That question was at the heart of our recent post about Gina Hayes and David Neal Shuler (my lawyer/brother and sister-in-law), who have started a GoFundMe (GFM) page to raise funds for their disabled son's therapy. Jack Shuler, 15, has Hurler syndrome.
Different people might answer the question in different ways. But the individual who tipped me off to the story -- I call that person a Source Close to the Situation (SCTS) -- had strong feelings on the matter, and they were not favorable to Gina and David. Said SCTS:
Here's my bitch of the day. Gina and David are on gofundme raising money for rehab for Jack. Now i feel sympathy for Jack, but gina and david don't need any sort of financial assistance. what does david make a year? $250,000??? or more. Gina probably made $100,000 before she retired [as an air-traffic controller]. my god they live in Millwood in a house appraised at $634,000. disgusting.
people like them don't deserve any help with medical bills when so many are suffering with no help. outrageous. arrogant. privileged.
It didn't take me long to decide I agreed with SCTS. In fact, I could even add a few descriptive terms to describe David and Gina's actions -- "shameless," "tasteless," "conniving," "self-centered," "attention-seeking."
|David Shuler and older son, Noah,|
on a ski vacation.
The residence is only the beginning of Gina and David Shuler's real-estate holdings. They own seven properties in Greene County, Missouri, totaling more than $1 million. The exact appraised total is $1,161,500. A reasonable estimate of the market value is $1.3 million.
Here is a list of the properties, and their appraised values:
(1) 3825 San Poppi (residence)
Sq. feet: 5557
Appraised value: $621,300
(2) 4135 S. Parkhill Ct. (duplex)
Sq. feet: 1676
Appraised value: $137,900
(3) 4112 S. Ferguson Ave. (duplex)
Sq. feet: 1941
Appraised value: $146,600
(4) 3817 E. San Poppi Ct. (lot)
Appraised value: $63,000
(5) 2001 N. Boonville Ave. (duplex)
Sq. feet: 1384
Appraised value: $55,000
(6) 310 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
Sq. feet: 1114
Appraised value: $66,900
(7) 304 E. Camino Dr. (duplex)
Sq. feet: 1227
Appraised value: $70,800
Do these folks really need help via donations at GFM? The financial figures noted above probably don't come close to their total net worth, which likely includes cash, savings, investments, personal property, real property in other counties or states (the $1 million is just in Greene County, MO), and other assets.
Couldn't Gina and David Shuler take out an equity loan or second mortgage on just one of their properties and pay for their son's therapy themselves? Could they cut back a bit on snazzy vacations and make the payments themselves? If the answers to those questions are yes, why are they asking for money on GoFundMe? Do their actions represent a special kind of gall, even fraud?