8/10/15 Update: An incredible angel donor has offered a 100% match (up to $10,000) for all funds raised between 8/10/15 - 8/15/15 (the end of the fundraiser). We want Eugene and his family to get that FULL match amount, which means that we need to come together as a community even more so now to help raise the $10,000 by 8/15/15. Please keep in mind how much the small donations add up: if 400 people are able to donate $25, then we hit that $10,000 mark or if around 650 people are able to donate $15, then we also reach the goal. It won't be easy, but it is definitely doable with small donations coming together! Thank you again to everyone for your help!
Update: Eugene and his family are just blown away by all of your incredible support. They feel so blessed to be surrounded by a community of people (friends, family & strangers alike) who are so willing to give and make a difference. Every SINGLE donation makes a big impact, no matter the size. It has been absolutely amazing watching the $15 - $25 donations add up from people that we have never met that wanted to help us reach our goal. This world is truly a remarkable place!
We still have a bit to go, so we're asking for your help. Many people are happy to give when they hear of a good cause, and small donations from many people are how we can the reach our goal.
We are asking if you can PLEASE share the link to the fundraiser with a short personal message or something simple like "Such a worthy cause, please take 5 minutes to read this heartwarming story".
Thank you so much again for all of your donations and for sharing the fundraiser link! We love you all!
Eugene was tragically run over by an ambulette while crossing the street when he was on his way to start his every day routine/errands & suffered from several severe injuries including internal bleeding, a broken nose & ribs, and worst of all; a Traumatic Brain Injury & a leg that was crushed almost beyond repair.
He spent over 3 months in the hospital in the burn unit because the infection in his leg would not go away & he needed multiple skin grafts. He then spent close to 3 months in a rehab facility where he worked on learning how to walk again & how to complete other necessary daily tasks. During this time, Eugene's wife Robin had to take off of work for 6 months without pay in order to help care for him.
When it was time to leave the rehab facility, he still could not walk more than a few feet at a time, so he relied on a wheelchair. He also had no knee & was unable to bend his leg, so stairs were an impossible feat. The house that he & Robin have lived in for the past 30 years and that they had fixed after some Hurricane Sandy damage has 6 stairs just to get into the front door & then a flight of 12 stairs to reach the bedrooms & bathroom that Eugene would need for showering. They realized that they could not live there while he was unable to walk, so they had no choice but to rent an apartment. This meant that they would have to pay both rent & utilities for the apartment, along with the mortgage on their family house and the money was just not there for that.
Joe (Eugene's son) and I were able to step in and help as much as we could. We moved into the house and took care of the mortgage payments and upkeep, so that Eugene & Robin would not lose their home in the middle of this horrible situation as well.
The Current Situation:
Eugene just had an attempted knee replacement surgery. It failed and needed to be removed. He needed to spend an additional month in the hospital due to infection (again) & now has a cement spacer in place of a knee. He is back in the apartment now, but still has a serious infection. Because of this, Robin must administer an I.V. to him daily and clean out the surgical site twice a day. I've watched her break down while taking care of it & I couldn't help but start crying as well because no one should ever have to go through this & there is only so much that I can do on my own to help.
They were supposed to be able to move back into their house this month, but that is unable to happen now, so Robin & Eugene will either have to pay for both the house & apartment, sell their family home (which they are in no position to do), or pay to have their home retro-fitted in a way that Eugene could live in it. His walking is even worse now than it was before the attempted knee surgery, so that is not an easy task.
I grew up never having met my father. It was always just my mom & grandma. When I started dating Joe 6.5 years ago, Eugene welcomed me into his home and heart as if I was his long-lost daughter. He made me feel comfortable & always had a joke or new story to tell. When Robin & Joe would go to sleep, we would spend hours talking in the living room while watching some of his favorite shows. He is the father that I never had & I am so thankful that he found his way into my life. He is one of the most generous, sweet & kind-hearted people I have ever had the blessing of spending time with. I wish everyone had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with him, because he would surely brighten up your day! I am a better person because of him.
Since Eugene doesn't have daughters of his own & I don't have a father, our "thing" has always been looking forward to having a father-daughter dance at my future wedding. We've talked about song choices, have laughed about suprising everyone with choreography & have even practiced a bit. Our father-daughter dance is something we have been dreaming about for years & it my duty to make it a reality for him! We have a very long road ahead of us, with him still needing to be able to walk first, but WE WILL make this happen for him, no matter what
We contribute all that we can, but it doesn't feel that it is making much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Eugene has had over 12 surgeries to help heal his injuries, but STILL has many more scheduled. He requires 24/7 care since he cannot do anything (stand, use the bathroom, make food: his wheelchair doesn't fit in kitchen, get into bed, go outside, etc.) without assistance.Even with insurance, non-covered medical expenses & out-of-pocket costs (transportation to doctor visits, in-home rehab, in-home caretaker) have really added up over the past couple of months & has amounted to over $100,000 in medical debt, so we are working to making a dent in that.The Weitz family is in desperateneed of your help.
They would never ask for financial assistance themselves. Yet, every one of us can imagine the financial burdens associated with Eugene's medical treatments and recovery. Eugene is the type of person to give his all to anyone in need & I want to do the same for him.
Please consider making a donation to the family to help with their current & future medical expenses. Your donation will help towards the medical bills, their living situation (either being able to keep their home & apt. or retro-fitting their home in order for Eugene to move back ASAP), as well as the future costs of recovery (surgeries & rehab). Every donation, no matter the size, is a tremendous help to the Weitz family. He has a long road to recovery ahead of him and if we can make that road just a bit more manageable for Eugene and his family, let's do it!
I also just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of the incredible people that exist in this world. There are NO words to express how much you mean to this family. The outpouring of prayers, love, support & generosity has been more than we could have ever imagined. You're all awesome, we love you