A Quakertown family of five is among the beneficiaries of this year’s Community Outreach Benefit, or COB, which helps people who have crushing medical expenses. Since 2002, COB has raised more than $950,000 for 61 families in the Upper Bucks, Southern Lehigh, Saucon Valley and neighboring communities.
Shannon and Richard Leary live in Quakertown with their three sons, aged 12 to 17. Shannon’s diagnosis is complicated, but it includes colitis and endometriosis. Since the birth of their third son, she has endured cycles of infections and surgeries, one of which left her weak and mostly confined to bed.
She is in constant pain and her prognosis is uncertain.
Richard has worked for 12 years at Worth & Co., mechanical contractors in Pipersville. They have insurance with high deductibles but it does not cover everything and they fall behind with rent and other expenses. With COB’s help, they would like to catch up on debts and get a van to transport Shannon’s power wheelchair.
The task force of 12 people who run COB has set a goal $50,000 for this year’s campaign, which will bring their 19-year total to an amazing $1 million. They also have decided that this year’s campaign will be COB’s last.
In past years, COB held block parties, raffles, golf tournaments and running events to raise money. This year, instead, COB is asking its many supporters to make monetary donations.
Besides the Learys, three other families will be beneficiaries. One of them has a connection to Upper Bucks. Last year, Addam Stimpson, 38, lost his construction business when he became ill and disabled due to a diagnosis of lymphedema, respiratory distress syndrome and kidney failure. He and his wife, Desiree, have five children. At the end of 2019, unable to keep up their rent, they moved in with Addam’s parents in Upper Bucks. They have since moved back to Lansford, where they previously lived. Desiree works at a Lowe’s store, but they continue to fall behind with bills.
Joseph and Jamie Gambetta live in Center Valley with their four children. Joseph is disabled due to a work accident and last year, Jamie was diagnosed with inter-cranial hypertension, which leaves her weak, dizzy and in constant pain. Her prognosis and future treatment are uncertain. They need help with current bills and getting a better place to live.
Logan Stokes, 2, needs a heart and lung transplant. He is the son of Adam and Evie Stokes of Breinigsville, and has a sister, Leilani, 10. At present they are exploring transplant options at the Children’s Hospital of St. Louis. They need help with unreimbursed medical costs and travel expenses.
More about COB and these families is at cobcares.org. Also there are details about how to contribute to the COB campaign. Donations also can be mailed through August to COB at St. John’s UCC, 538 E. Thomas St., Coopersburg, PA 18036.