Longtime reader, spawner of a new generation of Agitator fans, and regular commenter Bronwyn Hartung writes:
The short: I’ve set up a collection for donations to help my mom and dad pay for the stem cell transplant she’ll be going through next month.
The long: My parents moved in with me and my husband shortly before my first son, Samuel, was born in 2007. They have since been the primary caregivers of my children while I and my husband work. Dixon joined us in October of 2008. In December of 2008, mom was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a very aggressive form of the disease. She was admitted to the hospital on December 11 for chemotherapy, and didn’t come home until mid-January of 2009. Since then, she’s gone through two additional rounds of chemotherapy, lost her hair and grown it back, suffered several bouts of shingles and colds and pneumonia because, although she is in remission (and has been for a year now), her system was so beaten down by the chemotherapy that she remains weakened. She is more than a shadow of her former self, but she is struggling nonetheless. She has been told that her cancer is all but guaranteed to relapse, and that her only chance is a preemptive strike via stem stem cell transplant.
Through the beauty that is the Bone Marrow Donor registry, a perfect match was found, and the donor is ready and willing to donate.
Here’s the problem. My parents have been unemployed for years now, and have private, individual insurance, which costs them approximately two arms, a leg and a few toes each year, and comes with a high deductible and upsettingly low maximum benefits. The cancer has eaten away at their savings and, with no income, they have no way to replenish.
This transplant is coming in the new year of course, which means mom has to start paying all over again, to the tune of at least $7000.
My own family is fighting a losing financial struggle, the details of which are dirty and not worth listing, but suffice to say that we cannot help. We can’t even afford outside childcare for my kids to give my dad a break from triple-caregiver duty.
Here enters my fundraising effort. I wouldn’t be doing a good job of it if I didn’t press into every nook and cranny of my network, and I consider TheAgitator to be a significant part of my online world.
The fund is completely separate from my personal accounts, and is not even linked to my mom’s accounts. PayPal insists on taking their cut, but I have pledged to make up the difference so that everyone’s donation is transferred, in full, to my mom. On the 15th of every month, I will transfer money from PayPal to an ING savings account, and will disburse funds to mom as her bills come in. She wants to provide a full accounting of where the donations go.
I ask if you would be willing to post my donation button on your blog, or share it via e-mail. We both know the power of the internet, and how even the smallest donations can add up to something substantial in a very short time, once that power is tapped.
(Note: The button above doesn’t seem to be working for some people. You can send directly to: firstname.lastname@example.org)
This isn’t something I’ll be making a habit of, here. With 15-20K readers, we could be doing fundraisers every day. But Brownwyn has been a loyal reader for years, and I’m sure many of you are comment pals with her. She also sent me a separate email instead of posting this in the comments, which I appreciate. Use the button above if you’d like to help her out. I’ll be doing exactly that. If you have questions about how the account will operate, I’m sure she’d be happy to answer them in the comments. Please be civil.
Just for liability purposes, I should add here that I have no role the administration of the account whatsoever other than posting the message above, which I’m doing as a favor to a reader of whom I’ve become fond after exchanging email with her over the years.