I'm a non-profit and coffee consultant in the midst of having life rearranged.
Category: Medical & Emergencies
Start Date: January 17, 2018
Dearest Friends, Family, and Donors,
It's been a while since I put an update up here, but that's because things have been going really well for the most part. Just in the last month or so, we've really hit some milestones. 12/21 was teh 1 year anniversary of her stroke. In about 2 weeks we will celebrate 1 year at home. She has really turned some corners, even in the last few weeks. Mom is heading toward semi-independent. She still needs to use a wheelchair sometimes around the house to keep her hands free, but can use one of the two walkers we have tricked out for her around the house and in the car. I can't remember the last time we took the wheelchair anywhere. With a little help, she can now use a cane to walk around the house! She can get herself ready in the morning, go the bathroom at any time by herself, make tea, heat up breakfast, make cereal, get anything out of the fridge, even distribute and take her own meds! When we first got home it took us over 2 hours working together to get her ready for church. Now, she can lay her own clothes out and get ready alone in about 45 minutes! She still spends a decent amout of time in her chair with her cat, but that's not so bad. A local friend donated a great lift chair for her and that helped the pain in her arm from pushing to get up. She has a medical alarm and can stay overnight by herself, which has opened up a lot of options for me to travel for work. Her caregiver and friends Alice has been such a blessing to us. She lives across the street and is very generous and flexible with her paid time and does so much more. Her church family has been great and when I'm out of town, they pick her up, take her to church, get her some lunch, and take her home. I'm becoming increasingly, and gratefully, irrelevant!
I wanted to reach out to all the donors again and thank them for helping out last year. We raised nearly $6000 and it was all we needed. With that help, our savings, and consulting work from a distance, I've been able to keep this ball rolling and keep a roof over our heads for almost a year. I could not be more grateful to God, you all, and to the organizations and families that have hired me for consulting.
Last month, I got into the place you never want to be as a consultant- to have all your eggs in one basket. I tried hard to find other work, but one client get me busy and the retainer was enough to sustain us. A trip here and there topped off the reserves and things were going well. In November, my client decided not to move forward with a huge building project I was a part of and they cut me loose. Christmas time is the worse time in the world to find new clients or get commitments out of old ones. They all said, "Let's talk after the first of the year." Well, it's the first of the year, I've booked a solid consulting trip on 2/14 and seemingly am on the cusp of taking a new job with a friend's amazing start-up. But, we are falling short in the interim. My reserves are almost gone and I won't see a payment from work until the end of February. So, in a great blow to my pride, I'm reaching out again with my hat in my hand to ask my family and friends if they can help. We don't need a lot- nothing like our first raise, but we do need a bit of help. God willing, this is the last time I will ever ask for help and can go back to being the type that gives to these things instead of needs them. Anything you can do will be appreciated.
We are right on the edge of success in this. Mom is good enough that I can really get back to work, travel, and start making real money again. Everything is lining up. My speaking career is firing up again as well. Work and minstry are both really going in the right direction. I thank you all for reading and hope a few of you will see fit to help us out. Pax! Andrew
5/16/18 Update: I wanted to thank everyone who has given to this and wanted to update you on the status of things. For starters, this money was a life saver and could not have relocated and taken care of my mom in the way I have been able to without it. So, thanks again to you all!
I have relocated from Denver to Jackson, MO. My stuff is all in storage in Denver still. Mom's bathroom was remodeled enough to make it possible for her to live at home. I can not explain how important this was. Working in this bathroom makes me realize every day how impossible it would have been without a remodel. Mom has been through two in-patient rehab programs, in-home rehab, and is now nearing the end of out-patient rehab. Her walking and mobility has come a long way, but we have a long way to go. We jumped through all the government hoops and now have in-home care for 32.5 hours a week! We needed it. I was about to burn out. I have rented a cheap office nearby, have a single consulting client, and am beginning to get back to work. I think I will be able to find more work and make a living, as well as launch my non-proift. I don't think we are going to need the full amount of this fundraiser, but I'm going to push it for one more round.
