Help Cheryl Help Clara
Cheryl had a brain hemorrhage on August 20, 2011. The doctors didn't expect her to live, but she fooled everyone. Thanks to her building's quick response to her call for help, she survived.
In the next few weeks at Mount Sinai, she made a recovery that was nothing short of miraculous. Although her cognitive ability has completely returned, she's now confined to a wheelchair. She types on the computer with only her left hand, because her right side no longer works. She can't afford health insurance. The small monthly amount that she receives from social security disability is not enough to even pay her rent, yet that meager amount has rendered her ineligible for Medicaid or any other government benefits. Her medical expenses, past, present, and future, are staggering. She can no longer afford to pay for Clara, her full time nurse, or for the physical therapy, prescriptions, or doctor visits that she needs to improve.
Cheryl, an only child, postponed moving to New York to take care of her parents until they died within months of each other. Her mom had stage 4 Alzheimers' and her dad suffered from Parkinsons'. She kept them together in an apartment for three extra years, despite everyone's urging to put them in a nursing home, where they would have been separated. Cheryl knew that this would have broken her father's heart, and she refused. Cheryl spent all of her life savings to keep her family together. When asked if she regrets her decision, she said, "Of course not. I'd do it again in a heartbeat." That's the kind of person she is.
In an ironic twist of fate, Cheryl is now faced with the prospect of being placed in a nursing home herself, but instead wants to fight to return to her life. During a recent conversation, Cheryl told me, "I don't need to be there. I'm not ready to give up! I had to start over, from scratch, after my parents died. I did it once, and I can do it again. My long term goal is to pay it forward; to advocate for others stuck in similar situations who are unable to advocate for themselves."
As an attorney she took on many pro-bono cases. She helped women leave abusive and potentially life threatening relationships. She helped reinstate someone whose employment was wrongfully terminated, winning them back pay and full benefits. She helped clear someone's reputation who was falsely accused of shoplifting. And the list goes on.
One of Cheryl's favorite quotes is "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life."--Chinese Proverb.
Your contribution will help Cheryl relearn how to fish; how to adapt to her new circumstances and be productive again. In other words, your contribution will help to save her life so she can be an example to others who would otherwise give up hope.
Your contributions will enable Cheryl to help Clara, to get the medical care she needs, and to re-launch her new career. We need a total of $20,000 by January 13, 2013 to help Cheryl get back on her feet, which will sustain her while she completes the following 3 projects
1. She is writing a memoir, and already has a connection in publishing that has expressed interest. Click on this link for a sample of her writing
2. She is preparing an online course on Udemy.com designed to help people find the right attorney. She has more experience in this field than anyone I've ever met.
3. She will offer 1-on-1 legal and life coaching services via Skype.
By contributing to this campaign, you will be giving back to someone who has always been a beacon of hope for so many people. You will also be helping Clara, her nurse.
Additionally, you will help my friend continue to be an inspiration to me and so many others.
Cheryl has taught me what it means to persevere despite all challenges. Even though something absolutely devastating happened to her, she continues to make the world a better place, and for that she will always have my utmost respect and admiration.
If you can't contribute financially, please take a moment to share this campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., with your friends and family, and with anyone who you think will be moved by her story of perseverance and triumph in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Spread the word. With so much negativity in the world today, help me prove that people like Cheryl deserve to be rewarded with kindness and generosity, and not be given a cold shoulder when they need it most.
If you're able to contribute financially (no amount is too small) and have a Paypal account, Paypal is preferred. If you don't have Paypal, credit cards are gladly accepted.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!