It's getting a good response so far. I hope it helps. I want to add links to donation accounts and info on the researchers in Leo's poll.


Today is my anniversary. Four years ago today, my life completely changed. November 15, 2003, David and I moved in together and began our fairytale life. Oh sure, there was a handsome prince, beds of roses, moonlight dancing. There were dragons too, and evil trolls. We had financial struggles as David dealt with the fallout of an extremely acrimonious divorce. We had relationship struggles as our children dealt with the implications of our relationship. But, mostly it was good. No; great.

That magic year cumulated with a dream trip to Fiji. Away from the cacophony of the day-to-day we made commitments. First, to each other; I finally agreed to marry David. Next to our futures. We both decided to earn our doctorates; David’s in toxicology, mine in Oriental Medicine.

Three years ago today, my life completely changed yet again. November 15, 2004 started with the usual hike up Piestewa Peak to watch the sunrise. Then, our first day back to work following our Fiji trip. It was a whirlwind day of catching up and dreamy recollections of that idyll in Fiji. If coming down that mountain that morning I had known how much life would change just 12 hours later, I would have lingered.

9:20 PM November 15, 2004, we closed up shop and headed out for a quick dinner at our favorite little Mexican joint. We never made it home. At 9:46 PM, 5 bullets ripped through our lives and when the smoke cleared we learned those bullets had also ripped through David’s brain and my spinal cord. I guess you can also say that November 15th is our birthday since both of us “coded” that night.

The intervening three years from there to here have been insane. David has learned to function in a world of total darkness and he copes with incapacitating pain on a daily basis. My first big victory was learning to sit upright without assistance. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to cope with gravity in a new way. I struggle with life-threatening infections on a regular basis.

Since our injury, we have learned much about the character of people. There are those who cruelly took advantage of our tragedy and those who found our situation too sad or too challenging and chose to leave us behind. But mostly there have been angels who have given of themselves to comfort and support us. I am grateful to each and every one of you for all the large and small ways you have brought joy and comfort into our lives.

In the three years since our injuries, I have learned much about the science of neurological injuries. In these three years science has learned a lot about the science of neurological injuries too. What they’ve learned is that both the brain and the spinal cord are capable of regeneration under the right circumstances. This is huge, just like there was once a belief that the world was flat. Doctors now talk about when they will be able to heal our injuries instead of “if.

The science exists. Clinical trials are beginning here in the US and throughout the world. Very soon, I will have the honor of meeting with one of the top researchers in the US to see first-hand how his work has progressed and learn more about these exciting advances. I’m eager to tell you all about after my trip.

Year-by-year, life goes on. November 15th will come again next year and the next… That magic day when scientists announce the “cure” for my spinal cord injury and David’s brain injury moves closer and closer. The biggest hurtle to this cure is money. The NIH budget has been decimated by war spending and other governmental priorities. Thus, those of us with chronic conditions from SCI to cancer to diabetes and MS find that we must fund our own cures.

So, on this November 15th, I would like to make lemonade from these lemons that have been handed to us. Once again, I need your help to do so. Will you help us fund these cures?

Will you commit to raising one thousand dollars before the next anniversary of my injury? It’s less than $20 a week. Your thousand, along with mine and that person’s and all the others will give the researchers the boost they need.


I am asking you to have a car wash, a bake sale, a whatever-a-thon. Pass the hat at your Super Bowl party. Put a donation jar at your favorite hangout. Be creative and have fun with it.

Please.

The funds you collect will be donated electronically and will go directly to the researchers. No handling fees or administration costs.

I am also asking for your public commitment to raising these funds. Please respond here and let me know that you are willing to help. I know there are a ton a questions you’ll want answered. In the coming weeks, I will supply a link for your donations and some information about the research.

Thank you for your love and support.

Jen