Monday, April 25, 2011

Please Help a Friend. Get Delicious Recipes Too

My family knows something about hospitals. Jason's family knows something about hospitals. Watching how Jason's family responded, as a unit and as individuals, to a family member's illness helped me trust Jason and his commitment to marriage, in sickness and in health. It helped me believe that he understood what marriage really meant, long beyond the (presumed) health of youth and a happy wedding day and into the dark times like long hospital stretches. It made me understand that he and his family face adversity with humor and courage. It helped me see who they are, at their core.

So for all these reasons, I am putting out a special request today: please support a friend and fellow blogger, Dana of the Brokeass Bride, as she works to manage her particular autoimmune disease.

Here's a bit about Dana's problem:
♥  When she was 19, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Uveitis.
♥  Her immune system doggedly attacks her eyes causing inflammation, visual disturbances and blurriness. It is incurable and will cause blindness if left untreated.
♥  She also has a very rare deep-tissue form of a disease called Granuloma Annulare, causing a different type of inflammation in er foot, for which she had surgery last year. It is so rare, she is unable to find a doctor who knows how to treat it moving forward.
♥  She's had 11 surgeries (8 of them in just the past 5 years), to control her diseases and their side effects.
♥  Last month her left eye came out of remission and she'll be having a 12th surgery.
Her surgeries and ongoing care (even with health insurance) have left piles of bills in their wake, and she is now at a point where, without help, she cannot pay for her medical care.

The amazing part about Dana is how little she is defined by her illness or the struggles to conquer them. She lights up a room with the sheer force of her warmth and personality. Dana was the first LA wedding blogger I found, waaaay back when we were first talking about getting engaged, who had actually planned an LA wedding on a teeny budget. And it wasn't a standard wedding - it was a celebration bursting with creativity, enthusiasm, and style due to Dana's incredible knack for turning obstacles into creative opportunities. I was inspired by her colorful, joyous, authentic wedding. And then I was even more inspired by Dana-the-woman and the way she generally approaches life with color, joy and authenticity. (Not to mention generosity and kindness too.)

I know something about illness and how it can make you stronger and more vibrant, even as it tears you apart. And I know something about Dana's vibrancy, both in her writing and in person. And I desperately want to help her afford to pay for her twelfth surgery so we can keep this illness from taking anything more from her and her family. I want her back again for her smart and sassy writing about living a stylish and fun life on a teeny budget (it's all in the attitude, yo.) And selfishly, I want her back for vegan pizza and wine nights. 

So Here's What Dana's Doing to Solve her Problem
♥  She’s compiling beloved comfort food recipes and the stories behind them from the most bad-ass bloggers and beyond… available in varying forms, in exchange for donations to her medical care.
♥  There are incentives for varying levels of donation, which you can learn about here.
♥  The recipes, photos and stories will be teased here on her Dishing for Dana blog, and once a donation is processed, a password to access the full recipes will be released to each donor.

The Goal
♥  $13,000 to cover her current medical bills
♥  $6,032 to cover her health insurance premiums for the remainder of 2011
♥  $2,000 to donate to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association toward helping others with autoimmune disease
For a total minimum of $22,000. 

Note that this does not include the costs that will be related to Dana's upcoming surger(ies) and ongoing care, nor for prescriptions or post-surgical supplies such as gauze and tape for her eye patch, or prescribed drugs to aid the healing process and protect from further inflammation and prevent infection, etc. 

The Details
♥  You can donate any amount you choose, no minimum, no rules. Because every quarter is a quarter more than they had yesterday. It all adds up.
♥  Dana will donate 10% of all proceeds up to her goal, to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association, so every dollar contributed not only goes toward Dana's medical care, but also toward researching a cure to benefit everyone with autoimmune disease.
♥  Anything raised in excess of the goal will be split 50/50 with the AARDA – Dana's portion of which will be saved in a dedicated, interest-bearing account toward any future surgeries and ongoing medical care.

As of today, Dana's raised $8,320.96. She's almost halfway there. One month from today, she's having her next surgery. So it would be great it you could dig deep, find an extra $10, $25, $50 or more at the end of the month to help her tackle this surgery. Please take a look through the Dishing for Dana site, learn about the recipes (and the stories behind them) that her amazing friends in the blog community have shared… and please consider making a donation to this cause. And feel especially good when you cook up a batch of this mac n cheese. Or red-wine beef stew.

Thank you! 

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