Monday, December 10, 2007

News from Coloma Event

Well the Coloma fundraiser was a huge success with about 225 people attending, about 100 donated auction items, and raising approximately $20,000 for Kelley. Huge thanks to Janice, Howard, Teal, Sarah, Robin, Bill and the rest of the Coloma Valley residents who organized this event in less then 4 weeks, and kept things running smoothly throughout the entire evening. The power of community, ….awesome.

The big winner and giver of the evening was Jeff S, who acquired a stunning watercolor of women outrigger paddlers in Hawaii, donated by Ronaldo Macedo of Maui. This auction item was coveted by several in the crowd, and the bidding reflected the passion this piece of artwork inspired, I think in large part because of how much it evokes the spirit of Kelley. The final bid topped out at $3,700.

We visited with Kelley today and shared some stories with her about this event she so much wanted to be a part of. She wants everyone to know how much she appreciates the collective effort and generosity displayed by the community that contributed to this event. I think it’s getting a little easier for her to receive, but the success of this event was bound to be overwhelming for her.

To me, Kelley’s daily life still requires a monumental effort. She is of course being very proactive in her recovery and learning to cope with her disability and medications. But it comes with a price, which manifests as nerve pain that cycles around on a continual basis. The exercises and therapy she needs to do to make this get eventually better, makes the nerve pain worse for now. She has experienced some ability to get muscles in her leg to fire and move. Although these movements are currently minor, they are still very encouraging and she is determined to work as hard as it takes to keep it coming back. Her strength and determination continues to inspire.

I believe planned visits are very good for her and are welcome during this time when her pain is not so intense she can’t interact, but present enough for conversation and visiting to be a welcome distraction. Visits should be planned with her in advance, and may be cancelled on short notice if conditions (pain/fatigue) change for her. I have noticed that Kelley still wants to be a considerate hostess, sometimes at the expense of her own well being, so folks need to be especially sensitive to subtle clues. Weekdays are probably the best time, especially while Kurt is at work, and evenings are generally not a good time.

Next few weeks will bring several follow-up tests and examinations to monitor her condition and progress. We will keep you posted on this, as well as on future fund raising events planned for late january down in bay area.


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