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Former Staff Member Overwhelmed by Medical Expenses – How You Can Help
Terry Funke and her family have a long relationship with the University of Hartford. Funke worked for more than 14 years as office coordinator for the University’s Entrepreneurial Center. Each of her four children attended the University of Hartford, and her daughter Tracy works for the University as assistant wardrobe supervisor at The Hartt School.
Now Terry Funke finds herself reluctantly seeking help from the community that has meant so much to her and her family over the years.
Funke has multiple sclerosis, which forced her to leave the job she loved at the University this past year. She is dealing with overwhelming expenses, and has found herself “falling through the cracks” in the system. At 58, she is too young to qualify for Medicare and is not financially needy enough to qualify for Medicaid. And private insurance is simply too expensive.
Over the past 10 months, Funke has spent more than $40,000 for round-the-clock, live-in care at her home, adaptive equipment, and medical expenses. She expects that she will need 24/7 help at home for the foreseeable future, at a cost of more than $1,200 per week – which greatly exceeds her Social Security Disability income of $1,023 a month.
It is hard for her to ask for help, but Funke knows that she can’t continue to cover those costs without some assistance. So she set up a page at gofundme.com, where friends and loved ones can make donations of any amount toward her medical and live-in care expenses.
Members of the University community who would like to help Funke can visit her page at www.gofundme.com/10os8s. You can also write to Funke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funke was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1994. She had the disease during the entire time she worked at the University of Hartford. As her condition deteriorated over the years, she pushed herself to continue working as long as possible.
“I loved, loved, loved my job. After 14 years, I still had a smile on my face when I went to work every day,” Funke said. “I worked as long as I possibly could, but I just got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.”
The University’s Entrepreneurial Center, located on the Asylum Avenue campus, provides hands-on coaching and business training for new and expanding small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs.
As office coordinator, Funke was known as “the hub” of the Entrepreneurial Center, as she was the first point of contact. She coordinated and scheduled appointments for students and prospective clients with business advisors, was responsible for accounts payable and receivable, and coordinated advertising and marketing efforts with the Office of Communication. In addition, she trained and supervised work study students, created contracts for class instructors and workshop facilitators, and kept track of inventory. Shortly before she left, Funke initiated the creation of a Veterans Business Roundtable.
Despite her illness, Funke still tries to stay as busy and productive as possible, doing volunteer work from her home. Among other things, she volunteers her time as administrative coordinator for VETS LINK, a nonprofit organization linking veterans and their families to resources.