Team Dain

For: Dain Dillingham
Organizer: Sarah Jane Russell
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 617 donors
57% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

A message from Dreux:

In the wake of Dain's accident Friday night, the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming in the best way.

Here's what we know: we have a fight ahead of us. That's good because Dain has always been a fighter. You can thank Sarah Jane for that.

We also know that we can celebrate each incremental improvement, each instance of courage Dain has shown, and all the love that is being shared with our family.

I'm not going to overstate, or understate, how Dain is doing currently. There were some smiles and some laughter today. The kid can't turn off who he is. We all know that.

The physical challenges aren't insurmountable, but they are very much going to take all of our resolve and all of your continued support. 

"We can do anything together" - that's something he and I have lived by, and that's not changing now.

Dain's spirit is not broken. His body is very damaged. But you WILL see him again, and he will have a hug and a kiss for you. Know those things above all else. 

We love you all right back. Thank you. 

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 29, 2013

Posted on December 29, 2013

Another great showing last night at the Granada!  The winners from the raffle are posted below.  Don't forget to stop by PapaKeno's or Jefferson's for some tasty food today - 10% of all sales go to the cause!  

Dempsey's Gift Certificate:  Alison Lungstrum
Quinton's Gift Certificate:  Steven Schmille
Lawrence Country Club Brunch for 2:  Dan Watkins
Morningstar Pizza Dinner for 2:  Kirsten Watkins
Gillius Limited Addition Shirt:  Brandi Bell
Hobbs Gift Bag: JD Finch
Mass Relaxation Gift Certificate:  Matt Klein
Studio 511 Cut and Color: Jack Bell
Headmasters Cut and Color:  Penny Baxter
2 KU Basketball Tickets vs. TCU:  Scott Hudnall
Lawrence Country Club - Golf for 4:  Justin Langford
Sporting KC Tickets:  George Haff
Merchants Pub and Plate Dinner:  Kayvon Seraf
The Summit Membership:  Kathleen McKlusky
Taos New Mexico Stay:  Anna Kimbrell

Posted on September 4, 2013

Posted on September 4, 2013

The latest update from Dreux and Dain. Nothing, but truth and love.

On: Days, Nights, and Time Spent

Fully immersed in the rehabilitation process for just shy of two weeks now, it's been a wonder to watch Dain's recovery.
Rather than wax poetical about all of his hard work, I'd prefer to give you a brief "highlight reel" as it were.

Best New Equipment: The Power Wheelchair
What a marvel of modern technology! It tilts back at a 45 degree angle (important for him to do periodically), the 'legs' kick out into a Barcalounger position, it's fast, it has a suspension system...the thing is damn sweet. Oh, and it's comfortable for him. That's kinda important.

Best Quote of the last week: "I could definitely outrun a serial killer in this thing." - spoken over his left shoulder as he burned out down a hallway during his 'driving test'. Unlike his automobile test back in the day, he passed this one on his first try.

Worst Day of Weather: None. If I didn't know better, and you asked me about the weather during our time here, I would paraphrase an old Toni Tone Tony song and say "It never rains in North Western Washington." But it probably wouldn't be a #1 hit.

Old Abilities Re-learned: This has been one of the coolest things to watch. It's cliche to say that we take little things for granted. I think almost everything we do on a daily basis we assume is a given. One of our greatest lessons has been that there is SO much Dain can still do, it's just a matter of learning to do things differently. Brushing his teeth, using a knife, fork and spoon, putting on a t-shirt, checking his email and phone messages ...even drinking a cup of water. These are the moments where you can see his tremendous focus, strength,and resolve. And sometimes frustration. But as we said/laughed about last night, he's only 2 weeks from having part of his spine, yeah. He's incredible.

"Thank You Jesus" moment: There are a lot, but one we get enjoyment out of everyday is that he has no dietary restrictions. His expression during his first bites of bacon was priceless. Last night we snacked on pork belly mac and cheese. Cookie consumption has slowed (we couldn't keep up our initial pace forever), but whole milk consumption has not.

Quintessential Seattle Moment: I've really stepped my espresso game up the last few weeks. While it's emerged slowly over the years (once upon a time I drank Mocha Breve's. Whew.) Dain turned me on to Macchiato's recently, and it's increased my Seattle Street Cred to new well as my heart rate, blood pressure, and general excitability. 3 times a day.

Old Habits Don't Die, They Re-Animate: If we're not sleeping or late-night snacking, we're up watching scary movies (see above quote). Sometimes we do all at once. It's amazing.

Biggest Smile: The day he first began to learn how to use a computer again. We all can agree DC has been a Facebook "trendsetter" over the years...and his desire to see his messages and learn communicate with you all again is enormous. Two days ago he started to sift through his mountain of well-wishes and new friend requests, and I could have used a pair of sunglasses (in Seattle, right?) he was beaming so much.
Thank you for that.

Projected Departure: Right now, our goal is to complete in-patient rehab sometime in late September, barring any setbacks. But this is a book with many chapters. We hope to continue intensive out-patient therapy for the next 12-16 months...the window in which we'll see the most gains and improvements from this severe injury.
It's not a race or a marathon. Just a new journey down a road not often travelled. So stay with us, as companionship is often an Explorer's best resource.

Love to all from our hospital on the hill,
D and D

Posted on August 28, 2013

Posted on August 28, 2013

Week One Update:

Seven days ago Team Dain asked for your help to lift up Dain, Dreux, and Sarah Jane. You responded with more love and support than anyone could have ever imagined. 

Love from Washington and Kansas. Love from old friends, new friends, and people who Dain has never even met. Love in all its possible forms and expressions. Love.

