Three years ago Scott Seelye spent his days like any other husband, Dad, and corporate employee. But that all changed recently with a double wammy of unwelcome news.
Back then, Seelye stepped out of bed early in the morning, commuted to his Fortune 500 Company where he held a position as an account manager, went to lunch with the guys, traveled to see clients, and lived the comfortable routine he had come to know. Life was good, though he admits he wasn’t totally at ease about his future, with the constant water cooler talk and exposure to details of his corporation’s merger, he lived life in fear of what if.
“The corporation was going through a merger that transpired over a 1 and 1/2 year time frame. You just lived each day not knowing if you would be next to be downsized,” said Seelye.
Other than the fear of being ‘next’, Scott and his wife Karen had a great life, including many friendships and activities in the community. Scott was involved at his church as a background vocalist on the weekends and Karen was a stay-at-home Mom who was instrumental in the home school education of their three daughters; Cherelle, Rachel, and Nicole. Other than the routine issues of life, there was nothing out of the ordinary, until what if happened when the Seelyes could have never imagined the difficulties in store for their lives. It was the beginning of a new journey for the Seelye family, but not necessarily one that anyone eagerly anticipates.
In late 2007, Seelye had begun to experience neck and back pain that was diagnosed as degenerative disks. Following back surgery in 2008, he noticed that the back pain had not subsided. In addition, his greatest fear had been realized through his job loss in October 2008, including the loss of all medical benefits. Things worsened by March of 2009 when Scott began to suffer from additional medical issues and symptoms that were initially thought to be kidney stones. With no medical insurance at the time, he did not pursue surgery at first, but he was later diagnosed with bladder cancer by Dr. Martha Storrie, a Board Certified urologist at the Denton County Clinic.
“This was life-changing for me,” said Seelye. “Not just the emotional implications, but the practical implications.” In June of 2010, he reached the end of his finances. Still unemployed, he continued to face financial challenges in the midst of the medical problems.
The Seelyes listed their Lantana home with RE/MAX Cross Country Real Estate Agent, Raisa Wilfong. The two families had already been acquaintances for some time before Scott approached Raisa, unaware that she was a realtor, and asked if she knew of anyone in real estate who could help them with their housing issues. He was able to undergo surgery at MD Anderson after seeking medical attention at local hospitals, but being rejected because of being uninsured. A taxpayer in Denton County, Seelye said that he was not eligible to benefit from a reciprocal relationship to obtain treatment in a Dallas County or Tarrant County hospital since he was not considered indigent, earning more than $250 a month in income.
Following the surgery, Seelye felt strongly about seeking holistic treatment for his illness. Like many others who have initially pursued traditional medical treatment and followed it with a homeopathic approach, including Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Highland Village, Scott now eats an organic vegetable diet that sometimes includes organic meats and fresh juices. “I’ve made a decision,” said Seelye, “this is non-negotiable. The tumor is subsiding.” He hopes to be fully functioning again by January 1, 2011.
Recently, his church, Valley Creek in Flower Mound, and community friends came together to honor the Lantana couple in what they called an Acts 4 Celebration. The idea was conceived by the Seelyes’ family friend, Becky Fertig, when she felt strongly in middle of the night several weeks ago to open her Bible to Acts Chapter 4 which recounts how the early Christian church shared material possessions among all believers leaving none with unmet needs. Kim and Becky Fertig, along with many others, worked to plan a party in which the Seelyes would be showered with material needs and financial blessings.
“This was not worked through a traditional benevolence fund. There were no tax deductions,” said Seelye.
Seelye was also the recipient of a grant from local non-profit Your Home Team Cares (www.YHTC.org), an organization that provides one time assistance for food, shelter, clothing, or other immediate needs to approved applicants. “At the end of the day, it’s great to be involved in something that helps your neighbors,” said YHTC Board Member Wayne Atkins.
With the addition of the funds from the Acts 4 Celebration, along with the immediate relief from Your Home Team Cares, the Seelyes will have additional time for Scott to heal and seek employment. Their Lantana home is still listed as they work toward a mortgage loan modification. “Many attempts to get the loan modification have been made. The Seelyes continue to work with the bank for alternative financing to keep the home while it is still on the market,” said Raisa Wilfong.
“You know, it’s been amazing. Three years ago, when I had a job, when I had money in the bank…I was worried,” said Seelye. “I have less worry now than I did three years ago.” Seelye helps to encourage others by serving as a volunteer pastoral care minister at Valley Creek Church in Flower Mound. Ironically, he works part-time building his own insurance firm, Seelye Insurance, hoping to help others who are without medical benefits or life insurance. (www.seelyeinsurance.com).