MY MOTD WISH - The rest of the Story

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    Jan 25, 2011 8:23 PM GMT
    Hey Guys - First of all thanks for voting me Man of the Day. I think it's cool but at the end of day not important unless I do something with it.

    So all day I have been asking well wishers to take 2 minutes and read the story of man I did not know but touched my life.

    Robert's story reminds us that a lot of progress has been made in the past 15 to 25 years - but when it comes to HIV/AIDS resources and education, gay adoption, and gay marriage we still have a long way to go.

    Below is short version. If you want the long version go to The Thread is named "It gets better ..... and then"


    CAREY-HOGUE Robert Carey-Hogue (formerly "Beckford") of Kansas City, Missouri, died January 10, 2011, at KC Hospice House after a long battle with AIDS. .........His parents died when he was 10 and Robert and his two sisters were moved to Fort Meyers, Florida where they lived with their maternal grandparents. When he was 13, Robert and his sister, Beth, were placed in the custody of a paternal uncle and his wife ........ Like many other gay and lesbian adolescents, Robert was turned out of this home when his sexuality became known. Robert was fortunate that a gay couple, John Carey and Dudley Hogue, stepped forward and the court granted custody of Robert to John in 1985, making it the first known adoption to an openly gay person granted by a court in this country. ........ When he turned 18, Robert petitioned the court to change his name to Carey- Hogue in honor of the two men who had parented him. .......returning to Kansas City in 1995 to work on the AIDS Walk. At a fund raiser for the event, he met Rand Souden, his partner of the past 16 years. ....... Also surviving are his parents, John Carey and Dudley Hogue, of Prairie Village, Kansas, as well as his partner, Rand Souden, and their dogs, Tilly, Mickey and Petey, at the couple's home in Kansas City, Missouri. Robert's family would like to acknowledge the wonderful work of everyone at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, particularly Drs. Riseman and Harris and Peggy Green, Robert's long-time case worker and a valued friend, as well as The Good Samaritan Project, especially our friend and case worker there, Rhonda Adams. ......., and neighbors in Squire Park whose kindness and generosity throughout Robert's illness has been overwhelming, especially our nextdoor neighbors, the Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, Kansas, who have lifted us up in prayer and embraced us with love continually throughout Robert's lengthy infirmity. ........... Robert loved dogs and was an avid supporter of rescue organizations. He and Rand shared their home with 13 dogs during their years together, rescuing most of them from shelters or finding them abandoned in parks. ....... Published in Kansas City Star on January 16, 2011

    Ok there is more to the story that was published as a case study on the web. Robert's health insurance company raised his premiums to $3600 per month. United Healthcare later while collecting this exorbinant premium quit paying for his anti-virals. It was at that point that Robert's body lost it's ability to keep his blood counts in check and he progressed into full blown AIDS and died.

    Let's remember his life as a victory along a journey that our community is collectively taking; and guys we are are just at the beginning of the road.

    Loss of parent and family abandonment do not have the be the end of the road. HIV while not an immediate death sentence is still a life shortening chronic health issue with economic consequences; huge progress is being made and who knows what the next year, decade, or longer will bring.

    I hope you have indulged my MOTD desire and finished reading this post on this day that you allowed me to be Man of the Day.

    Thanks - jp (LanceKC)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2011 9:32 PM GMT
    It's an important story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Would you mind putting the text all in black for readability?
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    Jan 25, 2011 9:49 PM GMT
    You are welcome - I changed the font color.
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    Jan 25, 2011 9:57 PM GMT
    Thanks, JP . Easier on old damaged eyes for us fogeys. icon_wink.gif

    As a man living with HIV (with undetectable VL and strong CD4+ count I applaud the sharing of these stories.

    I owe my continued good health to the advances made since the scourge began and I am hopeful a real cure will be found in my lifetime.

    I am fortunate too to have the benefit of medications that I could not possibly afford on my own were it not for the commitment my country has made, and its willingness to continue to value my continued life and health.

