Over time we have our little "discussions" around here about things like competitions, flocking, details needed on a working bird, decoy materials, the best finishing technique, what was said on this or that forum,..... It always seems like it is a really big deal at the time. I get wrapped up in it as much as the next guy but I have a family health issue that keeps me straight on where my priorities are.
My nephew diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 1. If you don't know what Cystic Fibrosis is, it is a breathing and digestive disorder. For the most part, his lungs do not function normal and his digestive track does not absorb the nutrients. To give you a example, if you think about the worst case of the flu that you have ever had, it would be a very good day for him breathing wise. He is now 16, and on the 28th of May, my sister and him are relocating to St. Louis so he can be placed on the waiting list for a double lung transplant.
The cost of a lung transplant was estimated in 2007 to be around $550,000 plus and additional 65K for follow up doctor visits and medications that will total nearly 30K a year. While both my sister and brother in law are employed as teachers and have insurance, the cost of the procedure will well exceed the "lifetime max" on their insurance coverage. Couple that with the fact that my sister will be taking a leave of absence from work while they are in St. Louis, and they will be keeping two households and it is clear that there will be major financial issues.
We are looking to raise money to help them with the financial burdens. Below is a fund raising letter that was sent out that gives more details and a link to his website. They are asking for a donation of $3 from as many people as possible but the mods here and I are wanting to see if we can do a bit more. We are going to have a 3 bird raffle for $10 a ticket.
Below are pictures of the decoys:
Scott R - Ringneck
Rob James - Spoonie
Scott Klecka - Redhead
PICt TO FOLLOW - still being painted
We will have the drawing on June 1stTHE LETTER THAT A FRIEND OF MY SISTER SENT OUT:
During their son’s first birthday party, the McQueen’s received the news that no parent wants to hear: that their child had been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic genetic disorder that massively affects the lungs. This diagnosis was prompted by his “failure to thrive” which was why their baby did not want to eat and cried often. More frightening was the fact that this would eventually require a double lung transplant if he lived that long.
Luckily, Gerald has lived that long; he is now sixteen years old. He attends high school and enjoys playing Madden and watching football in his free time. In the school district he attends, they require that students be present for 162 days; however, due to countless extended-stay (up to 41 days!) hospital visits, Gerald has only been able to be present for his junior year of high school a total of 78 days. His disease has not only affected his health, but also his education and the normal life experiences that you and I take for granted every single day. To learn more about Gerald’s story, visit http://www.geralds2ndbreath.com
The parents, Lynn and Fitzgerald, are public school teachers that have dedicated their lives to teaching and raising the children of others. Over the last 16 years, the parents have exhausted all their sick leave, personal leave and of course, their savings. The family may very well lose their house if they are not able to mobilize others to help them. Lynn, Gerald’s mother, will no longer be able to work for the next year because she must relocate to St. Louis, Missouri with Gerald. It is here at one of the best children hospitals in the country that they are hoping to find Gerald a double lung transplant match. Gerald’s father and sister, Fitzgerald and Hope, will remain in North Alabama so that Fitzgerald can work to try to save their house and provide a semblance of “normality” for their elementary age daughter, Hope.
So we are asking family, friends, loved ones, and those that seek to give every child a chance to live to do two simple things to help extend Gerald’s life. First, follow this link, www.geralds2ndbreath.com
to donate $3.00. It will not take any time at all! Then, forward and challenge everyone in your various address books to do the same. It is tax deductible and you can save a life by doing so. The goal is to raise money that will go towards Gerald’s medical expenses and towards household bills that will continue to rise due to maintaining two households in two different states off of a teacher’s income.
All donations, big and small, are greatly appreciated by the McQueen family, as we would be honored for you to help us out. Their EIN number for the Gerald’s Second Breath Foundation is 80-0907179.www.geralds2ndbreath.com
I appreciate any and all support you can give. Please forward the information on the raffle and the fund raising efforts to any sites you frequent. The more we spread the word the better..