Just a few days ago, a handful of colleagues and I launched a fundraising campaign for our friend Jamie Showkeir.
Jamie has ALS, the debilitating disease that was the focus of so much attention last summer with the ALS Bucket Challenge. Jamie was diagnosed with ALS in 2014 and is now confined to a wheelchair.
Let me tell you a little bit about Jamie.
I first met him at an author’s retreat north of San Francisco. You know those people whose spirit and liveliness fill up a room? Jamie is that guy. He is large – like a football player, soulful – like a yogi master, and real – like a man who is comfortable in his own skin. He’s also big-hearted. At another retreat a few years later, Jamie sat with me as I grappled with my father’s impending death. His solid presence comforted me.
You can imagine how shocking it was to learn that such a vibrant man has ALS. The author community surrounding Jamie was stunned. We wanted to help Jamie and Maren but weren’t exactly sure how. So we launched the Keep Jamie At Home fundraiser with the goal of raising $60,000. The money will provide 24-hour in-home care, something not covered by health insurance.
The response has been nothing short of amazing. Within 24-hours of launching the campaign more than 50% of our fundraising goal had been achieved. But something else happened too, something wonderful and unexpected. By actively supporting Jamie in such a tangible way, people have found a productive way to grieve. We started the fundraiser with the goal of helping Jamie.
Now I realize that the fundraiser has been just as important to the community that surrounds him. The fundraiser has been psychologically healing for all of us who love Jamie. ALS no longer stuns us into submission.
You can be part of this wonderful movement and healing process. I invite you to join our fundraising campaign and donating whatever you can. Go to Go Fund Me to contribute. Please give until it feels good.