the-return-to-cleveland

Hi Guys,

Today is my nephew Sam’s 13th birthday. I would like to do something for him and his family and I need your help.

Sam has a tremendously challenging year ahead of him, on the heels on an equally challenging 2014, in which he spent over 100 days in the hospital.

On January 20, 2014, Sam doubled over in pain at dinner and was taken to Maine Medical Center. Every day since, he has been dealing with acute pancreatitis, severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which together basically means is that his digestive system has been rebelling, almost non-stop, for over a year —often in pain, with a fluctuating ability to eat.

Sam has been given a total colectomy with an end ileostomy, and there are more surgeries on the horizon. There are a few centimeters of colon left, and in order to save those few centimeters of hope for a return to normalcy, my sister Rachel will be taking Sam to Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the top center for IBD in the world. It’s a long way from Maine to Cleveland, and the prognosis is that there will be 5 trips, of undetermined length, before we know what Sam’s future holds. Sam has been to doctors all over the Northeast, none of whom can figure out how to get ahead of this or ahold of this — his medical case is rather unique, as is his strength in dealing with this. So here we are, with a last chance to save his colon. 

After a year of medical bills and travel, my sister needs help. She cannot do this on her own anymore. Some wonderful people in Sam’s community have set up a go fund me page a few weeks ago and I’ve been watching its progress. His community has rallied admirably and movingly. But there is still need, and progress on the funding has slowed. I think we are at the end of what Sam’s community is able to give. 

With your help, I would like to give this some more momentum, so that when Rachel and Sam and my brother in law Jeff and Sam’s little brother Ben head off to Cleveland for the first time in early March, they don’t have to worry about the next year of medical bills and can instead focus on Sam, on getting through another challenging year with a smile and hopefully ending the year with good news.

(Sam’s little brother Ben would be mad at me if he didn’t get a picture as well, so here you go, Ben.) 

So, here’s what I propose: I will match any donation you guys make to Sam’s go fund me page, up to a cumulative $2,500. You give a dollar, I give a dollar. Between all of us, we can raise $5,000 for Sam and his family for his birthday, almost to where they need to be for the first trip to Cleveland. We can close the gap here! This money goes to cover airfare, housing, food, consultations, diagnostic and surgical treatment. Please, anything you can do would mean the world to me and I’m sure would be very special for a very sweet kid (love you, Sam). 

Here’s the plan:

  1. Make a donation here — it can be named or anonymous
  2.  Put your tumblr name along with your words of encouragement in the message for your donation
  3. Your tumblr name will let me know to match your donation and will let me know how to thank you! I will drop by your tumblr, say hi, stalk your GPOYs, asses your fandoms, drop some head-scratching likes. 
  4. At the end of the day, I will match however much we’ve been able to raise and let you all know how we did

Thank you all so much for reading through this, and offering your attention. It’s not easy to ask for help — for me, for my sister, for anybody — and I would not do so lightly. Together, I think we can really help out here, today. 

Thank you.

P.S. to drop Sam a note and to keep in touch with his progress, you can follow his facebook page.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now in the running for LeBron James’ services and they are pulling out all the stops to welcome their King back. Despite their hostile reaction to the decision, Cavs Nation is ready and willing to welcome their hero home. In doing so, they’ve traded Jarrett Jack in an attempt to free up cap space, making it possible to offer LeBron a max contract. Aside from making financial moves, they are also recruiting Mike Miller and Ray Allen to make the move irresistible! 

NEW ORLEANS:  Continuing effects of post-Katrina displacement
Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans 10 years ago, scattered residents to all corners of the country, with many landing in Texas. “It was as close you will ever get to the apocalypse. It was a city which was devastated, completely abandoned,” said geography professor Andrew Curtis, who continues to monitor the city’s recovery. Thousands of residents did not return to New Orleans after the storm. WEWS-TV (Cleveland) (8/25)