Father quits job to qualify for Medicaid to receive cancer treatment

A San Antonio father of two was diagnosed with cancer and had to quit his job to qualify for Medicare so he could get treatment.

A San Antonio family says they are caught in a terrible situation because of an illness. The father has cancer and no insurance to cover treatment costs. He says that the only way to save his life is not to work.

John Paul Tschirhart did warehouse work for 13 years but rarely made above minimum wage.

"While I was working, I couldn't afford medical insurance but I had started a new career and it was going to help me get enough money to provide better for my family and afford medical insurance,” he said.

Earlier this month, while training for a new career to support his wife Victoria and children Demus and Emily, and still without insurance, he got devastating news.

"They told me I had stage three testicular cancer, poor prognosis, that had spread to my stomach, heart, and lung and that I needed chemotherapy as soon as possible," Tschirhart recalled.

"We were waiting for the marketplace, for open enrollment, that's where we were going to get our insurance,” his wife Victoria explained.

But they couldn't wait any longer. The only way for them to get help was for John to quit his job altogether to qualify for Medicaid.

"In order for me to get treated, I can't work, so we have no income," he said.

However, Medicaid will only pay for his medical treatments. Tschirhart said,

"My biggest concern is where is my family going to live? How am I going to pay the bills, rent, electricity, utilities, food?" Tschirthart wondered.

He says that all he wants to do is take care of the ones he loves.

"I'm used to being healthy and used to working and supporting my family," he said.

It’s a problem many families face while Congress continues to debate the country's health care crisis.

"Some way or another, we are going to be okay. We are going to pull through," Victoria said.

The family hopes that they can get help through a GoFundMe page they set up for people to donate.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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