David Menasche's Vision Quest

$26,935 of $50k goal

Raised by 401 people in 52 months
Heidi Goldstein  RICHMOND, CA

For the last fifteen years, David Menasche has been an educator, touching the lives of thousands of students. Despite the fact that he has been battling brain cancer for the past six years, he has continued to work diligently to instill within his students a love of learning, life, and themselves. Unfortunately, his condition has worsened, causing him to lose most functionality on the left side of his body, as well as almost all of his vision. This has caused him great anxiety, as he is no longer able to perform the service that has given him so much joy and fulfillment. So he has decided to set out on a vision quest. He hopes to travel by rail, bus, and stranger in hopes of finding a new purpose and meaning for his life. His intention is to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. With enough funding, we are hoping to create a documentary of this journey. 


**For those curious to whom this money is actually going right now, even though it says it is going to ME, it is really going straight to David. For those who don't know me, I've known David almost all of my life. He was my first boyfriend. We went through Nova Middle and Nova High together. We have remained friends for all of these years and I have great love and respect for both David and Paula. Thanks for all the donations! 

Heidi

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Update 21
Posted by Heidi Goldstein
46 months ago
The trip by the numbers:
101 days spent on the road
31 cities visited
63 hours of audio recorded
1840 pictures taken
75 former students have become 75 close friends

OK people,That's it for now. I need a break. Tomorrow I catch a plane to Florida where I will spend a few days taking care of a few things and then I'm off to New Orleans to find a place for me to live and for you to visit.
Your turn!
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Update 20
Posted by Heidi Goldstein
47 months ago
Thanks to your continued support , I have been on the road for 78 days so far. I have slept on 17 "beds in as many locales. I have met with 20 old friends and 51 former students. I have at least 8 more cities and 15 more students to see before I even think about resting. Please keep helping and wish me luck!
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Update 19
Posted by Heidi Goldstein
48 months ago
Thanks to everyone who has supported David along his journey! He's gotten to visit with many former students and have several left to go. Thank you, happy holidays, and here's to a fabulous 2013!
Heidi Goldstein, longtime friend of David and librarian.
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Update 18
Posted by Heidi Goldstein
48 months ago
48 days and 12 cities into this trip and I am still going strong thanks to all of your continued support. Thank you all so much for being there for me throughout this entire endeavor. Please know that I love you all!
Your still needy friend, David
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 1.1K total shares
David Menasche
49 months ago

Today is my anniversary. Six years ago today I found out that I was my own worst enemy. My own cells had turned against me. I had brain cancer. Some time ago, I got used to the idea idea that I was doomed to die from this. In fact, I came to terms with the stark reality of my destiny almost immediately. That first night swirling with confusion, rage, and tears, but after that, I felt a distinct clarity. I was going to die. I became resolute in this fact. Cancer had taken my future. There was no reason to deny, argue, or question my lot. The cards had been dealt and I was holding aces and eights. The dead mans hand was mine to play. I opted for surgery shortly after to reduce the size of my brain tumor and hopefully stave off death for a time. It worked. Unfortunately, an unexpected side effect of having a portion of your diseased brain removed is significant memory loss. My childhood was gone. Cancer taking away my future was one thing, but for it to take my past seemed obscenely cruel. Without memories of the past to occupy my mind, my thoughts increasingly lingered on my uneasy future. A few months ago my father said David, youre such a better person since you got sick. The statement sent my mind reeling. How was I different? Why was it better? One of the more profoundly abstract realizations that began to chip away at my psyche was that I might no longer even be me. Arent we shaped by our experiences? I wondered about others that had gone through equally traumatizing occurrences. For instance, a woman who was raped as a childs personality would be deeply and forever altered by the insidious experience. It might have made her forever frightened, paranoid, or unable to enjoy intimacy. But what if she forgot it ever happened? Would she still be the same person? Was I now that my own traumas, victories, and birthday parties had faded into the mist? My mind was a mess but at least I was still physically capable, then cancer came for my present when it took away the use of the left side of my body and the majority of my sight. The sum result of my disease thus far is loss. Cancer has in one way or another stripped me of everything I found dear. I am now on the road without a wife, job, car, or house. I am a vagabond drifter, but I do have a purpose. I am going to travel to as many places as I can to meet with the people who knew me in hopes of reclaiming my past through their recollections and establishing a future through the new relationships being made and experience to be had. The fact that I am travelling alone on a train through the winter to meet with unfamiliar people in strange and new cities while diseased, blind and crippled will not deter me. The need to know what Ive forgotten and learn who I really was and am is too all consuming to be shelved by fear or logic. I am compelled by my curiosity. I do not know what destinations and realizations I will ultimately come to, but I intend to find out. Ive spent time and met with people in Orlando, Tallahassee, Pensacola, New Orleans, and Atlanta so far. Next up is Washington DC, Blacksburg, Trenton, New York, and Boston before heading out west for more answers. I must be out there somewhere. Some good has to come of this journey; after all, its my anniversary. Thank you all. Love, David.

