Real Stories Episode 15: Russell and Whitney – A Story of Resilience

  • April 21, 2021
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Russell and Whitney were newly married with a newborn in their early 20s. While this presented them with a significant financial challenge, they were unprepared for what life had in store for them.

At the age of 24, Russell developed a medical condition that left him paralyzed for a time. Russell and Whitney had to learn how to navigate their new reality, including physical hurdles and financial obstacles like $700,000 in medical debt.

Their story is about resilience in the face of these obstacles… certainly financial resilience… and as you’ll hear, so much more. Russell and Whitney eventually started working with GreenPath in our financial coaching program to help achieve their financial goals. Hear their inspiring story in their own words.

Whitney and Russell’s story, written by Whitney.

Key Moments

2:44 Russell and Whitney speak about their money influences growing up.

7:04 They describe the challenges and joys of their early money journey together.

9:29 They explain how they handled their money obstacles after the birth of their son.

12:36 Their lives are changed forever when Russell has a medical scare that leaves him paralyzed.

21:07 In the aftermath of the start of Russell’s disability, they figure out how to stay afloat financially.

26:46: Russell explains how he ended up owing $700,000 in medical debt.

36:07 Whitney describes their experience (and regrets) taking out a title loan.

37:46 She talks about how and why their credit union referred them to GreenPath.

40:21 Whitney talks about starting a financial coaching program right as the pandemic began.

50:54 Russell talks about the long journey from being paralyzed to playing hockey.

53:05 Russell decides to return to work and explore transitioning from long-term disability.

1:05:03 They share goals like buying a home and starting a college fund.

1:16:11 They share advice for others who have (or have a loved one with) a medical condition.

1:21:36 Our cohosts, Chris and Omari share personal stories that they were inspired to share after hearing Russell and Whitney’s journey.

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Music by Hir-O