Bo Brown, Forever Activist, Forever Survivor

For: Bo Brown
Oakland, CA
Organizer: Bo's Brigade
Bo Brown, Forever Activist, Forever Survivor (Bo Brown)
$39,227
of $60,000 goal
65% Complete
Raised by 321 donors

The Story

UPDATE January 29, 2017:

We are writing to talk to you about Bo Brown, ex-political prisoner, forever activist and dear friend. Some of you may have heard that in the summer of 2016, Bo was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia confirmed by two neurologists. Lewy Body Dementia is a brutal terminal neurodegenerative disease with daily deterioration of the mind and body. It is marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. It is an unrelenting combination of the cognitive components of Alzheimer’s dementia and the physically punishing aspects of Parkinson's disease. Bo is fighting as always, but the disease has had a significant impairment on her mind and body. The disease affects Bo’s memory, attention span, decision-making, planning and organization on top of the loss of balance common with Parkinson’s disease. Bo’s other current symptoms include visual hallucinations, a sleep disorder, repeated falls and seizures. On many nights Bo wakes up disoriented and she does not know that she is at home and safe and loved. Lewy Body Dementia is currently the second most common form of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, impacting an estimated 1.4 million people. 

While the severity of Bo’s symptoms has changed daily, her condition was mostly manageable until recently with Bo’s community stepping up to spend a few hours of the day with her while Etang, her partner of 17 years, went to work full-time at MetWest High School. Bo had another fall, seizure, loss of consciousness and an emergency room visit on January 4th. Fortunately, Etang was still at home. Etang is anxious about Bo’s safety alone; the severity of this constant stress, fear and worry has been debilitating and isolating. As difficult as it is to ask for financial assistance, Bo now requires full-time support; a higher, more intentional level of care is needed for her safety, comfort, calm, peace, and well-being.

This fundraising is to support Bo and Etang to shift from a survival, struggle, and grief mode to living as fully as possible given this trauma in their lives. They deserve to live fully. Let’s help them find some ease through this tragedy and help them create as many moments of life-affirming joy as possible right now. The funds raised will be used for ongoing and long-term expenses:

  • paid caregiving for Bo for 40 hours a week while Etang is at work during the school year
  • medical bills not covered by health insurance
  • medical supplies
  • acupuncture
  • bodywork
  • other homeopathic, alternative and healing treatments and supplements
  • therapy for both of them

This financial assistance will also enable Etang to make informed and clear medical decisions for Bo as often as possible rather than from a place of crisis.

Bo was a member of the George Jackson Brigade and served eight years of federal time as a political prisoner. She has worked with lesbian groups, butch groups and prisoner groups for over 30 years. In 1988, one year after she was released from prison, she helped to found Bay Area-based Out of Control: Lesbian Committee to Support Women Political Prisoners. She was a part of Critical Resistance and she is currently a board member of the Prison Activist Resource Center. Bo has said, “I want to be struggling until the day I die, cause then I will know I'm alive." Today, Bo is fighting every day and says, “I am still here. I am alive and I want to live at home for as long as possible.”

In these times, we must have a collectivist mindset and hold each other up. It is so important that we support our comrades. Though Bo is disappearing in many ways, we can't drift away from her.  We need to show up for Bo to help her live fully.

Thank you in advance for your continued support and positive thoughts. Please share this with your community.

In Appreciation,
Bo's Brigade
January 29, 2017 


Work in Progress Trailer about Bo Brown:
The Gentleman Bank Robber (sample)






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Initial Campaign September 26, 2016 - Successfully raised funds to convert Bo's bathtub-shower to a safe and accessible walk-in shower. Thank you! :

Long time revolutionary , and former Political Prisoner, Bo Brown's health is declining.

Bo was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a disease that is not as well known as but very similar to Parkinson's or Alzheimer’s however it is very likely that this will soon lead to Parkinson's. Some of the unfortunate features of Bo's medical condition are falling due to a lack of awareness, fainting, and then there's the seizures. Bo has had eight seizures since January of this year. Also, Bo has made it very clear that she'd like to live at home for as long as possible. The current shower at her house is a bath tub, shower combination, and the tub has a high wall, so the need for a new shower to suit Bo's needs is now an urgent issue. 
With the unfortunate news of Bo Brown's diagnosis and all that comes with it, there are plenty of individuals doing what we can to support Bo through these tough times. There are medical expenses that the funds here will be directed to as well as the very specific shower that is more conducive then her current one to her condition.

