tampa. We got to see my grandmother and say goodbye. We actually had a good visit with all my other family too (large Italian family so you know food was involved).

Sunday we hit I275 to head home and it starts raining. My wife is driving and about 10 miles later we're passing through a construction zone. The road has a very slight left turn to it and the pavement changes from the new section to the old section. As we enter this stretch the car starts to slide sideways. My wife did great and turned into the slide, kept calm and didn't slam on the brakes. She couldn't save it though and we hit the left barrier almost head on then bounced off that into the SUV next to us. Somehow we ended up in front of the SUV and hit the right barrier a couple time before coming to a stop. Our two children didn't have a scratch or bump on them, my wife hit her knee and I hit my head on the window. We're both fine though and the guy in the SUV was unhurt also. Our car is definetely totaled and it was old enough that I only had basic coverage. The wonderful Florida Highway Patrol officer that took 45 minutes to get there (in the pouring rain) also gave my wife a ticket.

So now it's looking like the Challenge Bimmer will be my daily driver and I have a few more bills to cover. However, I still have my head up and I'm staying positive. No one was hurt and we made it home safe, just a day late. Hey, I even got out of work for the day. My wife is telling me that the Challenge is still on for this year, she won't let me even think about giving up.

I hope to have some pics up in a few days. What's a crash story worth without pics??

Apexcarver SuperDork
3/22/10 9:33 p.m.

Keep on trucking and dont for a minute let any of this stuff get you down!

Wish I had something more to offer then encouraging words, but I can't really think of much.

What are the details of this bimmer project you speak of? I have been hunting up parts for my autotragic 86 eta (325e) and would be happy to pass on any sources or info that might help. (dont have too much in the way of spare parts really though )

GPDren New Reader
3/23/10 5:38 p.m.

Apexcarver, encouraging words from fellow gearheads is all you need sometimes. I've heard that the Grassroots Motorsports crowd is a great bunch of people and all the words of encouragement so far have upheld that.

Sadly my bimmer is an "autotragic" also. It's a 91 325i that I'm going to boost until the trans blows and then find a 5spd donor. Luckily I had already bought and paid for alot of the parts I need for the event before all these new bills hit. I'm lacking suspension, interior (aluminum for block-off plates and such) and paint supplies but that's really about it. I actually still have all the OE interior pieces to sell still so that will help somewhat.

Whatever condition the car is in I'll be at the event with it and a big dumb grin.

GPDren New Reader
3/24/10 7:16 p.m.

Here are a couple pics. From looking at these it doesn't look too bad, but we were doing about 55-60mpg when we hit the first barrier. In the last pic you can see the front passenger door isn't closed. It flew open after we hit the SUV next to us, glad I was wearing my seatbelt. Looking at these reminds me how lucky we were, accidents on the highway don't usually end well.

81gtv6 HalfDork
3/25/10 8:36 a.m.

That sucks, but at least everyone is OK. Keep your chin up.

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