MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Roger Sweaney has been a part of Summerfest for years. He's a volunteer who helps the disabled enjoy the Big Gig. However, just a few years ago, Sweaney was the one in need of help.
It has been nearly a decade since Sweaney battled a brain tumor.
"It took me about a year-and-a-half. I went through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy," Sweaney said.
His illness brought on other complications, like epilepsy and a stroke.
"I couldn`t walk. I couldn`t talk. I told my surgeon - 'if this doesn`t get any better, I`m going to look for God,'" Sweaney said.
It did get better, but there was another problem. Sweaney didn't have long-term disability insurance through his employer. As a result, he drained his personal finances -- losing his home and his job. Medical bills became one fight Sweaney couldn't win.
Summerfest is now a place Sweaney can go to escape his troubles and help others at the same time.
"No one can take music away from you. It`s mine. It`s therapy. It never goes away. If you need anyone or anything, there`s a phone number in there. There are other people that will help you," Sweaney said.
Sweaney says he wants to stress the importance of having long-term disability insurance. He says most don't have it, and it's a leading cause of bankruptcies in the U.S.
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