It is so important that we support our comrades through the tough times.

Bo Brown has worked tirelessly against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and has brought awareness and attention through all means to the plight of the prisoner. She hasn't forgotten about the Political Prisoners either and we definitely should not forget about the current Political Prisoners or the former. Prison is a tough road to travel , and then there's the weeks , months and even decades that pass in the post prison period, but the prison experience doesn't ever leave. From growing up in Klamath Falls to the federal prison time in Alderson , WV to the current struggles that she now faces in Oakland CA where she resides, Bo has been fighting all her life.

Help us show Bo the kind of support that she deserves. 

Thank you so much! We're going to need all the help we can get!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 19, 2018

UpdateImage

Posted on May 19, 2018

From Etang:

So much appreciation and love for the kindness and generosity our communities have extended to Bo and to me. It's so hard to know what the right next care steps are appropriate for Bo, but it is clear that Bo requires constant and consistent care.

There are so many things about using the phone that we take for granted. These are some of the things that Bo has lost the ability to do when it comes to using a phone:
- Answering without hanging up on the caller
- Communicating via text messages
- Accessing contacts
- Making phone calls independently

It has been many many many months since Bo has used her phone without my support. Phones are life lines. Bo is now in a full-time dementia care day program while I am at work. The program includes art making, music, dance, singing, mental and physical exercise. Because she is never alone, I decided to disconnect her phone line to eliminate that bill. Please continue to call, connect and reach out to Bo at my number. PM if you need the #. Please continue to visit with her. She desperately continues to need those connections, those life lines.

Bo’s care needs are ongoing. Donations raised here go to paying for Bo's care program: https://www.youcaring.com/bo-brown-655777
There's also a wishlist here: http://a.co/coQAI7G

Thanks for reading.


Posted on January 15, 2018

UpdateImage

Posted on January 15, 2018

Bo says: I'm still here. I now go to a full-day program 3 days per week for people with dementia. They are kind and treat me well. Sometimes they think I'm a man, but I wear my She/Her button so they know who I am. We play Boggle, dance, exercise, sing, make art, eat and laugh. I like it. I also like my days at home cared for by Etang, Johnella and Blackberri. Thanks to all of my friends for visits, meals, rides, phone calls and cards. 

Thanks for your support. This fundraiser is ongoing to support Bo's care and well-being. Bo hates not being independent, but the continued support, friendships and points of contact are so important to her.

The Gentleman Bank Robber, is a film about Bo by Julie Perini that is now released. There are upcoming screenings in Buffalo, Milwaukee, Colorado, Seattle and Portland. There's more information about the film and these events on Julie's website here.

Posted on October 7, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 7, 2017


Question: Did you ever think you would make it to 70?

"No never. My birthday is October 14th and I will be 70. It never occurred to me that I would make it to 70. I'm still here because I'm surrounded by good people who care about me and for me. I always thought live fast, love hard, die young and leave a beautiful memory. Now I live slow, love soft, will die old and will leave a beautiful memory."

Come celebrate the glory of Bo!
Saturday, October 14th, 2017
11am-6pm (Drop in whenever you like, stay as long as you want!)
5801 Fleming Avenue in Oakland
The Facebook invite page is here.
Bring food and beverages to share with everyone (Bo can't have sugar)
Bring memories and stories of Bo.
Bring your shining face!
No need to bring gifts (beyond your shining face), but don't forget you can always donate to Bo's ongoing fundraiser.
(^And share it on social media! and send it to wealthy friends And family!)
Saturday the 14th will mark 70 years of Bo and it's time to celebrate! This will be an all-day, drop in/drop out affair. Bo and Etang welcome you to their home any time between 11am and 6pm. Bo hopes you'll come at least to say hello, if not to stay a while. This will be a potluck so let's make this a real community feast. Some of Bo's favorites are chicken of all sorts, fish, good fruit, nice cheese, and salads. Vegan cake will be provided. We can't wait to see you there!

There are 7 steps up to the house and 2 indoor/outdoor cats. Kids are welcome!

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