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Let's Get Jeff Back to Cooking and Gardening!

$4,472raised of $15,000 goal

Organizer: Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet Beneficiary: Jeff Robinson

Jeff and Marti need to concentrate on getting Jeff back in top form. Please contribute what you can, as often as you can, to help meet (or exceed) our goal!

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Fundraiser Details

Dear Family and Friends of Jeff and Marti Robinson,

As many of you know, Jeff suffered a hemorrhagic stroke while working on Saturday, October 19. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and given emergency surgery with a prognosis of 5% chance of survival and if he survived, a lifetime of being unable to function or communicate. Within several hours, Jeff was able to tell us his name and from there progress continued at a rapid clip. Jeff was not only alive, but his speech and communication, cognitive and empathetic abilities, as well as his ability to sit, walk, eat – everything we all take for granted – was returning. In just 4 days after being put on the Donor List for all of his organs (that's how certain the doctors were that he would not survive), he was moved from ICU into the Surgery Trauma Neuroscience unit and the head of HCMC Neurosurgery declared Jeff a miracle. 

One week later, Marti received heartbreaking news that Jeff has a grade four brain tumor called "glioblastoma multiforme". The tumor is what caused the hemorrhagic stroke and is very aggressive. This means on top of physical therapy, Jeff will need radiation, chemotherapy, and possibly more surgery to fight his cancer.

This is just the beginning of the very hard work ahead for Jeff and Marti. They need to concentrate on getting Jeff back to tip top gardening, cheffing, cycling and dog-walking shape. That means not having to worry about finances. This is where you come in…

We've created this fundraiser to help aid in the tremendous financial need Jeff and Marti are soon to encounter. We want them to focus on Jeff’s care and not to worry about how bills will get paid or how to afford the other necessities sure to incur for his continued therapy.

In addition to in-patient and eventually out-patient therapies at Knapp Rehabilitation Center, part of Jeff's therapy will be for him to visit his beloved Aunt Helen who lives in Jeff's hometown of Milton, Florida and is unable to travel to Minnesota. Jeff has been given the okay to fly, so Marti is planning a trip to Pensacola / Milton to see her as soon as physically possible. Jeff seeing his Aunt Helen (and she seeing him) is an essential part of his healing.

Jeff is an incredibly brave, optimistic and resilient person, with an ever-increasing love of God, community and life. We know his will to live and return to his quality of life filled with urban farming and gourmet cooking will support him in his efforts to beat the odds once again.

ANYTHING HELPS. A buck or several, or continued prayer and emotional support. Please share this fundraiser far and wide via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, e-mail, text, etc. Please support Jeff and Marti in whatever way you are able. No amount is too small or too large! 

We chose You Caring because every penny you donate will go directly to Jeff and Marti. 

Contact the Organizer


by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Hello, Friends and Family of Jeff and Marti!

We're sending out a long overdue update to ask for support to Jeff and Marti! 

The latest news on Jeff's journey to great health from his CaringBridge site:

"Finally, the real meat of this update. Jeff's scan is remarkably clear. There is considerable radiation scarring but no sign of tumors.Anywhere. There is a tiny amount of shadowing where his tumor first appeared back in October, but Dr. T is unconcerned and stated Jeff's scans are "outstandingly good." ! (Go ahead.You can cry that good cry and smile that big smile. You'll be in good company.)"

That said, Jeff and Marti continue to have considerible financial needs, as well as healthy meal making support. As always, please give what you can (and as often as you can:) in whatever way you can.

As always, thank you for your love and support!

Go Team Robinson!
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
It's been far too long since we've updated you all. Jeff is 1/2 way through his chemo/radiation. Even with all that comes with this kind of treatment, he and Marti are managing it like champions!

Right now is a perfect time to reach out to them if you haven't in a while. Send an email, text message, card. Perhaps you might offer to cook, clean, fold laundry or contribute a few dollars?

They're doing so well, but we're at that time of this journey where a kind word of support and love can do so so much to help both of them push on.

Thank you to all!
Christine, Julie and Laurel
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Jeff and Marti are in Florida visiting family and taking a much needed rest together. Don't forget to visit back to this site and Jeff's Caring Bridge for updates.
As always, if you can spare a few dollars (or more) please do so to help out Jeff and Marti!