    I keep a file of the reciepts so I never forget just how much these medications would cost, and it agonizes me to see the cost mount.

    I hope to live long enough and find some way to make some contribution (which can never balance the ledger.) icon_cry.gif

    I can only expose my shame and try to educate the younger men who follow in our footsteps not to fall victim as I did to misplaced trust and carelessness.
  • Ronibh

    Posts: 1

    Jan 26, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    hey, very important text. People need to read more and know that there is the most important values that only spotted a body for sex. We forget what lies within us even in our only concern abroad.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Jan 26, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    Lance, thanks for sharing this with us....

    I know Dudley Hogue personally and have heard about the background of
    their son and his illness. While I was aware that Robert had AIDS, I wasn't aware he had passed away. I'll certainly pass the word amongst those of us who know Dudley mainly through the Heart of America Men's Chorus and our relationship with the Heartland Men's Chorus.

    Didn't know about Robert's issues with the insurance company, his coverages and med issues. Dudley never shared that with us, just that there were "issues" and we didn't ask many questions.

    Again, thanks for passing this information along.
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    Jan 26, 2011 3:19 AM GMT
    Thanks Chris - I am glad someone who had a connection to Robert posted on this thread.
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    Jan 26, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    Very thanks you for sharing it. these story is very hard but real, hugs and kisses all with love and friendship.

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    Jan 29, 2011 1:07 AM GMT
    the continuation of the beautiful story brings to the forefront the need for us to come together and ensure that Robert's memory stays alive through our combined efforts to bring equality to all people, despite sexual orientation. We are all God's beloved, and as such, deserve to be loved as such.

    JP, thank you for opening our eyes and hearts!

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    Jan 29, 2011 4:06 PM GMT
    Thanks Tony
  • RandKCMO

    Posts: 3

    Feb 04, 2012 8:11 PM GMT
    This is Robert's partner, Rand, writing. Thanks to HowHotKC for sharing this thread with me. I only recently discovered Robert's obituary posted on this website by chance.

    For those interested, here's an update on the lawsuit with the insurers who refused to pay for Robert's healthcare. First, to clarify, the approximately $3,600 we paid in health insurance premiums each month was for the two of us, not just Robert. Regardless, the premiums were outrageous.

    After failing to make payments for medical expenses for several months, the insurers filed a lawsuit against us in an attempt to void the policies. (During this time, I was told repeatedly the claims were "in review" and I believe suing us before we could sue them was a tactical move.) The case was filed in June of 2008 and finally went to trial about a year later, in June of 2009. The court issued written opinion in January of 2010, finding in our favor on every substantive issue. Of course, the insurers filed an appeal and oral arguments were heard in the appeal in October of last year. The appellate court has not yet issued its ruling.

    It is my opinion that insurance companies target those most vulnerable in these types of situations. Robert's care was expensive and they knew that, without healthcare, he would soon grow too sick to stand up to them. They also know that there is less risk of potential future liability with gay men if their refusal to pay for medical services results in death. Our parents, if they are still alive, are older and lack the stamina to fight them. Siblings have their own lives and and families and generally don't want to take on such a battle. In most states, we cannot marry, so there is no spouse to bring a lawsuit.

    I am a lawyer and have a friend who is a very skilled litigator who was willing to see our case through even though we were not able to pay him. Most people are not that fortunate and have no way of seeing a legal battle through.

    Approximately three-and-a-half years before Robert died, a hospice doctor signed an affidavit to the court opining that Robert had six months or less to live. But, he was a fighter. And, I will continue to fight on his behalf as long as I have a breath in me.

    Again, thank you for your messages of support. Robert was, indeed, a very special man. I feel extremely fortunate to have had him with me for 16 years.
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    Feb 07, 2012 5:23 AM GMT
    It is humbling what a person who came from such difficulty, and had so much to overcome, can do in such a short time in their life.
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    Feb 20, 2012 8:54 AM GMT
    Thanks for the update Rand .... I am pleased to hear you have a legal team prepared to see this battle to the end that will send a message to the insurance companies that they can't game the system as you describe.