This is such a touching story…
According to ABC News:
Joey Funderburk’s Christmas wish list is pretty basic: He just wants two new legs to stand on. Problem is, he can’t afford the $120,000 it costs to buy the prosthetic limbs, and his insurance, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, won’t pay for it. So Funderburk, 20, with an assist from his mom, Chrystal, decided to take matters into his own hands, literally, and began selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts to try and raise enough money.
“We’re charging $7 dollars for a box of 12 glazed doughnuts, the most popular kind,” Funderburk said. “And they’re good for you.” The sweet idea came from his mom, who was racking her brain trying to figure out how to help her son, whom she adopted at age 6 from a Romanian orphanage. Funderburk was born with a birth defect that left him with only about a foot of leg. Until he was 18, Shriners Hospitals for Children, in Greenville, S.C., sponsored his prosthetic limbs, which typically last anywhere from three to five years. But after age 18, he was no longer eligible for Shriners, and was in desperate need of a new pair of legs.
“There’s a big difference between what a little boy can walk on and what a man can walk on,” his mother said, adding that her son falls almost daily. “He just wants legs that won’t throw him down on his head all the time.” A representative for Shriners Hospital was not available for comment. Funderburk’s insurance company denied him. “They said they won’t cover it because there hasn’t been a change in my medical condition, I’ve just gained weight,” Funderburk said. “My doctor said, ‘I don’t know how they’re getting away with this.’”
The Funderburks have appealed the claims twice and been denied both times. They are awaiting a third decision. But even if his claims were accepted, his policy only covers $50,000, ”Not even enough for one leg,” his mom said. Only 46 percent of private insurance plans cover artificial limbs, according to the Department of Labor. Funderburk is wearing loaned prosthetics from a local company. “They’re an adult set,” he said. “I can run in them, do things. They even said I might be able to ride a bike, which I’ve never been able to do.”
So far, Funderburk has raised about $7,500. He also has a website, JoeysLegs.org, which accepts online donations. Joey’s mom says she is in the process of registering a formal charity to help her son – and other kids and adults – get prosthetics, medical care and also adopt.
“We want to give back in the same way we’ve been given to,” she said. “There are a lot more people out there like us.”
She said she is touched the outpouring of support for her son. “It really started out with me and Joey sitting behind a table and selling doughnuts,” she said. “We’re trying to catch up on what’s happening.” As for Funderburk, he is hopeful he’ll achieve his goal. “I’ve got to sell thousands of doughnuts,” he acknowledged. “But sitting on the couch is not going to help me.”
To support go to Joeyslegs.org
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