Thank you!
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
A wonderful message from Jeff's Caring Bridge site by Marti:


Jeff has begun helping with meals around the house. This mostly means warming things up, but he's gone a step further and added spices to some lovely chili a friend dropped off, assembling sour cream, chips and cheese to go with it, making and dressing salads, that kind of thing. As he said on facebook 
"I'm happy a small part is available in my brain. I will cook forever." Incidentally, that is the most coherent, zero spelling errors typing he has done. If he keeps this pace, I have no doubt he will be able to cook again for a living. 

He's also done laundry, which is considered a complex task because it involves more than one thing. (Sort, add detergent – in our case, pre-dissolve detergent, then add it, since we use homemade laundry soap, turn the washer on, be aware of when the load is done, move the items to the dryer, turn dryer on, be aware of when the dryer is done, bring the clean clothes upstairs, fold them, put them away.) He's also taken out the recycling and compost, tidied up around the house, is making the bed daily, and has started getting his own 8am and 8pm medication, as well as his own break-through pain meds, which also means writing down what time he takes them. He has been feeding our pets, getting the mail, getting his own breakfast and making coffee. Yesterday he asked what I wanted for dinner and I said "you know, I can make dinner – after all, you've made all the other meals today." He seemed grateful that he didn't have to do it all. It has been really important to him to help around the house, so I have to actually encourage him to not do all of it. 

We called Dr. Rausch to see if he could take an over-the-counter sleep aid since the steroid is really keeping him awake. They said yes and he slept through the night beautifully. 

Blessed and encouraged,
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Thank you, to all the supporters for your unbelieveable financial support, love and thoughtfulness! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Great News from Jeff's Caring Bridge site! Love to Marti & Jeff!

Titled: "Another Sunday, Beautiful Sunday"

"We're so happy to be home. Good God, so so so happy. 

Some friends came over yesterday to help sort through all the amazing goodies that have been donated for Jeff's Handcrafted and Local Goods Silent Auction. We had so much fun. It was great to just focus on something else, to laugh and spend a few hours with friends, to not think or talk about Jeff's health. 

Jeff sat on the couch during most of this, reading or listening to music or just hanging out. He was smiling often, and whenever I checked in, he was doing ok. Around 3:30 pm I sat up with a start. "Jeff!" I said, "I don't want you to start thinking about this or anything, but are you aware that you haven't had any supplemental pain meds at all today?" He replied "Yep! I'm doing great!" Amazing. He headed to the bedroom around 4:30 for some quiet time, but it was incredible that he could be in the living room with all the activity surrounding him and not be negatively effected or become overwhelmed. We had a nice evening together, and before bed around 9:30pm he took some Oxycodone to help him sleep. A nice long day without pain.

Other incredible news is that he has not back-slid at all. In fact, it almost seems like he's able to read better than before Wednesday. He's having similar issues with naming things and people, but I'm even seeing a small amount of improvement there. His short-term memory seems to be working a lot better now, and there has been zero physical weakness since we got home.

And I am not sick. It hit me hard for a day. ONE DAY. I have never, ever been sick for only one day. Usually if it hits me, I know I'm in for 1-2 weeks of feeling miserable. Not this time, thanking God. 

We're taking a break from everything today. Just relaxing and enjoying one another and getting a few things done around the house. I'm going to make my mom's dutch pancakes (kind of like a crepe) for brunch, do some more auction organizing, maybe clean up a little, and sit on the couch with my man til my butt falls asleep.

Feeling triumphant and steady. Feeling strong. Feeling like we will make every moment count, and that if it is the will of God, we will have many, many, many moments that will count. 

Thank you. For listening/reading/praying. For being there if its over the internet or in person. For keeping us in your thoughts. For your positivity and strength when I had neither. Community! Hazzah!"
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Jeff will be discharged today!

Good God, we have finally spoken with the doctor. Did it take a embarrassingly frantic & emotional phone call to the coordinator to make it happen? Yes. Its annoying how true the whole squeaky wheel saying is, at least in a hospital setting – because if you're courteous, understanding and patient, NOTHING HAPPENS. I have decided, though, to not carry this new-found wisdom into the real world, mostly because I am not comfortable with becoming that person

The bad news first, because that's how I prefer it: they are seeing parts of his brain light up more than on 10/20, which indicates to them that tumor is present. I believe it also indicates it is growing, though those words were not used by Dr. Jones. 

