Shine your love light on the Dunkleys

For: Michael J. Dunkley and Suzanne Ives Dunkley
Organizer: Swarthmore Song Circle/Friends of Michael and Suzanne
of $25,000 goal
82% Complete
Raised by 91 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Michael was diagnosed in October 2013 with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer, Stage 4A. He has started an 18 week chemotherapy treatment, and medical charges to him are approaching $60,000. Recently unemployed, he has been paying month-to-month for a COBRA Health Plan.  He continues to support and provide home care-giving for his college sweetheart and wife of 33 years, Suzanne Ives, who has Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and is on 100% disability. Michael and his sister and stepbrothers have also been providing home caregiving for their parents in Annandale, both of whom are in their 90s.  

Suzanne and Michael are known and loved in the Washington, DC folk/ acoustic/ songwriter scene as the duo
Bumpkin Pie. They need immediate help covering their out-of-pocket expenses as well as the COBRA payments.

Michael's goal is complete recovery, the restoration of personal health, the ability to return to full employment and to begin performing music again with Suzanne.
The chemotherapy will end in February, 2014, and a bridge over that period is the immediate need.  This will be a very cold winter without our help.

If one were to choose to mail and/or send a donation directly to Michael and Suzanne, their home address is :
Michael Dunkley
6725 Swarthmore Drive, Alexandria, VA 22307
[email protected]

Your love and generosity are truly needed and are most deeply appreciated. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 6, 2014

Posted on April 6, 2014

The Happy Outcome 

On Valentine's Day 2014, we were told by Michael's oncologist that he is 100% in remission. 100%!! When we first found out in the doc's office,  I could not stop grinning. Michael was trying to keep his cool, but I had none left to keep so I clapped and laughed like a little kid, jumped up to shake the doctor's hand, and hugged Michael like I was making up for lost time. We couldn't be happier and are infinitely grateful to the doctors and everyone on this website and beyond who so unselfishly gave what they could just to help us. We are blessed.

I had surgery on my shoulder to debride some of the scar tissue that trauma bestowed on the joint. I continue to have physical therapy and will at least through the middle of May. It's definitely improving, though, and the pain is nearly gone.

Thank you to all for your generous hearts and kind spirits. 
♥ Suzanne & Michael  

Posted on January 14, 2014

Posted on January 14, 2014

Hi y'all,
I hope everyone is having a great 2014! Thought you might like an update on how ours is going. Though it may appear that we didn't make our goal, when you add the funds we have received in the mail, we actually did--and then some. How do we tell you how wonderful you are? We are, for the time being at least, comfortable with our ability to pay medical bills and keep a roof over our heads. We can breathe. It is all thanks to the generosity of our friends, including those whom we have not yet met.

I'm happy to say that Michael is doing well. He has one more chemo session scheduled for later this month (January). Three weeks after that he will have more imaging done to assess how well his body has responded to therapy. I noticed today that the swelling in his face from the steroids has gone down quite a bit. Yay!

I am a couple of weeks into physical therapy for my frozen shoulder and it seems to be going along fine. Does it hurt? Oh yeah, but after a session it feels so much better. The MS is stable, and that's a good thing.

Thank you all so very much! We are two happy people and we owe it all to you.

With love and gratitude,

Posted on December 25, 2013

Posted on December 25, 2013

Dearest family, friends, friends of friends, classmates and kind strangers,

On a Christmas Eve filled with hope and wonder, Suzanne and I find ourselves humbled and blessed by the love, kindness and generosity shown to us by so many, and to whom, in large part, we owe our very lives. The past three months of treatment have been intense, to say the least. An undetected prescription error, administered as the first round of chemo-therapy began, took us down an eight week long side-effect road that led to massive muscle loss, physical incapacitation and an ambulance ride to the ER. Now free of the offending medication, I have been undergoing physical therapy and am feeling increasingly restored, ready to have chemo-therapy round five (of a planned six) just after the New Year begins. Suzanne also begins physical therapy in January to deal with a torn rotator cuff and frozen shoulder, courtesy of an MS fall and tumble last summer, but we remain hopeful that surgery can be avoided. 

Everyone faces their own series of trials and tribulations, and we are so fortunate to face ours with your loving help. It is difficult to express the depth of gratitude that dwells in our hearts, suffice it to say that we look forward with joy to 2014, a Year of Renewal for one and all. Pax Vobiscum.

With love,

Michael and Suzanne

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