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Harlan “Sandy” Sandell

You have Cancer. Three words no one ever wants to hear.

Then after that, imagine hearing that your medical insurance will only pay for two of the six chemotherapy treatments you need?

Surely that can’t happen in our modern times, can it? Yes, it can … and it did just a couple months ago to Sandy & Barb Sandell – veteran Missionaries who have served the people in Thailand for the past 35 years.

In brief, earlier this year Sandy was diagnosed with colon cancer which had metastasized to his liver, kidney, lymph nodes and lungs. Sandy’s oncologist prescribed 6 rounds of chemotherapy which were started in late April. Soon after the chemotherapy treatments started, Sandy’s medical insurance carrier informed him that they would only pay for two (maybe part of three) rounds of treatments, leaving the Sandell’s some $21,000 short of funds just to complete the chemo treatments.

Additionally, thousands of dollars of medical costs were incurred prior to the start of the chemo which the Sandell’s insurance would not cover. Then, making things even more difficult, Sandell’s Thai medical carrier “dropped” them and would not pay for any additional expenses (in-patient or out-patient) on their behalf.

As part of KBF’s due-diligence process we learned that one of Sandy’s former military associates raised some funds to help with these medical needs; and we know that Christ’s Church of the Valley in Arizona also contributed toward Sandy’s needs – But, at the end of the day, these faithful long-term missionaries are still facing a life-threatening medical situation … and the great need for financial assistance from the body of Christ.

The KBF Distribution Team reviewed this situation and authorized an immediate disbursement of $7,000. In addition, they authorized the KBF team to attempt to raise an additional $14,000 – which, if raised, would help offset the uninsured costs of the chemotherapy and other related expenses.

We also learned that Sandy was too ill, and in too much pain, to return to the U.S. immediately. However, arrangements were made for Sandy and Barb to return to the VA Hospital in Phoenix, AZ the first week of September where additional care can be provided.

BTW – Various efforts were made to reduce/eliminate some of these expenses. Even the company which manufactures the chemo drugs was contacted and agreed to a one-time discount. (Every little bit helps)!

When Barb Sandell was informed of KBF’s immediate $7,000 funding as well as our intention to help raise the additional $14,000 she was overjoyed. I thought you might appreciate reading a portion of the note she wrote to KBF …

“I just rec’d this message on a beautiful, warm Sunday morning.
Blessings on all who have given, and to those who may contribute in the future. We are overwhelmed with this cancer journey, but are even more overwhelmed by the love and concern in the form of prayer and financial support that the family of God has poured out to us. Again, I say THANK YOU, as we rejoice in the Lord and HIS goodness!”

In Matthew 25 Jesus taught his disciples the spiritual value of caring for those facing physical needs…
“Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink;
I was sick and you looked after me … for whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Here is a perfect opportunity for Individuals and Churches to See a Physical Need and Respond, as if unto the Lord himself!

Will you, as an individual, send a generous donation to Kairos on behalf of Sandy Sandell?

Will your church, share Sandy’s story, then take up a special offering (or make a gift from its benevolence funds) and send it to Kairos on behalf of Sandy and Barb?

Donations can be made online by clicking here.

Checks can also be made payable to the Kairos Benevolence Fund and mailed to:

Kairos Benevolence Fund
PO Box 19700
Irvine, CA 92623-9700

Post written by David T. Pace, Kairos Ministry Team Leader