Strangers Ask for Help for Mother, Son in Poverty

Strangers Ask for Help for Mother, Son in Poverty
By: Crystal Britt

MARBLE HILL, Mo. - Some of us go through tough times.  Jobs are lost.  Doctors bills pile up, many bounce back.

June Werchow of Marble Hill never recovered.  Now, she's living in unbearable conditions you won't believe it.
She never asked for help, but thanks to a group of strangers her days of poverty may soon be over.
"Even when I grew up on welfare, it was better than this," June Werchow said.

She has no running water and little to no space.  June Werchow's property in rural Marble Hill looks more like a junkyard than home sweet home. 

June and her son Fred used to live in a run down trailer, but it literally started falling in around them.  Now, June lives in a tiny camper.  Her son Fred lives next door in his camper.

"This is where I spend like 90% of my time," Fred said.
In June's living space there's a tiny kitchen and no shower.
"The toilet doesn't flush.  You have to pour water down it to get it to flush and he doesn't have one at all," June said.
They do have a well.  A hose sends clean water to June's camper until cold weather arrives.  Then, they'll revert to hauling it by the jug.
Things weren't always this bad.  June said she worked as a medical secretary, then as a school bus driver and other odd jobs.  That's before she got breast cancer, diabetes and had triple bypass surgery.  Her son is also disabled.
"Just not making enough money to do the things we need," June said.
Ironically a highly contagious, drug-resistant staph infection ended up being June's blessing in disguise.  She came to Immediate Health Care in Cape Girardeau this summer for treatment.  That's where June met Dr. Robb Hicks and his staff.
"We initially treated her like any other patient," Dr. Hicks said.  But that was before they found out..."She just lives in abject poverty."
So, they're holding a benefit in June's honor this weekend.
"I feel God brings people to us sometimes and asks that we help," Hicks said.
"It means a lot.  I mean I don't know how we'd survive the winter without it," June said.
June says she owes her life to her son.
"We're all we've got.  My three brothers are gone, his daddy.  It's just us," she said.
That gives them both a reason to go on, hoping each day for something better.