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We Made $800 this Weekend

This weekend, we made $800. Our original goal was to try to make money for a new Hoyer lift and money towards what I’d need for my minivan lift to be put in. It’s $20,000 for the minivan lift, floor lowering, etc., so, I was pretty sure we wouldn’t get all that money. My primary goal was to make money for a Hoyer Lift.

Hoyer Lifts get people in wheelchairs in and out of bed and to their wheelchair. They are a safe way to lift a person with a physical disability. I once did unsafe transfers and that is how I fell and fractured my tibia, which created all kinds of other health problems. Now, I would be lost without my Hoyer lift.

My old Hoyer lift is manual. The pump gets stuck. The knob gets stuck, shooting me down towards the ground quickly and scarily. It’s starting to creak and groan. It’s over 5 years old, so it’s about time for a new one. The best, recommended option by my doctors is an electric Hoyer. My current insurance will not pay for the electrical part of the Hoyer. Since an electrical Hoyer is safer and the buttons won’t stick like the manual (a safety risk), we decided to hold a fundraiser to make money for the Hoyer.

I couldn’t just raise money for myself though. I decided to give 15% of the proceeds to a charity run by my friend, Danny Brown. 12for12k holds a charity event per month. 12 charities are chosen and the goal is to raise 12K ($12,000). This months charity was Hospice of Peel. My grandmother, Melba Ryan died in Hospice of Northwest Ohio on 12/17/08. Hospice is such a wonderful organization. They were amazing to my grandfather who lost his partner and wife of 69 years (4 of those courting).

So, I spent the whole weekend with Ashtyn on Twitter and Facebook. We posted and posted to raise money for the Hoyer and Hospice. Something happened today though. I was accused of running a scam and begging for money. It wasn’t by a stranger. It was by someone I’ve known my whole life.

I didn’t feel as bad for myself as I did for Danny and the cause I was raising money for. At the hint of accusations, our donations number dwindled and stopped. I then decided I’d give it all to Danny. It was drama that followed me around that had caused this shift in donations, but Danny would hear none of it. Like a prizefighter, he jumped to my defense. There was no proof to such allegations, anyway.

So, in stepped SuzeMuse to re-rally the troops and 30 minutes later, the donations started to pour in again. Everyone was so very supportive. People don’t like sabotage, especially when its clear the person having the fundraiser is only trying to do some good. With it down to the wire, we made our goal for the Hoyer and then some!

Well the first thing I did was make an announcement. I wouldn’t just give the 15% to Hospice of Peel. I would give $300. That left a little over $500 for my Hoyer. We could pay the rest out of pocket. Yes, we make enough to feed our family, clothe ourselves, and take care of our basic needs (a 4 person family). We are incredibly LUCKY and grateful in this respect.

That being said, when you are in a wheelchair you have MANY more expenses. Insurance doesn’t always pay for these expenses. In fact, some things no insurance will pay for (like van lifts) and government assistance is usually only available if you are under 18.

I am so grateful my friends were willing to help plan this fundraiser and help see it through. I HAPPILY donated $300 to Hospice of Peel (if you don’t believe me email Danny Brown through the 12for12k link up above — he will tell you he already received payment). I donated it in honor and in the memory of Melba Ryan. I want my grandmother to get the credit for this one. Noonie, I miss and love you. It is you who inspire me. It is you who I think of every day. It is you who I know would want me to donate to Hospice.

Thank you Noonie. The world was a better place with you in it, and now that you are gone, we will never forget.

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1 Comment

  1. Dom,

    It’s a pleasure to know both you and Ashtyn, and your story inspires the likes of me (who is fortunate that I have a relatively problem-free life) to try and make things better for others.

    I know the issues families can have with each other, and I’ve known you for a while now. Your integrity and intentions was never in question for me, and as I mentioned to Matt, there’s a huge difference between a family spat and accusations of fraud and scam.

    The pleasure is all mine to support you guys – thank you for what you do every day.

    Danny.

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Dominick
Dominick is a director/filmmaker, activist, writer, advocate, FTM transman from the Midwest who lives in New York. Follow his film career and join his weekly Twitter chat on film and disability by following #FilmDis. He received his BFA in Film Production in 2014.