The U.S. leads the pack in the percentage of older adults who have trouble paying their medical bills.
May 11--JOHNSTOWN -- Rose Marie Sadosky of Ebensburg is a mother who knows what it means to sacrifice.
Her three daughters, 33-year-old Marita and 31-year-old twins Angela and Adrienne, wonder how she ever raised them as a single mother.
Sadosky and her daughters have lived in the same house for the past 38 years, with Sadosky a single parent for the past 22.
"I think I've only owned my house for about six months," she said. "I've remortgaged it three times. All three of my daughters were in college at the same time four years in a row. I don't know how I did it on one paycheck."
Sadosky is a retired registered nurse who worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at State Correctional Institution-Cresson for a total of 35 years.
"I would do it all again for their education," Sadosky said through tears. "I did it with the help of the good Lord and prayers getting me through from pay to pay."
Sadosky had occasional help from her parents, the late George "Candy" and Agnes Konitsky, who would stay with their grandchildren when they were sick so she could go to work.
All three girls graduated from Holy Name Elementary School and Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Marita in 1999 and the twins in 2001.
Marita, who currently lives and works as a registered pharmacist in Pittsburgh, graduated from Duquesne University in 2005 with a doctorate in pharmacy.
Adrienne received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 and continued at Duqusene University School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctor in 2009.
After graduating from law school, she was accepted into the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, where she has spent the past five years.
Adrienne spent 10 months last year deployed on the USS Nimitz out of Seattle.
She learned how to pilot the aircraft carrier and was awarded the honor of piloting the ship into several foreign ports.
When Adrienne returned from deployment in December, her mother and sisters were able to greet her in Honolulu and San Diego.
Angela graduated from Duquesne with a master's degree in occupational therapy and has worked as an occupational therapist at West Penn Hospital for eight years, the past five as the chief therapist of her department.
"They've been very good, terrific girls," Sadosky said. "I've had no problems with them. They've had part-time jobs since they were 16."
Even though she was on her own financially, at one time Sadosky had four vehicles in her name so her daughters would have reliable transportation to their jobs while attending high school and college.
"We all had different work schedules," she said. "There was insurance, inspections and tires. God was right here with me. I would write out bills at midnight at the kitchen table and pray they wouldn't bounce until I got paid on Friday."
In May of 2005 when Marita graduated with her doctorate and Adrienne and Angela graduated with bachelor's degrees, they told their mother she had done her job.
"They wanted me to retire," Sadosky said. "They said they wanted me to take life easy. They would handle the rest. I needed to take care of myself."
At 62, Sadosky is very active in her community.
She is into her second term as a school board member for Central Cambria, winning by a landslide.
"I have older friends who say they can't afford it if the board raises taxes, but they're afraid to speak up," Sadosky said. "I told them, 'let me be your voice.' "
Sadosky also is on the board of trustees for Admiral Peary Vo-Tech and a member of the ladies auxiliary at Ebensburg VFW.
At Holy Name Catholic Church in Ebensburg, she is a past regent of the Catholic Daughters of America, Chapter 680, and the rosary group, which meets every evening at 6:30.
Sadosky also volunteers at the church festival in June and serves at the church's fish dinners.
"They didn't want me to get depressed and have nothing to do," Sadosky said. "I keep active. Now they come home and look at my calendar and ask if I can slate out a few days for them."
All the Sadoskys have Yorkshire terriers, and Sadosky is asked to watch her granddoggies when her daughters go away.
Angela was notified in January of her acceptance into the U.S. Navy Medical Corps.
Her interest in the Navy had come quickly after her sister signed up, and when she talked to a recruiter, her resume was strong, but because of a recent eye surgery, Navy protocol required her to wait a year.
During her wait, she was promoted to chief occupational therapist at West Penn, but the thought of going into the Navy was always in the back of her mind.
"I would rather be turned out than to not know if I had not done it," Angela Sadosky said.
On April 25, Angela was commisssioned into the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant by her twin sister, Adrienne, at a luncheon ceremony at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.
"It was rare for a lieutenant to do the commissioning, let alone for it to be a sibling and a twin," Angela said.
The news has been bittersweet for Angela because she has to report for duty at officers training school in Newport, Rhode Island, by 11 a.m. today, Mother's Day.
She said traditionally the Sadoskys participate in Race for the Cure in Pittsburgh in support of breast cancer awareness and then take their mother out to dinner for Mother's Day.
"It's part of the sacrifice," Angela said.
She will be graduating from officers training school on Father's Day weekend, when she always sent her mother a card for all her sacrifices over the years.
"We have a long line of military history in my family, with my dad serving in the Army in World War II and several of our uncles and male cousins serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War," Sadosky said. "Adrienne and Angela are the first females in our family to serve Uncle Sam.
"There won't be a prouder mother than me this Mother's Day, seeing both my daughters serving our country as lieutenants in the U.S. Navy."
Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.
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