A Love Story
This is an invitation to participate in one of the greatest love stories of our time. Some of you are healers. Some of you are social media buffs. Some of you have financial means. Some of you know influential people. And this love story needs each and every one of your gifts. Most of you already know the story of Deb Walter and Susan Thurman. But in case you don't here is the synopsis.
Deb is a Project Adventure trainer, a PE teacher in Rogers Arkansas, a nationally certified educator and was the High School PE Teacher of the Year 2007
Deb's program is based on Project Adventure and it was not uncommon for her to bring her own heavy equipment in to spend the weekends building mountain biking trails on school property and spend her nights writing grants to get the bikes. Because her classes were predominantly alternative school youth (you know those kids...the ones with the most promise but we hide them away because they scare us) it wasn't uncommon to see pregnant teens learning to kayak, kids with ankle bracelets mastering archery and wanna be gangster learning to set up tents and cook with Dutch ovens. Deb never said no to mentoring a student teacher and the profession is better because she not only taught them how to develop curriculum but how to use excitement, compassion and empathy to help students engage with their whole body, mind and spirit.
Deb always said that the reason she can "do it all" is because of her sweet Sue. Deb and Sue have been in love for 12 years. An interior designer by trade, an amazing carpenter and a beautiful caring woman. Together Deb and Sue bought properties, fixed them up and sold them. Their dream was to buy a property on a lake where they would build their dream house together, play on the lake and be with family and friends. For the last several years they have incrementally built this house. A year ago 4th of July when I was having my own personal struggle, Deb and Sue flew me out to the lake house for rest, rejuvenation and the opportunity to spend time with healthy, loving people. The best part of it was watching Susan waterski. She could be a performer. The shear joy on her face as she glides across the water brings peace and joy to anyone who can witness it.
Eight days ago they were working on their house and a board gave way. Sue fell 16 feet and landed on her back. As Deb held her, she began to realize the reality of this situation. After a med flight to Joplin they learned that Sue broke several ribs, a couple of vertebrae and crushed her spinal cord. The prognosis is paralysis of the legs however with effective spinal rehab there is hope for the spinal cord to have some level of mending. Excellent.
So you say, "Thank God we live in America with the best possible advances in spinal cord rehab". That's what I said at first also.
But the reality is that since Arkansas does not recognize same sex marriage, Susan could not be covered on Deb's health insurance. So after over a week in ICU, surgery and more, Sue has been transferred to a rehab facility that takes people with no health insurance. The beds are over 30 years old and they haven.'t had a spinal cord injury case in over 4 years. Mostly they deal with broken hips and elderly. Rightly so Deb is uncomfortable with this placement. She is working diligently to get Sue accepted to Craig Spinal Center in Denver, the best in the country. They have agreed to accept Sue this week however require a $40,000 down payment towards a $220,000 cost of rehab. Deb is selling all their earthly possessions (as she says, "anything that isn't tied down") to get the cash. She is then going to sell everything else including their house and cash in retirement savings to give Sue the best chance of recovery.
So why am I contacting you? For all of us this is a cautionary tale about the impact of discrimination. And hopefully raises awareness for the need for health care for all. Also each one of us is uniquely powerful and able to help.
1. Please ask whatever higher power you believe in for funds to flow to Deb and Sue. And for healing of the spinal cord and legs. 2. Please post the fundraising link (https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/gzv2/suethurmanrecoveryfund) in any social media sites or forward to as many people as possible. 3. If you have any contact or access to any "angels" (aka Ellen) please help us reach them with this story. 4. Please read below for the list of items Deb is offering for sale so she can be cash positive ASAP and get Sue moved ( a donated medical van is gassed and ready to go as soon as she raises $37k).
Feel free to copy this email and send to all your friends, family, etc.
98 Ski Natiuque boat 20 foot pontoon boat 40 Hp motor Yamaha Golf Cart 2007 Saturn work car 1987 classic Chevy truck 40k miles 2000 b2400 4x4 Kutoba
Love and appreciation.