January 13th, 2014
09:39 AM ET

Owner Sells Restaurant to Help Employee Fight Brain Tumor

In today's edition of the "Good Stuff," a Texas restaurant owner sells his business to help an employee fight her brain tumor. CNN's Chris Cuomo reports.

Britney Mathis, 19, along with her mom and her sister, work hard at a German restaurant – the Kaiserhof Restaurant and Wunderbar - in Montgomery, Texas.

That was, until, she went to the hospital, for what seemed like a harmless rash.

"I went to the hospital and found out it was my blood clotting," Mathis told CNN affiliate KHOU. "So, they wanted to keep me and do CAT scans and MRIs and the next day they came in and told me I had a tumor."

Brittany already lost her father to the same type of cancer in 2000.  What's worse is, she had to stop treatment, because she doesn't have insurance, or the money to pay for it.

That was, until the owner of her restaurant, Michael De Beyer,  suggested something extraordinary.

He's decided to sell his business, just to pay for her care.

"I just can't be standing by and doing nothing," said De Beyer. "I have to try something because it's not right."

We should note that De Beyer has another motivation here– he's been looking for an excuse to retire for years and spend more time with his family.

The restaurant could fetch as much as $2 million.

 If you would like to help Brittany, you can make a donation at any Woodforest National Bank. The account is in the name Michael De Beyer. Account # 135437895

See full story HERE and if you have #GoodStuff news, let us know! Leave a comment, post on Facebook,  or tweet to @ChrisCuomo & @NewDay using #NewDay and submit your story on iReport.

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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Catherine Nichols Pogorzelski

    the important question is: did she develop this rash AFTER MRI contrast? if so, THAT may be the cause of some of her problems additionally to the tumor! or is the "tumor" really a brain abnormality FROM the contrast? Points to ponder! http://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=prtf&sub=def&pag=dis&itemId=106037&printpage=true&fsec=sup&fsub=mri

    January 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  2. Himinow

    This article almost cheered me up, but not quite. While It's absolutely lovely that Mr De Beyer has offered to help, it is absolutely appalling – to the of us in the civilised world – that someone with a life threatening disease should ever be put in a position where they can not afford treatments to save their own life. Some of your citizens are great, America, but your country as a whole is still ruthlessly heartless. Please fix this.

    January 14, 2014 at 3:49 am | Reply
  3. Nell

    With 58% of Texans uninsured and the Texas governor refusing to expand Medicaid, an unemployed sick lady is probably out of luck. Several options come to mind:
    (1) Since she is only 19, she may be eligible for CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program).
    (2) If the restaurant owner will pay her a salary of $12,000 for the entire year, she is eligible for subsidies so that her entire health insurance cost will be only $240 for the entire year.
    (3) Move to a state that expanded Medicaid and quickly establish residence.

    January 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  4. Ray Gross

    This sounds BOGUS. Under Obamacare which is now in effect he could SIMPLY buy her an Insurance Policy which cannot charge a premium Price or DENY coverage because of a Pre Existing Condition.

    January 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  5. Eileen

    I think Chris Cuomo should do a story about Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most aggressive brain tumor known. I think the story should be told that although GBM is an automatic approval for SSDI, that most diagnosed with this deadly disease have to wait 2.5 years for approval of medicare coverage. The shame is that people diagnosed with this disease have a prognosis of 3 months to live without treatment and statistically most only survive 12-16 months with treatment. So most (maybe 80%) don't even get to that approval stage. Yet the government approves a dialysis patient for medicare benefits within 3 months. I can't rationalize it. Can you? I don't know if the girl in the story has a GBM or not. But regardless, she should have entitlement to medical care without her boss having to sell his restaurant to help her. And I don't argue the point that a dialysis patient should have benefits too, but shouldn't it be fair across the board? Come on Chris Cuomo, take on the story of GBM.

    January 13, 2014 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  6. DammitFreak

    I would spent 2€, if everyone would spend 2$, bilions of doller´s would help so much

    January 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  7. John

    Well, she can thank Rick Perry and the republicans for not setting up the ACA exchanges in TX. They would rather her die or go bankrupt than try and help their citizens.

    I applaud the owner and shame the Texas republican party.

    January 13, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  8. Maria Montano

    She needs to go to social security office and present all her hospital records – stage IV brain cancer automatically qualifies patients for ssi, disability, and medicare/medicaid so that they can get the treatments they need. It under the social security's website "Compassionate Allowances" My dad has glioblastoma multiforme (right frontal lobe) and we live in Texas too!

    January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  9. TIffany

    Amy, she may be able to get government help. It depends on her financial situation. if she is between 100%-400% of the federal poverty level then she should qualify for a government subsidy in the exchanges. That doesn't always make it affordable for an individual because not only will she have to pay the rest of the premium that the subsidy does not cover, but she also has to pay the deductible which is usually about $6,350 for the silver plan that you have to get in order to receive the subsidy. That means that before she gets any help with costs she has to pay the deductible which most people cannot afford. If she is below 100% of the FPL then she has to hope that Texas extended Medicaid to cover people in her situation. I don't live in Texas so I don't know if they did or not, but from what Medicaid told me my home state, Missouri, did not. If she doesn't qualify for the subsidy on the exchange then those plans are far from affordable which means she would have to go off exchange. While off exchange is cheaper than on exchange, the affordable care act still caused those rates to escalate because they cannot turn anyone away. This could easily cause someone not to be able to afford those rates either.

    What the restaurant owner has done for her is amazing and she is very lucky to know someone like him. Otherwise she would probably be up a creek without a paddle.

    January 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Trent

      Tiffany,
      That is partially incorrect. When the subsidies kick in the out of pocket amout also goes down. Mine went down from 6350 as you mentioned, down to 500. Just so you know.

      January 13, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  10. Mike L.

    Hope all turns out well for this young lady. However, why doesn't she buy health insurance? Pre-existing conditions are now covered. It would be cheaper for the employer to pay the premium instead of selling the business. Story doesn't sound totally plausible.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Nell

      Texas didn't expand Medicaid. So, if she makes below the poverty level ($ 11,490 in 2014) she isn't eligible for subsidies or ta breaks.

      January 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  11. Don

    That's incredible. Regardless if the man wants to retire or not, to donate the money he makes from selling a business he owns is incredible.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  12. Chris Seguin

    Thats a great humanbeing right there!!!!!

    January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  13. Amy

    Can she apply for government sponsored health care? It's a nice thing the restaurant owner is doing – but if health care is available to her, she should take it!

    January 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  14. 2bcreativeblog

    Reblogged this on Jwls Mac Ray, 2BCreative and commented:
    This is awesome. There are some great people out there!

    January 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Reply

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