Thursday, August 6, 2015

Project Karma and a Cookbook Giveaway

Photo from From Cupcakes to Caviar.
It seems impossible that we're approaching the three-year anniversary of when my husband went into the hospital ... and didn't come home for a long time.

Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, and sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago. So much has happened since then.

If you haven't been reading this blog for that long, the short story is that he drove himself to the clinic, they sent him to the ER and shortly afterwards he was in the ICU awaiting surgery. Things went wrong, they told me there was no hope - pick a time to pull the plug - and the next day he woke up and his condition started improving. Slowly.

Meanwhile our money situation was dire, and hospitals aren't cheap. Although I hated the idea, I wrote a blog post and asked for donations. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of strangers. And grateful to friends. And astonished at how my life could go from worrying about whether Bob would have a home to come home to ... to being comfortable spending time with him, knowing that the bills would be paid for a short while. I could breathe for a while.

It was the worst time of my life, and also the most amazingly wonderful time, when I realised how wonderful people really are. I felt very loved and very comforted at a time when I needed it most. And it wasn't even the money, but it was the fact that so many people were so caring.

I promised the universe that when I was in a position to give back, I would. I'm a big believer in karma, and in doing good without expectations of payback. Paying it forward, so to speak. And paying back when good things have come your way.

Have a cookie. Photo from From Cupcakes to Caviar.
For me, that payback time is now. And I'm asking you to help me with that payback. Please.

My friend Janet Brand - you might know her from the blog From Cupcakes to Caviar - just asked online for prayers and good wishes, and when I pressed her for details, she reluctantly told me.

Janet's husband's company recently stopped providing health insurance for spouses, and the family can't afford to pay for private health insurance to cover Janet. They're one of the many families who make too much money to get free insurance, but who struggle every month over paying monthly bills, food, and other expenses, and there's not enough left for that big insurance bill every single month.

I know exactly what that's like. I was there, too. So, like me, she crossed her fingers and hoped that everything would be fine. And ... she's not. She's experiencing symptoms of a very treatable type of cancer. She knows it well because it runs in the family. She knows what the future looks like, but she can't afford to pay for treatment, and she can't afford medical insurance.

She was asking for prayers and good thoughts, but what I want for her is medical help.

So, here's the plan. I twisted her arm really really hard, and she set up a GoFundMe campaign to collect money to pay for her insurance and her deductible. She's not asking for money for a blogger trip, or a new dishwasher. She's not asking for money to buy shoes. She needs money for basic healthcare to save her life.

Janet has two children who need her a lot (besides the ones who are grown) - one in grade school, and the other is special needs. It's not like she can run out and get a job, because childcare would cost more than she could earn. She's a hardworking gal who takes care of her kids, her house, her husband, and her blog. Now she needs some help taking care of herself.

Can you help?

Janet is one of the funniest people I know, and I absolutely refuse to lose another friend because they delayed medical treatment.

If you have some spare money, consider sending some to her GoFundMe campaign. She's only asking for enough to cover insurance and the deductible for a year, but I'd love to see her get a cushion to cover food and maybe some childcare, because there may be some days when she's not going to have a whole lot of energy for daily tasks. And she will need insurance next year, too.

You don't need to donate a lot. Even $5 will help her reach her goal. Even $1, if that's what you've got to give. It adds up.

If you don't have money, then consider sharing this blog post, or directly share a link to the GoFundMe campaign.

If you are a blogger and you'd like to write a blog post that mentions this campaign, email or message me on Facebook. I might be able to offer a little extra bonus giveaway for your readers as a thank-you from me.

If you're a blogger and you have a vast (or small) audience on social media, but you don't want to write a blog post, please just share a link. Please?

Janet is a real sweetheart, snarky and humble and funny. I nearly had to hit her over the head to allow me to do this for her.

She didn't want to ask for money, and she only agreed when I pointed out that her children really need her. And then she thought about it. If she wasn't there, her husband couldn't take care of both children and still work. Her special needs child would probably end up in a home ... and that's when she finally agreed to let me do this. Not for herself, but to make sure her family is okay.

She truly needs your help. Please do what you can for her.

And now for the GIVEAWAY

I have ONE copy of my cookbook, Make Ahead Bread to give to one lucky winner.

You do NOT need to make a donation to enter the giveaway, but there will be bonus entries for sharing links on social media. See, you can help without opening your wallet!

I may be offering extra books if donations entries and/or donations exceed my expectations.