The good news: He had his drainage tube removed and OT and PT cleared him for discharge. Dr. Jones indicated that we should be good to go. We are both hopeful that discharge orders will be submitted soon so we can go home today. Just got the discharge orders! We're going home today!!

Dr. Jones was impressed with Jeff's recovery and even called him "sweetie" when asking him to repeat something she didn't hear ("What's that, sweetie?") I don't know who this person is, but she is very very different from when I first met her and I am grateful for that. 

Our helper/caregiver Greta thankfully agreed to come to the hospital so I could take a break to ready the house a little for Jeff's return and for the people that are coming over tomorrow to help organize for next week's silent auction. Earlier I was feeling like I bit too much off with this dang auction but am feeling more capable to prepare for it again. 

I have a cold and am trying to fight it. Its making life really difficult. The stress of the situation is hard enough without a cold on top of it. I also bruised my rib (or maybe even cracked it) when leaning in to give Jeff a kiss after he got out of surgery. Note to everyone with loved ones in the hospital: put the dang rail down before leaning in for a kiss and avoid this painful annoyance. 

I'm having a hard time facing the likely reality that we will have to go through chemo and/or radiation. It sounds like we will get the requested referral to Mayo and I was pretty blunt with our coordinator that I was done with HCMC. They are great doctors, but once you are not a trauma patient, you are really left out in the cold unless you PUSH. I am not willing to subject myself or Jeff to dealing with that on a long-term basis. I am feeling a little more open minded about seeing how Dr. Rausch (at HCMC) operates – maybe he'll be more available? I really don't know. I do know that I like the idea of Mayo for a number of reasons, not least of which they are a top medical facility in the country, and we have a recommendation for a specific doctor. The travel would be considerably more difficult, but still, its pretty much RIGHT THERE, so we're going to check it out as soon as possible.

I'm a little nervous about our planned trip at the end of December. Jeff can't start any chemo or radiation for a couple of weeks due to Wednesday's surgery and I don't know if you can start it and then interrupt it? I'm hoping to get some answers on Monday when we meet with Dr. Rausch, and of course from Mayo if we can meet with them next week as well.

Dr. Jones was kind enough to point out that their job is to give us the options, our job is to choose what to do. That is the first time I've felt like we have a choice at HCMC and though I know of course that we have a choice, I've been very, oddly, hesitant to insist upon that. 

I have to step up in a way I have never been able to. I have to remain calm and do the best thing for Jeff. I am not feeling very capable of this at this moment. This is definitely the weakest, the most scared, the least able I have felt to see this thing through. And not seeing this through is not a choice I get to make: that choice has been made for me. The choice I have now is how to react to it. Hopefully once I am feeling well and rested again, I will be able to be the person I've miraculously been able to be up until a couple of days ago. 
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
From Marti's FB site:
We are in the same room we were in October 19. Seems like some pretty funky odds. It's weird to be in this room again. Thankful my mom is going to spend the night with Jeff so I can try to wup this cold's butt by sleeping it off. If anyone wants to visit, feel free. He's drifting in and out of sleep, still pretty drugged up from anesthesia and IV pain medication, but would likely enjoy a visit from one or two people. If you come park in the HCMC ramp so my mom can let you use our pass - parking will only cost you a buck! I'll be back in the bright and early AM and will hopefully know more about length of stay then. Thanks to all for bearing with my frantic updates, and for keeping us in your prayers. This day has been hard.
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
From Jeff's CB Site:
Jeff woke up briefly, said "I am alive. I did it. Thank you Jesus. Praise the Lord," then drifted back into a drugged sleep. A few moments later he told me he loved me, turned to my mom and dad and said "I love you mom, I love you dad," then several minutes later, to me "I'm just glad. My life. Right next to you."  

We're the same room in SICU as we were 10/19. Really strange. 
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Beautiful Marti just sent this message:

"We have booked our all-important trip to visit Jeff's Aunt Helen and could not have done it without the donations pouring in. Thank you thank you thank you!

Please check out the hoots section to see the photo of Aunt Helen just after she got off the phone with Jeff!"