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Kirsten N Dylan Varas
52 months ago

How can I send a private message to David?

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Diana Iglesias
52 months ago

Former student Tracey Siepser mentioned (see right column) that she could map David's path to California. Now we can all collaborate on that using this interactive Google Map http://goo.gl/maps/fbH8T . Since anyone can edit, please ensure you leave as many details as possible and use caution (don't delete someone else's post).

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$26,935 of $50k goal

Raised by 401 people in 52 months
Created August 08, 2012
SM
$20
Sabrina McClure
15 months ago
AS
$40
Anup Sinha
32 months ago

Carry on, Dah-veed!

TP
$100
Terise Parnes
33 months ago

A true inspiration...

MF
$25
Michael Floden
33 months ago
MR
$60
marie raynor
34 months ago
$25
Anonymous
35 months ago
MG
$50
Marta Gonzalez
37 months ago
NG
$100
Natalie Gonzalez
37 months ago

You're even inspiring complete strangers. Safe travels and may your adventure be everything and more than you could even dream.

CR
$100
Cat Rendic
37 months ago

I remember you so well. Your love for teaching, and the environment you created in class. I'm sorry for your sickness, but I feel so proud of you because your story is just as inspiring as you were almost ten years ago in English class! I am a professional dancer now. I have traveled the world 3 times. Life has been so beautiful, and all the influential people that have brought me here stay close to my heart. You are definitely one of them! Thank you! For the push you have all of us when we were in class, the feeling that we mattered... That we could really be something in life! And thank you for sharing your story now, your life has been a beautiful one. One that will live on forever.

SM
$25
Steven Menasche
45 months ago

We don't know each other but share namesake--that is enough for me. I wish we knew you would be travelling to West Coast as we would have welcomed you to our home in San Francisco. I wish you peace.

David Menasche
49 months ago

Today is my anniversary. Six years ago today I found out that I was my own worst enemy. My own cells had turned against me. I had brain cancer. Some time ago, I got used to the idea idea that I was doomed to die from this. In fact, I came to terms with the stark reality of my destiny almost immediately. That first night swirling with confusion, rage, and tears, but after that, I felt a distinct clarity. I was going to die. I became resolute in this fact. Cancer had taken my future. There was no reason to deny, argue, or question my lot. The cards had been dealt and I was holding aces and eights. The dead mans hand was mine to play. I opted for surgery shortly after to reduce the size of my brain tumor and hopefully stave off death for a time. It worked. Unfortunately, an unexpected side effect of having a portion of your diseased brain removed is significant memory loss. My childhood was gone. Cancer taking away my future was one thing, but for it to take my past seemed obscenely cruel. Without memories of the past to occupy my mind, my thoughts increasingly lingered on my uneasy future. A few months ago my father said David, youre such a better person since you got sick. The statement sent my mind reeling. How was I different? Why was it better? One of the more profoundly abstract realizations that began to chip away at my psyche was that I might no longer even be me. Arent we shaped by our experiences? I wondered about others that had gone through equally traumatizing occurrences. For instance, a woman who was raped as a childs personality would be deeply and forever altered by the insidious experience. It might have made her forever frightened, paranoid, or unable to enjoy intimacy. But what if she forgot it ever happened? Would she still be the same person? Was I now that my own traumas, victories, and birthday parties had faded into the mist? My mind was a mess but at least I was still physically capable, then cancer came for my present when it took away the use of the left side of my body and the majority of my sight. The sum result of my disease thus far is loss. Cancer has in one way or another stripped me of everything I found dear. I am now on the road without a wife, job, car, or house. I am a vagabond drifter, but I do have a purpose. I am going to travel to as many places as I can to meet with the people who knew me in hopes of reclaiming my past through their recollections and establishing a future through the new relationships being made and experience to be had. The fact that I am travelling alone on a train through the winter to meet with unfamiliar people in strange and new cities while diseased, blind and crippled will not deter me. The need to know what Ive forgotten and learn who I really was and am is too all consuming to be shelved by fear or logic. I am compelled by my curiosity. I do not know what destinations and realizations I will ultimately come to, but I intend to find out. Ive spent time and met with people in Orlando, Tallahassee, Pensacola, New Orleans, and Atlanta so far. Next up is Washington DC, Blacksburg, Trenton, New York, and Boston before heading out west for more answers. I must be out there somewhere. Some good has to come of this journey; after all, its my anniversary. Thank you all. Love, David.

+ Read More
Kirsten N Dylan Varas
52 months ago

How can I send a private message to David?

+ Read More
Diana Iglesias
52 months ago

Former student Tracey Siepser mentioned (see right column) that she could map David's path to California. Now we can all collaborate on that using this interactive Google Map http://goo.gl/maps/fbH8T . Since anyone can edit, please ensure you leave as many details as possible and use caution (don't delete someone else's post).

+ Read More
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