When Kevin Yanoolis’ Wife Was Diagnosed with Terminal Lung Disease, They Counted on SMW17’s Healthcare to Save Her Life

Kevin Yanoolis has been part of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 family since he was born. His father joined the union at age 28. Kevin joined when he was 20 and served for 35 years, and now his son John is a member of Local 17 too. Kevin has always appreciated the great benefits that come with being part of the union, but it wasn’t until Kevin’s wife Debbie got sick that he counted on them to save her life.

In 2012, Debbie was diagnosed with a rare, terminal lung disease. She suffered from heavy breathing and terrible coughing. Eventually, she needed an oxygen mask. Doctors told Debbie that she needed a lung transplant or she wouldn’t make it.

To hear Kevin and Debbie’s story, click the photo below.

Debbie endured years of treatment, including multiple surgeries, dozens of medications, and lengthy hospital stays, but she and Kevin never had to worry about the cost. “I never saw a single bill,” Kevin explains. “She saw the best doctors, at the best hospitals, and received the best care, and not a single bill. That’s because of Local 17.”

SMW17 is able to offer the best healthcare because members continually vote to fund the best plans. That’s so important, because you never know when someone could get sick or have an accident.

“The fact that everything was covered meant that all Debbie needed to do was focus on getting better,” says Kevin. “All she needed to do was take care of herself and her health and come home.”

Debbie got the transplant that she needed, and today she’s doing well. She’s happy to be home with her family.

Debbie doesn’t just think about how Local 17’s healthcare saved her life, she also thinks about the stability that it brings to her whole family. “I know I don’t have to worry about my son,” says Debbie. “He’s taken care of because he’s with the union.”

If you have questions about your benefits, call SMW17’s Funds Office at (617) 426-5646.