Sunday, February 26, 2006

Much more important...

Okay, I've been stalling hoping I could figure out how to work the cool link buttons, but it's too important to wait for my dubious technological skills to emerge from wherever they have taken up semi-permanent hibernation. Oh, wait, I never had any such skills in the first place. During my delightful marriage to the world's smartest and funniest man (how I miss him), I got to live dizzyingly beyond my own technolgical capacities. I even went on the job market with a kick-ass website, including writing samples, teaching materials...and no link to any blog site.

But I digress, and from a matter far more important than my endless drivel:

A page has been set up to raise funds for medical expenses for Annika Tiede, a five-year old who needs a liver transplant (and not her first...).

Annika's mother keeps a profoundly beautiful and heartbreaking blog here. And she has a powerful post on how even with so-called "excellent" medical coverage, her family has been devastated by the financial impact of Annika's illness. Read her post about why we should all live in abject fear of the medical insurance industry and any health disasters, here. We academics, even with "good health care," are all one hospitalization away from bankruptcy...oh, wait, we can't file for it anymore. Okay, one major illness from living in cardboard boxes and holding signs saying, "will lecture on the Modernist aesthetic for food." And we are, I realize, so much more fortunate than vast numbers of Americans. (How does a poor American stomach the news that his or her government is spending billions in Iraq, while rending the last vestiges of a safety net? People die in this country every day because they can't pay for care. And we accept that. I'm not talking about last-ditch efforts or expensive procedures with minimal expectations of results. I am talking basic and even preventative care for things that are often readily controlled or curable. We think it's normal. Until someone lost in the bureaucracy says to us, "Sure, we have medication that will help. It costs $562.00/week." Which is basically a death sentence: "you are too poor to be worth saving.")

Except in the larger scheme of things, (stage II cancer, terminal cancer, death of my beloved husband), our family was "lucky"; I have incredibly generous family members and friends, and my husband managed to spread his crises out over several years' worth of coverage. My colleagues helped out so I never had to take unpaid leave (the only kind available to me unless I myself am having chemotherapy). We had enough support and savings to allow us to pay the exorbitant premiums, staggering numbers of co-pays, and additional niceties throughout his terminal illness, while keeping a roof over our heads.

Moreena's posts strike terror in my heart; perhaps the only thing worse than losing my husband would have been having my daughter seriously ill. All the fear, pain, and helplessness; incredible financial anxiety, and the heartbreak of knowing that my child didn't—couldn't possibly—understand why she had to suffer in this way.

In honor of her own husband's brave struggle, and to honor the survivor spirit that he and Annika share, Badger (who has her own troubles), has contributed a piece of Mr. Badger's powerful, moving artwork to help Annike's cause. Bid for it and read more here.


At 5:48 PM , Blogger Badger said...

I use this site to help me when I have html questions.

At 6:06 PM , Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Thanks for spreading the word about the fundraising efforts for Annika.

I really recommend Julie's book for technical blogging questions.

At 11:31 AM , Blogger timna said...

I tried with the technical too and gave up. But you wrote words anyway.

At 3:14 PM , Blogger Yankee T said...

That you and Badger can step outside of your horror to help Annika stuns and amazes me. I admire you both so much. You and your wee one are on my mind, daily.

At 8:37 AM , Blogger snickollet said...

I am 100% no help when it comes to technical issues. But I have to second everything that Yankee Transplant said about your and Badger's ability to reach out from your own grief and help somebody else in need. You're both amazing--a real inspiration.

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