Being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last fall was a huge shock. I never thought I’d get cancer. But there I was, on October 17, facing down a serious blood cancer diagnosis.
Soon, the reality set in that I would have to put my career completely on hold, lose my hair, and live in isolation in hospitals for many months, going through risky and life threatening treatments including many rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
In addition to the physical and emotional stress of having cancer, one of my real life fears was finances. I have always worked for non-profit organizations and don’t have a huge savings. Plus there are costs associated with my treatment that are not covered by health insurance. Also, because I am on medical leave from my job, at least until January 2015, work is no longer covering my health insurance payments. Money issues were heavily weighing on my mind, and I didn’t know what to do. All I knew was that my first priority was putting all of the energy I had into simply staying alive.
Fortunately, my amazing and beautiful friend Tara Coyote had a fabulous solution, and she had the creativity, know-how, persistence and will power to put it into action. Tara organized a way for people to donate to me on-line through YouCaring: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/love-healing-deb-/143995, and then she offered to put together a multi-venue fundraising concert where the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit my medical expenses. Thank you Tara! The benefit event is now coming up this Friday, May 16 from 8 PM – 2 AM in downtown Fairfax! Bay Area people — Don’t miss it! This event is going to rock.
MUSIC FUNDRAISER: Check this out! There will be 15 bands playing at three venues in downtown Fairfax this Friday — 19 Broadway, The Sleeping Lady and Peri’s. The event goes from 8 PM to 2 AM and the entrance price for all three venues is $20 (you’ll get a wrist band so you can come and go as you please). What a deal for some truly diverse music! For info about the event and to see the full line-up please see the Facebook event listing at: https://www.facebook.com/events/278400739001855/ or scroll to the end of this message. A big thank you to the bar owners and managers for providing the space for us to host this event: 19 Broadway (Jonathan Korty), Sleeping Lady (Tera Ferguson), and Peri’s (Chuck Peri). Kudos to Tara and her partner Tom Finch who booked many of the bands, as did Jonathan and Tera. Many thanks to all of the musicians in the 15 bands who will be playing too – they are all donating their time!
SILENT AUCTION: After the fundraiser was publicized, my dear friend Lindsay Wood decided to create a thoroughly amazing online silent auction site where you can bid online and donate, and she enlisted the support of my colleague and friend Wendi Kallins to help. There are bodywork sessions, gift certificates towards restaurants, dance, qigong, Gyrotonic, personal training and yoga sessions, store certificates, whale watching trip, drum classes, portrait sittings, doula training workshops and more! Please check it out and bid if you are inspired at: http://www.32auctions.com/lovehealingdeb Also, you don’t have to live in Marin to bid! Thank you to everyone who has donated to the silent auction, the people who are volunteering to staff it that night, and everyone who is bidding on items (the bidding closes at 11 PM on Friday; the auction will be set up outside at the Sleeping Lady).
I also want to provide a huge heartfelt thanks to my loving partner Andy Peri for all of his support working with the bars on the details, designing the poster and postcard for the event, and providing all-out emotional support to me as I continue to navigate this healing journey.
And when you stop by Peri’s, you’ll see something you haven’t seen before – Amity Hotchkiss is organizing an altar inside the bar which will include sacred objects representing all of our connection to the Earth. So stop by the altar and say a blessing for all of our health, and the health of our precious planet.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with this benefit in any way, all who are going to attend (it’s going to be so fun!), and to the nearly 200 people who have donated already to help with my expenses healing from AML. If you want to support my healing, but can’t make the benefit, you can donate on-line through: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/love-healing-deb-/143995
We’re still working to spread the word about this fabulous event. You can help by sending an email or Facebook post to your friends. Plus, word of mouth is still the best publicity – let people know if you’re coming! Thank you!
I am so deeply touched by the huge outpouring of support for my healing, and how many people are working together to make this benefit a success. Also, all of your cards, Facebook messages, texts, emails and donations are so hugely appreciated. Through this unexpected journey I am really opening up to the tremendous love and generosity that exists in the world, and I am grateful to be feeling it so strongly. Love heals! Truly.
All my best,
8-8:45 Tommy Odetto
9-9:45 Big Brother
11-11:45 Talley Up!
12-12:45 Tom Finch Group
1-1:45 The Unnamed
8:00-8:45 The Sleeping Ladies’ Men
8:55-9:15 Samantha Raven
9:30-10:00 Tracy Blackman & Friends
10:15-11:00 FenToN CooLfooT & Friends
11:15-Close Junk Parlor
8:30-9:15 Setchko & Meese
10:30-11:15 Ronnie Ray & Friends
11:30-Close Achille’s Wheel