84°Partly Cloudy

Juice Joint Update: Fundraiser Launched for Owner’s Medical Costs

by Prince Of Petworth February 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm 20 Comments

juice joint popville
1025 Vermont Ave, NW just north of K St

“Dear PoPville,

I just ran into a former employee in front of the Juice Joint and he told me what had happened.”

From GoFundMe:


“Hi friends!! I’m reaching out for your support.

As many of you may know, I closed my business, Juice Joint Cafe, this past October after 21 years in business. Unfortunately, between declining sales and my health issues, I was unable to sustain the business, which leads me to why I need your support now.

In early March, 2016 i noticed a small lump in my neck. Not having the insurance, time and money to properly evaluate my condition, I just ignored it.

Finally in November I made an appointment with my doctor to have the growth evaluated. In January I was diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell cancer. I was devastated and scared that my life was over. When I later learned the it was not terminal, though still scared, I could breath again.

I am having surgery on Friday February 10th at Georgetown Hospital Center. I have a great surgeon. Dr. Bruce Davidson. He is the chairman of the Otolaryngology- Head & Neck surgery department and I feel confident that I’m in good hands.

It’s hard for me to reach out. I need help. My savings are running out. I’m crowdfunding for $20,000 to cover the cancer surgery, medications and recovery. Unfortunately, even assuming all goes well with the cancer, I’ll need to schedule hip and knee replacement surgery ASAP to relieve the debilitating pain I’m in and that caused me not to be able to continue to run the restaurant. I’m estimating that those surgeries will be cost an additional $30,000. For these reasons, I am hoping to raise $75,000 in the following two months to pay these expenses and personal bills.”

  • Dan

    If he no longer has income, or much income, he may be eligible for Medicaid. If he lives in DC, he can contact the DC Health Link, dchealthlink.com. Open enrollment in the individual market has closed, although it was still open through January and insurance would have been available for much less than the cost of the surgeries.

    • northeazy

      It’s cheaper to not pay the monthly premiums though and just pay the fine.

      • mona

        Yes but now he has to paid the price, this what Obama fought for. I don’t understand how people can not prioritize their heath (I have a friend who also prefers to pay the fine and stay uninsured although she can afford it). His GoFundme profile says that he lives in Virginia so he is out of luck with DC heath link insurance because it is a pretty good one, I know a family member who has it. I hope he gets better.

        • James W.

          Too bad. Virginia is among the least generous states in terms of Medicaid eligibility. Unless he is over 65, his options are pretty limited.

        • HaileUnlikely

          RE “I don’t understand how people can not prioritize their health” – I basically agree with you, but it was not until recently that I had any idea at all how expensive it could be for a non-youthful non-indigent person to buy an individual policy on the open market. I’m one of the most risk-averse people I know, and I like to think that I “prioritize my health,” but faced with the prospect of paying like $800+/month for a plan that with a $5000 deductible (by definition will not benefit me unless I incur nearly $15K in medical expenses in a calendar year), I don’t know if I’d buy it either (purely hypothetical in my case, I have a generous and affordable policy through my employer. I’m just saying that it’s a whole different ballgame when the policy is not negotiated by a large employer and you’re on your own to buy direct at age 45 or 50.). The probability of it saving you money in the long run is so small that it is arguably rational to pay the fine, roll the dice, throw yourself on the mercy of the healthcare system in the unlikely event that you need major surgery. I don’t seriously recommend that approach, but I totally get why people do that.

      • E

        ffs, It’s not cheaper than paying for the surgery out of pocket.

  • Mike

    I guess Gofundme is the newest player in the health insurance market.

    • northeazy


  • PetworthGuy

    I used to work at the corner of 14th and L and would stop in for a smoothie most mornings (and be greeted by the extremely friendly stoner cashier (miss him)). Sad to see it close and for the employees to lose their jobs, but even more sad to hear the story of the owner. Hope he has a swift and painless recovery.

    • stacksp

      I too used to work at 14th and L when I was with SAIC a few years ago and can attest to how good the smoothies were. It was my $4/5 a day fix before walking into the office each morning. That and Stans after work every once in a while

      • PetworthGuy

        Oh Stans…..talk about an agressive HH – glass of liquor and a glass of said mixer. good times.

        • stacksp

          Heck yeah !!!!

  • wonder about

    I don’t understand this. Back in 2000 when I went to graduate school (GW), I did not buy the insurance offered through school (something like $1300 per year, higher deductible, etc) because as I could not afford it. Two years later, a fellow graduate student who also relied on the school fellowship (about $12,000 per year) gave birth to a child in DC, She did not pay a penny for the hospital stay, checks both before and after the birth, and she gets additional help–everything is paid for her (she mentioned something like the government subsidy). Where did she get her insurance from? It cannot be the insurance from the school as it sucks.

    Years later, when we gave birth to our first child, with insurance, out of pocket expense is pretty high (close to 10k).

    • b

      Medicaid covers pregnancy and newborn care without cost sharing for pregnant women in every state. She probably qualified.

    • Blithe

      I wonder if her “government subsidy” could be from the government of her country of origin? If she is a citizen of X, and her child is also, I’d guess, a citizen of X, is it possible that she and her child continued to receive health care coverage and allowance checks as benefits through X — even though they were living in the US on a temporary basis? This could be the case even if her fellowship came directly from the school.

  • wonder about

    You mean Medicaid is available even for immigrants? She was on student visa then. I thought Federal aid is a bit more difficult.

    • James W.

      Yes, Medicaid is available under some conditions for legally present immigrants, particularly pregnant women.

    • Anonamom

      It could have been classed as “charity care”. Every non-profit hospital offers charity care (free, reduced, or sliding scale pay). All you have to do is apply. Anyone can, though awards are generally based on need an medical necessity.
      As far as your friend goes, three points; keep in mind a child born in the United States is a natural born US Citizen and the child is eligible for Medicaid and other subsidies such as WIC. Secondly, there a many ways to get health insurance or medical care, she could have been paying for private insurance, perhaps not through the school but elsewhere. Getting a check before and after the birth sounds like Aflac or something similar, which is not normal health insurance, and can be purchased by anyone. But mostly, isn’t that her business?

  • mddc

    DC also has a Medicaid-like program for undocumented workers funded using “state” dollars

  • patticakes

    Insurance is offered in DC even to illegal immigrants. It has some restrictions on coverage, but is under the name “Alliance” umbrella


Subscribe to our mailing list