The Outsourcing Effect

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

Many of the 186 Rockford school custodians received their formal layoff notice Thursday. They'll be out of a job after this school year.

The School Board voted Tuesday to outsource their jobs to a private company. Here’s a look at how these cuts affect one local family.

The letter came Thursday while her husband was a work.

"It's Larry's notice that he's been terminated," says Christina Hall.

It confirms her worst fears: her husband is losing his maintenance job in the Rockford schools and losing his health insurance; devastating news because Christina's recently been treated for cancer.

"This may be life and death for me because if I can't get insurance and the cancer comes back, I won't know it and I will be gone," says Hall.

Every three months Hall and her husband travel to the Mayo Clinic to make sure her cancer doesn't reappear. It's a rare form of the disease and not many places know how to treat it, but without insurance there will be no trips to the clinic and no further tests.

"I have a lot of fears in the back of my head right now," says Christina.

In the last three years, insurance has paid more than $200,000 for Christina's surgeries, doctor’s visits and medication. She takes nine a day.

Last year alone the family paid $8,000 out of pocket.

Now the family is looking into Cobra, but that would cost more than $1,200 a month.

"That will be almost his whole unemployment paycheck. There'll be no rent, no money left for groceries, that's just so I can stay alive," says Christina.

Hall is looking for a miracle and she knows more than 180 other custodial families are too, but if her husband could find a new job with benefits. "That would be a miracle; that would be the answer to our prayers."

Friends of the family have been trying to raise money to help with Christina's medical expenses. They've posted a site on the Internet. If you're interested in helping the Hall family, head to www.4christina.org.


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