Posted on August 5, 2017
Dear friends and family,
I need you all to know that I have felt deeply this incredible outpouring of love and support over the last two weeks that has put us over our initial goal of $25,000 for medical expenses. And yet, since we have no idea how much my treatment will cost and because Erica is playing the dual role of mother to our sweet Hazel Leigh and caretaker to me, we are raising the fundraising goal to $50,000. Please continue to share this site and our story with anyone and everyone.
Thank you all so very much for providing such financial security and giving my family a huge release from the stresses of this disease and its requisite shaky future. Some have been surprised by this flood of money, love, and prayers that so many from my past and present have contributed. I have not. Erica and I have cultivated relationships with a vast array of people -- in Birmingham, Knoxville, Auburn, and West Virginia, to name a few -- and we have full confidence and an entrenched belief in the power of human love. To those I know, knew, and have never met: THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts.
The roots of this affection that binds all of us – cultivated collectively, over time – run so deep, and your unrelenting support, to me, represents those “better angels of our nature” that Abraham Lincoln spoke of in 1861 in his first Presidential Address. Two years later, in his Gettysburg Address, Lincoln enshrined the “last full measure of devotion” that soldiers at that bloody battle gave with their lives, all in the name of freedom and equality for a renewed Union.
Now, my own life is committed to replicating that “full measure” in every possible moment, all in the name of love. In response to a poem, I expressed this to a dear friend after my diagnosis and surgery:
It is striking that we have so little to give, so small a contribution to reconstitute the world that constantly devours itself, it seems. In my new life, I've found that a “full measure” is all we can have anymore. No more half days. No more partial acts. Every day, every conversation, every stranger, and every dear friend we must engage with reckless abandonment. Life [and love] is all we have.
Please, everyone, continue to share this site and our story. This is not a call for more money from those who have already given, but a reassessment of what will be required of us financially for the future. It is a new call to those who have yet to hear. Spread the word and let’s keep this going.
Thanks to all who have given; I mean that with the utmost sincerity and deepest gratitude. You all have been a beacon of light through some dark nights and choppy waters. It has sustained my commitment to beating this disease and maintained my rebellion against a dire prognosis. I am feeling good, recovering well, and ready for treatment.
Deepest love and full measures to all,