Every so often I get fired up about raising money for a good cause or a great person. This is one such time. If you don’t like this kind of post, feel free to skip today’s entry. HOWEVER. If you’re only looking at skipping over because you ain’t got even five bucks to drop in the pot, HANG ON, because I’ve got ideas about non financial ways you can help in this particular situation too. Even if you’re across the country or overseas. And I think you might like those ideas.
First up, I want to talk about science fiction fantasy conventions. Folks like me routinely go to multiple conventions in a year, and gripe and groan about how it’s too hot (or cold) and the hotel staff is rude and the food is bad or whatever we can find to complain about, because we’re tired and bitchy and that’s just how it works sometimes. (Yes, I include myself, I’ve been rotten unpleasant at times). And the hotel staff and the convention staff generally put up with our moments of attitude and smooth out trouble and do the best they can over a three and sometimes four day weekend of hundred of people being rude, demanding, and uncooperative.
And then there are folks who are just … flat out … rays of sunshine. No sarcasm. Folks who are always smiling, cheerful, bringing the mood up instead of down; playful, good-humored, willing to talk to anyone about almost anything.
Now let’s talk about David Deane. He falls firmly into the latter category. Dude always gets me to smile, even when I’m at my most hectic.
A little more about David Deane: He generally only goes to one convention a year, that one being MarsCon of Williamsburg, Virginia. That’s where I met him, years back, and getting to see David is one of the reasons I make time for MarsCon every year. (Not the only reason, MarsCon is great, but getting to catch up with David is a definite factor.) He’s just mad fun to talk to. Seriously good company.
More: David has been in a wheelchair since birth. He has brittle bone disease. He works at Walmart as a greeter. He does not ask anyone for help. Ever. He makes do and gets by, with the help of his longtime partner Carole Lee Emerson.
And now we come to the help request.
David has a 21 year old van with increasing troubles. It’s customized for his driving needs, which naturally isn’t cheap to replace. One such customization is the lift that lets him get in and out of the van.
A few weeks back, that lift broke. It lasted longer than it should by rights have done, but when it went, it went hard. David was dumped on the ground–remember that brittle bone disease bit?–and wound up in some pretty damn bad shape.
He’s currently in rehab in Newport News, VA. And god only knows when he’s going home; the rehab has already tried to kick him out once, thanks to that lovely insurance company generosity of spirit that we all know and love. He wasn’t healing fast enough to suit them. (What, he’d heal faster at home??) He’s won the appeal. But here’s the thing: he could get booted out anytime. And without his van, he’d be housebound. Not to mention having to be brought home in an ambulance. He’s going to need a professional caretaker/nurse for some weeks after his return home, which insurance naturally won’t adequately pay for. (More and more money…) He won’t be, pardon the expression, “on his feet” again anytime soon, regardless, so there’s no income from Walmart to look forward to. The bills are piling up. He needs that damn van like you wouldn’t believe. He needs something to go right.
We’ve found someone who’s willing to repair the lift for around $200. That’s fabulous. I’ll take it, yanno? I’ve already stepped up to offer coverage on that bill. I’m doing more than that, though.
David’s sister put up a gofundme some time back, intended to help David replace his van. I’m stepping up and offering to MATCH all donations on that gofundme through the end of October 2017. I have to cap that at $1000, but I would be honestly delighted to hand over that much come November!
Take a look at the gofundme here: https://www.gofundme.com/handicapped-needs . Make sure you read the comments, because there are stories there about how people met him and what joy he’s brought to so many lives. I’m not doing this push lightly. David’s a remarkable gentleman.
If you’ve got money, if you’ve got five bucks to toss in, I’ll match it. All the way up to a thousand dollars by the end of the month. Will that get David a new van? Oh hell no. What it WILL do is get things rolling. What I HOPE will happen is that other folks will do their own matching contribution offers, to whatever extent they can afford–ten bucks, a hundred, five hundred, whatever. What I WANT to see happen is for someone out there to get in touch with some organization that’s set up precisely for this kind of situation, and give David back some of the joy he’s handed out so freely over the years.
If you can’t put money in, you can repost for your friends and neighbors to see. If you have a story about David, please do share it in the comments here! I’ll make sure he gets them all. If you’re local, you can go visit David. Bring him cookies or soup or something better than boring rehab food. Call him. Or send him a card. Even a postcard with a smiley face on it would be fabulous. I’m more than happy to collect cards and cookies on his behalf and run them out to him every so often.
Cards can go to: David Deane, c/o Leona Wisoker, P.O. Box 353, Lightfoot, VA 23090.
Cookies and such, contact me to schedule pickup and delivery days. (writer at leonawisoker dot com)
Phone calls, contact me to get David’s phone number; I’m not willing to put that online just at the moment.
Come on. Just over twenty days left. Make me spend a thousand dollars. Swing that hammer and push that button and so on. I’ll be so happy to write that check!