When this Arkansas community rallies, they conquer.
TJ Cluck was one of the thousands of people involved in the Joplin Tornado, a devastating EF5 twister that killed 161 people in 2011; it changed the lives of everyone in its path.
Six months later, 5 News Online explains Cluck showed signs of having sarcoidosis symptoms and was later diagnosed with the incredibly rare lung disease.
Doctors have decided to use him as a case study to see if any connections can be drawn between his diagnosis and breathing in the tornado-tainted air.
Fortunately, after a year of multiple surgeries and medications, he was believed to be cured. But, unfortunately, his sarcoidosis symptoms came back earlier this year… and with a vengeance.
The father to three children set up a GoFundMe account to help support his medical journey in the hopes of getting better for his children. He sought treatment at the Mayo Clinic, but his insurance won’t cover the costs—the $5,000 it takes just to stroll through the doors. Crazy, right?
But, overnight, his community totally came through for him. Within 24 hours, his community raised more than $10,000. To date, they have raised more than $16,000.
Cluck, who was “blown away by the generosity,” wants to give back everything that family, friends, and strangers have given to him. That includes, taking every cent that’s been donated to his family and paying it forward to other people. And even though it may sound like that’s something he can never repay, he’s sure as heck going to try.
To read more about TJ’s story with sarcoidosis symptoms, read 5 News Online’s full coverage.
Got some spare change? Drop by TJ’s gofundme page and help him get to Mayo Clinic to see what’s going on with his sarcoidosis symptoms.