A fund for Nina's boys

For: The Duberstein Boys
Greensboro, NC
Organizer: Christy Plotner Bird and Eliza Harrington Myers
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 447 donors
85% Complete
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The Story

Dearest Friends near and far, 

Nina died early in the morning on February 26. She had been in hospice care for nearly a week after her breast cancer continued to spread.
We have organized this fund to channel the outpouring of love and support welling up among Nina's friends and admirers in order to benefit her boys, aged 10 and 7. All contributions will be controlled by John, who can use the funds for whatever he and the boys need, now and in the future.  We are imagining college, camp, comic books and drum lessons -- all the loud, happy, muddy and complicated things Nina wished for her boys.  
Nina was a symbol of love and hope and forgiveness and of processing the messy, messy stuff of life into the stuff of beauty and poetry.  
We will miss her so much.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 3, 2016

Posted on October 3, 2016

Posted by John

I just wanted to take a second to say thanks (again, can't possibly say it enough). After Nina's piece came out in the NYT we expected her to get noticed more than usual, but we had no inkling that people would search out her dormant fundraiser page on the web and start giving spontaneously, even though we hadn't updated the site in a year. We're frankly still recovering from the overwhelming zeal with which people originally donated to help us with medical expenses.

I'm a cynic by trade and temperament. But walking this tumor-strewn path with Nina has challenged me in many ways, and probably none more than having to confront the fact that people--strangers and familiars alike--are capable of real altruism. It's not just a bumper sticker: Random acts of kindness are actually a thing, it turns out! I'm still trying to reconcile that with my generally dim view of the universe and it's disposition of our circumstances. Thanks a lot, people, you've really got me tied in knots! 

All hard boiled sarcasm aside, thank you, whoever you are, friends and strangers near and far, for taking the time to respond so immediately with donations and kind messages. They were both received with a mixture of humility and gratitude. Except by our oldest son, who's already earmarked all the donations for buying new video games and musical equipment. He's pretty sure he deserves all of this. 


Posted on September 23, 2016

Posted on September 23, 2016

Nina published a piece in the New York Times' Modern Love column today. It's about cancer, couch buying, and some other things. And is beautifully written, as usual. 


Posted on January 14, 2016

Posted on January 14, 2016

Dear Kind People, Some of Whom Don't Even Know Us and Some of Whom Know Us All Too Well:

We have raised more money using this site than we ever expected. We'd have been more than delighted with the $7,000 to cover our health care insurance deductible. And we would have been thrilled to reach that goal over a period of weeks. Instead, we are sitting on nearly $18K in donations, which is both absurd and wonderful. This is more than enough money to cushion us from the blows of the coming year, more than you probably ought to have donated, and more than we ought to have been given. 

Perhaps it is Jewish guilt, puritanical guilt, or a sweet amalgamation of both, but we feel very strangely about receiving such largesse. And my instinct is to either A. Return all the excess funds; or B. Justify our receipt of those funds. But STRICTLY because I don't want to offend anyone, I'm choosing Option B. And I don't really want to justify the funds as much as I want to share how quickly it became apparent to me just how much the money is going to help us through the next few months of our lives.

This week, for example, Nina has had daily radiation treatments, which are quite expensive, and for which we haven't yet received our share of the bill, which will be fairly large; in order to facilitate me taking Nina to radiation treatments on Monday and Tuesday, we put the dogs in doggy day care, not nearly as expensive as radiation, but not free--doggy day care may sound a little froofy, and let's be honest, it is the bourgeoisiest of the bourgeois, but it is a LIFE SAVER when you have to leave your dogs all day (and the people there are wonderful, plus SOCIALIZATION!!! So it's totally cool.); On our way back from one of the radiation treatments, we stopped at Trader Joe's to buy food, which was hopefully radiation free, but not free of charge; when we got home on Monday, Nina was understandably exhausted, and I was less understandably exhausted, and so, although we had food in the house, we ordered take out food, much to the delight of the children, who LOVE spending extra money on food. This enabled Nina to go to bed early and me to wrangle children, avoid making a huge mess in the kitchen, and retreat to our room with my sanity intact (mostly); and we also (and by "we" I mean Nina) purchased a new couch, one that will allow Nina greater comfort and ease of getting up and down with her back. None of these things by themselves is a huge deal (except the radiation bills, they're a huge deal), but when you're in our current state, where 1/2 of the partnership is ailing and the other half is not accustomed to competence or problem solving, these are the kinds of things that feel like genuine life-saving resources. 

I guess my point is that you all have enabled us to access the life saving resources of the world, big and small, with a lot more ease and comfort. And it's only been a couple of days. Thank you doesn't begin to describe it, but thank you. Thanks for giving us the freedom to make good decisions that make our life easier and more pleasant in a challenging time (and again, Nina is still functional enough to do the decision making most of the time, so don't worry about fiduciary issues with your donations: I AM NOT IN CHARGE. Yet.). 

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