October 2017 Newsletter – The Cost of Getting the Flu

It’s the start of cold and flu season in the upper and central states of the U.S.  This is a good time to do some comparatives that might help you identify with a person who battles Cystic Fibrosis.  I wonder if you’ve ever thought much about the financial cost of having a cold or the flu.  For those of us who are reasonably well, waking up with the sniffles that lead to excessive coughing, headaches, and fevers can financially cost us 3-7 days of work.  If you are still working for pay that can mean a loss of income from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars if you are at the upper end of the pay scale.  Some employers pay for a few sick days but many do not so that loss of income can be on you.  I’m going to use the figure of $15 dollars an hour for our purpose, knowing that some who read this may not be fortunate enough to earn that amount per hour but many will, and many will earn far more than that so $15 an hour it is.  $15 x 8 hours equals $120 each day.

So let’s say you miss three days of work.  You get sick on Wednesday and returned to work on Monday.  Most people who get the flu or a cold will go through a few boxes of tissues and chances are the other people who live in your house with you will catch the bug too so let’s add three boxes of tissues at $3 each to your total.  Already we’re up to $369 dollars of lost income.  Usually a person will desire a little over the counter remedy for that runny nose, fever and sore throat.  Let’s add $15 for those supplies and another $15 for the other person in your household who caught the bug too.  We’re up to $399 of cost at a bare minimum for you and one other non-earning member of your family to catch a simple version of a nuisance seasonal cold or flu.

Now consider the person who has Cystic Fibrosis.  The average person on our Help One Love One (HOLO) program who still works, and a few of them do, will often miss at least 8 weeks of work per year.  But a cold or flu for them is seldom, if ever, over in 3-5 days.  Most will require a doctor appointment or two and often it requires a hospitalization.  With our example of $133 per day loss of income at $15 an hour, a box of tissues and some over the counter remedies times 40 days the total loss of income for a person with Cystic Fibrosis adds up to $5,320 and that didn’t count the cost of a trip or two to the physician or a hospital admissionMost people who have CF will tell you that they have had a good year if they get by with only losing $5,320 in income per year for sick days if they are still working.  But the other thing not considered is the loss of opportunity to progress in their careers when they are the person who consistently misses days of work each year.

So this is where HOLO and your compassionate financial help comes into play.  Your financial gifts to HOLO help to make up some of that lost income for adults who battle CF and will most likely get slugged by the flu or cold bug this fall and winter.  When income is lost, especially when income levels are low, the first things to go of income can be nutritious food.  We know that lack of nutrition makes it even harder to recover from an illness.  Your financial support of HOLO’s nutrition program assures that food is in the pantry of our clients.  Your gift helps them to not get discouraged as they convalesce.  And I think all of us can identify with the discouragement that comes when we are flat on our backs in bed with a fever, aches and runny nose.  We want to be well fast but quite often for the person with CF it can take weeks even months to recover from something that those of us who are more well will shake off in 3-7 days. 

So I ask for your assistance so we can assist the clients we serve this fall and winter.  Your check for $20, $50, $100 makes all the difference to a person who battles CF, especially in the fall and winter when they are even more apt to be ill.  So please, take out your checkbook and write that check today or visit our website with your credit or debit card.  Then consider getting your flu shot so the flu bug will hopefully pass you by this winter.  Thank you for your support.  The clients we serve are more thankful than you will ever know.   You are their hero and their hope.


                                    Every gift helps us provide lifesaving nutrition

                                     A gift of $25 provides groceries for 1 week for 1 CF adult

                                     A gift of $75 provides groceries for 1 week for 3 CF adults

                                     A gift of $100 provides groceries for 1 week for 6 CF adults

                                     A gift of $1200 provides groceries for 1 year for 1 CF adult

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