Numbers can't capture what has happened. Words fail far too often. But we will continue to say thank you and to share our progress, the progress we have all made together, as Dain moves forward on his new path. 

Team Dain Supporters: 1,474
Team Dain Contributors: 477
Team Dain Donations: $44,301

Thank you and much love.

Posted on August 27, 2013

Posted on August 27, 2013

Dain Fun Fact of the Day:

As a high school senior, Dain was selected as the Channel 6 News High School Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Now almost ten years later, the Channel 6 News team is still repping Dain, helping raise awareness for Dain's Team and offering their support.

A big thank you goes out to Kevin Romary, Andrew Baker and the whole Channel 6 news team who produced a great piece on Dain's accident and how people can help. There's even bonus footage of Dain being Dain, big smile and all.

You can check out the story by clicking the link below. Thanks and much love.

Posted on August 24, 2013

Posted on August 24, 2013


Dear Family, 

The emotional, spiritual, physical and financial support that has continued to be shown for Team Dain is beyond my vocabulary. Beautiful, astounding, unprecedented, heartfelt...none do justice to what we are witnessing. I think all of you feel that deep down as well. 

Our new reality is that Dain's needs and assistance will be ongoing, and as I've mentioned before, no one should be discouraged by the effort and time this may take. 

So many great projects are still developing from Lawrence to Walla Walla to Seattle, and we cannot wait to share them with you as they emerge  in the coming days, weeks and months.
We also will be introducing you to some of the rehabilitation team working on a day to day basis with Dain, so you can see and thank these wonderful people who are helping this Son and Brother of ours continue to become his best self.  

Our financial goals to aid Dain's return to health and his long term support are not lofty or unrealistic. They are not unachievable. But we will only reach them together. 

The goal for Team Dain I now stands af $150,000. 

Let Dain continue to inspire and surprise us with his insights and outlook on life as he always has. And we will surprise each other by what we collectively are able to achieve in his name. Believe that in your heart.
"Baby we'll be fine. All we have to do is be Brave, and be Kind." 
- The National 


Posted on August 22, 2013

Posted on August 22, 2013

Another update from big brother Dreux:

Yesterday, the Present and the Power of Generosity

Team Dain is off the sidelines and into the game my friends. The stands are packed, the roar of the crowd seemingly pulses along to our heartbeat, and it feels (strangely) as if all of the things in our life have converged in preparation for these next few moments ahead.

The initial outpouring of donationshave been amazing and I would be lying if I didn't tell you outright that we all spent some time yesterday alternating between having our chins and eyes lifted to the sky in gratitude and praise and our heads in our hands in (loving) disbelief.

The Hospital has been extraordinary. YOU have been equally so. 
As a person (and a family) that has always been quietly prideful of our self-reliance, I will be honest and say that the loss of that has been difficult, but completely necessary. We can only do this together and your strength has become our strength.

Please don't be discouraged by what will be Dain's continued need. There will be more fundraising, in every town and on every street we've ever walked. While we're in a more stable place than even 48 hours ago, there are still many unknowns ahead of us (future housing, equipment, etc.) and every little bit helps. Not forever. But for the near term.

Rehab begins today. There is excitement, and some fear. He is surrounded by a team of specialists that are excited to know him, to help heal him, and to share his successes. As he becomes more able and confident, I know he will want to share them with you as well. The technology that will be at his disposal is amazing. Please know that yesterday he was overwhelmed by what little I shared with him of your generosity. He admitted it was giving him immeasurable strength. I only shared with him briefly because he so obviously feels it in his heart, and because right now his focus is on himself and the tasks immediately in front of him. Soon we will share an address for sending cards, small gifts, and general well-wishes (flowers, not so much).

Keep believing in his healing and he will as well. A Thousand Thank You's.

Posted on August 21, 2013

Posted on August 21, 2013

We've passed the $10,000 mark - and all in under six hours!

Just another brief update to say thank you so much to everyone who has shown their support, financially and emotionally. We originally set a goal of raising $10,000, but apparently we were way off. So we've doubled it to $20,000 - who knows, maybe we'll have to change it again!

Dain, Sarah Jane, and Dreux are in the preliminary stages of figuring out what the next step is for Dain and their family. While Dain is currently at Harborview in Seattle, that is only temporary and the next step is finding the best facility where Dain can start his rehabilitation. This outpouring of love will make it much, much easier for Sarah Jane and Dreux to stay by Dane's side over the coming days, weeks, and months. This is a blessing and great relief.

Expect more updates as we learn more and as more people join Team Dain. This is just the beginning - thank you and much love!

Posted on August 21, 2013

Posted on August 21, 2013

First Four Hours Update:

THANK YOU! There really isn't much more to say after the immediate and overwhelming outpouring of support for Dain and his family.

In a few short hours Dain's Team has grown exponentially. As of 4:20, 275 people have joined the Facebook page and 102 people have made a financial contribution to help support Dain, Dreux, and Sarah Jane. 

The total amount given so far? $8,295. And it's not stopping!

But perhaps most important is all the words of encouragement, love, and support that people have shared this past few hours from across the country. Minnesota, Kansas, Washington, Oregon, California, even Missouri are represented on Dain's Team. And everyone keeps saying the same thing: Dain's so strong, so tough, and so loved that there is no way he won't make it through this stronger, tougher, and more loved.

Every kind word, every prayer, and every expression of love helps. Keep 'em coming and let Dain know that from Lawrence to Walla Walla we all love him and will be in his corner for the duration.

Please feel free to share this and once again thank you.

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