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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
OOO! Forgot to add the address for the:



Sunday, December 15 • 3-6pm

Hiawatha Church Basement

4155 41st Avenue South, Minneapolis

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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet

Jeff Robinson, Florida native, Minneapolis resident, gardener at Mpls Urban Edibles ( and sous chef at Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub (, had a hemorrhagic stroke while at work on October 19. He underwent emergency brain surgery and miraculously beat the 5% chance of survival and the 0% chance of communicating or otherwise functioning. A week after surgery he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. 

We are holding a silent auction and bake sale to raise money for his Medical and Wellbeing fund. 

The silent auction will be active from 3-6pm. 
Winning bidders can pick up their goods between 6:30-7:30pm.

Bake sale from 3-6pm.

*If you'd like to donate a gift certificate to or goods from a local business (coffee, bakeries, restaurants, retail, bicycle shops, garden centers, massage therapy, etc.), OR are a maker of things and would like to donate something handmade for auction, OR are a baker of things and would like to donate something baked for the bake sale, please send an email to drivebydesign @ with HANDMADE in the subject line.*

For more information, please visit

If you cannot make the sale, and would like to donate to the fund, please visit

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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
If you haven't already, be sure to get down to Northbound Smokehouse for wonderful food, wonderful beer with all proceeds going to wonderful Jeff and Marti!

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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Hello, All!

When you make your donation, you'll see "Leigh Ann Martin" as the beneficiary of the amount you're giving (in the PayPal section). Leigh Ann is Marti's mom who lovingly set up an account for Jeff and Marti. Please do not let that stop you from giving what you can, when you can! We promise that all donations will benefit Marti and Jeff!

Thank you,
christine s
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Please continue to check Jeff's Caring Bridge site for up-to-date information. Jeff is back home now and they both will continue to need care and support from all of us. Please do what you can, monetary or otherwise, when you can.
Thank you thank you!

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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
A message from Marti (from Jeff's Caring Bridge site):

Changing Needs and a Huge Thank You

By Marti Martin Robinson — 21 hours ago

Tomorrow we transition from having a staff of nurses, doctors and therapists at our beck and call, to being at home without any of that support. There will be no more call lights to push (although there has been talk of getting Jeff a bell... I'm not sure how I feel about that!).

We will be looking for some in-home care about 6 hours a day M-Sat, probably from 10-4, possibly only 4 days a week and up to 6. If you know of anyone who could help us out, that would be great. This is a paying gig. I may be home during this time, working, and will ask that I not be disturbed as much as possible. I may also be out running various errands for us. This doesn't need to be a nurse, just someone to hang out and make sure Jeff wears his helmet with the strap affixed when up and walking around, possibly take him (and Kismet, our dog, if they're up for it!) for walks outside depending on the weather, as well as fix him lunch and get him beverages and pain meds as needed. They may also need to take him to various out-patient therapies depending on what time of day these occur. He can move on his own and get in and out of a car without assistance, and doesn't need a walker or wheelchair so this helper doesn't need to be extra strong or anything. A bright, excellent, patient personality is a must.

Thank you all so much for being so supportive: your presence, prayers, making and/or delivering meals, help with financial/insurance paperwork, running grocery and pet supply errands, taking video of Sunday mornings at Hiawatha Church when we could not attend, lending us laptops and battery packs and cables for our iDevises, taking care of Kismet and Bits by feeding them and loving them, walking Kismet, cleaning our house, doing laundry and dishes, fixing our kitchen sink plumbing, helping with some graphic design needs, bringing in the mail, setting up benefits and donation sites, the initial set-up of this Caring Bridge site, staying the night with Jeff, massage and acupuncture therapies for both of us, hair cuts, providing essential oils and herbs and CHOCOLATE, traveling cross-country or down the street to visit Jeff and me, and every other thing big or small has been such a huge blessing to both of us and the people we have been surrounded by. We aren't done needing you, and I know you will continue to be there for us. We are so grateful for that. Thank you.

Blessings on all of you.
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Set your calendar for Monday, 11/18! Head on over to Northbound Smokehouse to enjoy amazing food for lunch, dinner or (why not?) BOTH! All proceeds benefit Jeff and Marti. Check out the facebook event site for further info:
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by Julie Cohen, Laurel Severns-Guntzel, Christine Sanguinet
Be sure to visit Jeff's Caring Bridge for up-to-date news on Jeff's amazing progress!
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