Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Help a Writer in Need

I'm going to take a break from the fun and games of the Jersey Shore to write about something very serious, and about someone who needs our help.

Lori Hall Steele is a freelance writer. She has had a long and flourishing career -- in fact, you can read one of her essays published in the Washington Post by clicking here. Read that essay first, then continue on.

In September 2007, Lori lost the ability to move her feet. The paralysis then spread to her arms and legs, and she was eventually confined to a wheelchair. Then she could no longer move her hands, which meant that she could no longer work. Freelancing is how she supported herself and her seven-year-old son, Jackson.

You can guess that the story does not improve from here. She's now confined to a hospital bed and depends on a Bi-Pap breathing machine, and doctors surmise that the cause is ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Her medical bills -- which the insurance company says are not their responsibility -- are already at $50,000, and are expected to go up to $120,000. She is days away from foreclosure.

Lori is a member of Freelance Success, a writing group that is the main reason I am sitting here in my home, a successful, published writer. We're a very tight knit writing community, even if we live all over the world. All of us who have blogs are writing about Lori because she needs help. The American Society of Journalists and Authors, of which Lori is also a member, has already maxed out on how much we can give her from the organization's fund for writers in need. So if you have any change to spare, please click on this link and donate what you can via paypal. Everyone in our organization is giving at least $25. If we can all get one more person to donate to the fund, we'll help out a wonderful person and writer, and her son.

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2 comments:

Kristen Hains said...

Jen:
Thank you so much for this beautiful post.

Nadine said...

ALS is a horrible disease that leaves those stricken with it and their loved ones in great pain, both emotionally and physically. The ALS Association holds many events each year to raise money for the research needed to cure this horrible disease. I also encourage everyone to check out www.alsa.org to check out events in your area. Every fall, many areas have a big walk to raise money and there are many other opportunities to get involved. As Jen's post makes clear, there is still a long way to go!