We now are in need of the following:
1. Upgrades to Mom's home and equipment to get her even more independence.
2. Additional caregiver hours that the state won't cover, so I can travel for business and make a living.
3. A portion of Mom's medical expenses that the powers that be won't cover.
4. If there is money left over, I'd like to get my mom some chiropractic and massage to help her get full mobility and range of motion back, but most of that kind of thing doesn't seem to be covered.
Thanks to all you again. This journey has been easily the hardest thing I've ever done and I have no idea what the future holds, but God has been with us and will continue to lead, heal, and guide us both. Our prayers go out for all of you daily. Pax!
Original Posting: If you are reading this you already know that my mom, Sherry Whaley, had a massive hemmoragic stroke on 12/21/17. On 12/26 they took her off the heavy sedation and there seemed to be no response beyond mild reflex reactions. They gave me a 1% chance she would even wake up, let alone survive. On the morning of 12/27 I got a call from the ICU and the doctor told me we had gotten our 1% and that Mom had opened her eyes and was taking simple commands. From there, the ventilator came out, then the tube draining her brain, and then one more tube every few days. She began to come around, communicating first by blinks, then by simple responses. It was a mircale. I had my mom back! They continued to fight her blood pressure, but by 1/2/18 she was out of the ICU. We asked about in-patient rehab, but were assured that she would not be able to handle 3 hours of therapy a day any time soon. So, we began shopping for a skilled nursing facility. A couple of days later a representative from the in-patient rehab program came into the room and began clarifying our plans for the application to enter in-patient rehab. I was confused. They stated that she was progressing quickly enough that they thought she could handle it. I had to commit to her coming home to 24 hour care to get her in this program, but I thought that it would be best for her. So, at that moment, I made the choice that I would leave my new job that I love, in the city I love, and return to Jackson, MO to care for my mom. There was no real choice. I am an only child and my parents have been divorced since I was 12. Since that decision, Mom has battled vertigo, nausea, and insomnia, but is doing really well in rehab. I spoke with her on the phone since returning to Denver and she sounds like my mom again! She is making such great strides in her recovery! Now, I have to do my end of the bargain which is to store all my belongings, mostly leave my source of income, and relocate to an area I've only lived in for about a year in the last 17 years. For a while I will need to focus on some remodeling in my mom's house to make it fit for a walker and possibly a wheelchair, including a full remodel of the bathroom, then turn to helping her reenter life in her home, get to her medical appointments, and begin to eat and exercise in a way that will keep her with us and hopefully to flourish.
As you can imagine, this is going to be a very expensive process, with moving and storage expenses, remodeling expenses, all along with the loss of most of my income. My wonderful employer Stargazer Fine Chocolates & Coffee have given me some guaranteed consulting going forward, but given the depth of that retail project, which I committed to for a year, I have not kept other consulting work in the pipeline, since I didn't think I'd have time to do much else during the launch of Stargazer and the shift to a summer menu soon after. So, after much prayer and resistance on my part, I have come to understand that I need to reach out for help. I am not comfortable doing so, despite my history and comfort with non-profit fundraising. I've never been a cause, but I guess for now I am. So, I am trying to raise for the following needs:
1. Moving and storage expenses to get me back to MO in a timely manner
2. Money to remodel my mom's bathroom and to aid in clearing and remodeling of the rest of her house to fit her new level of ability.
3. The loss of my salary, tips, and profit sharing in the new Denver project, minus the guaranteed and estimated consulting revenue for next few months.
4. Money for in-home care assistance, beyond the amazing team of my mother's friends, so I can look for work or travel for consulting and speaking.
Thanks to all you have given your time, comfort, help, and most importantly prayers. If you can give, please do, but please please continue to pray for my mom. She is a miracle and that is surely tied to the thousands of people who are praying for her. This is about her, not me.