By Anne Allred
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KSDK) - A Fairview Heights veteran is facing what he says will be financial ruin.
Michael Skorseth, a Department of Defense employee in St. Louis, has been doing everything he can to keep his mother afloat but he says sequestration has now made that impossible.
Michael's monthly paycheck will be reduced by $1,000 starting in mid-April due to sequestration. He is being furloughed one day a week. He pays $800 a month to help pay for his mother's care at a Fairview Heights assisted living facility. She is suffering from Alzheimer's.
"I'm just at the point where I don't know what else to do," he said.
Michael says he won't let his mother's care suffer, so during sequestration he will put the $800 per month on a credit card.
But, Michael's burdens don't end there. His mother was left with $65,000 in outstanding medical bills after Michael's father lost his seven year battle with prostate cancer.
"He did a lot of treatments that weren't necessarily covered by insurance. They were experimental treatments but when you're battling prostate cancer I can definitely see why my father did it," he said.
Michael is making minimum payments on his mother's outstanding debt but with the sequester approaching, he's terrified about what's about to happen.
My credit card debt is going to be staggering, you know, possibly have to choose between the house and my mother's care," Michael said.
He has turned to GiveForward.com to reach strangers who may help with the crushing debt. The website has been around for five years and takes seven percent of the funds raised to pay for credit card processing fees and operating costs. Michael is also interested in planning a fundraiser and is looking for help to throw the event. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
His mother, Georgia, is touched by her son's efforts.
"People are very kind and loving and helpful but I've never had to ask for [help] before. It's very hard but there are times when you might have to. That's all I can tell you," she said.
To help give to the Skorseth family, visit their page on GiveForward.com.