Ron Thornton Medical Expense Fund

$43,240 of $40k goal

Raised by 393 people in 7 months
Chuck Baker
on behalf of Lada Butina
 SAN ANTONIO, TX

Ron Thornton is one of the fathers of CGI animation for television and an Emmy-winning visual effects artist and supervisor.  Beyond that, however, he is one amazing human being who is a delight to work with or just to know.  He loves life, lives it with energy and wry wit, and with an incredible appreciation of friends.

Ron has been ill for some time, and is now in the hospital in critical condition.  He and his wife, Lada, need help with medical bills and expenses that are piling up. 

I'm setting up this fund for them, so that I and his many, many friends and colleagues can help them at this time of need.  Lada and Ron will be deeply grateful for any assistance, and so will I.  I love Ron and Lada.  I think everyone who truly knows them must.

Please help, if you can.

For those who may be coming here who don't know Ron, here's an introduction to him from Terry Naas:

"Do you remember the pioneering science fiction TV show Babylon 5?

This is the man who made it happen.

At a time when spectacular computer generated worlds were reserved for big budget cinematic extravaganzas, Ron Thornton brought the power of CGI to television.

He learned his trade in the pre-computer age, and delighted you with amazing imagery in classic episodes of Doctor Who and Blake's 7.

He was among the first who saw what computer graphics could bring to television, and he broke new ground when he created the unimaginable (at the time) effects of Babylon 5.

If you enjoy the visual experience of science fiction on television, whether you know it or not, Ron Thornton is part of your history.

If you knew him personally... even if you never saw one of his shows... you'd also know that he is an amazing human being. He's a delight to have a conversation with. He loves life, and he lives it with an exuberant energy and a dry British wit, always looking out for others as he makes his way through the world.

He's also a mean gourmet cook..."

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Update 5
Posted by Chuck Baker
5 months ago
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I am grieved to tell you that Ron Thornton has passed away this evening. Ron has meant so much to so many of us over the years; he is indeed a VFX legend but he was also an incredible human being, a true friend, a great mentor to so many, and just so alive. He relished life and came at it with so much energy and creativity and openness, at work and at play. He will be so missed, by so many, but most especially by his beloved wife, Lada. In keeping with your own spirit, please send your thoughts and prayers for strength and comfort her way.

I thank everyone for their contributions to this fund. It is still open for the expenses and assistance that Lada needs at this time of loss.
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Update 4
Posted by Chuck Baker
6 months ago
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1
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Many thanks for everyone who has contributed to this fund to help the Thorntons with Ron's medical bills. Ron and Lada have been awed and humbled by this outpouring of generosity. This effort has been a great help to them, including enabling them to get back on insurance.

Ron was back in the hospital for a time, and is now in a treatment facility. He has good days and days when he is pretty ill, and does appreciate calls or visits on good days. If you send emails, Lada will get those to him when he is up to reading them. I will be checking with them to see if there is a contact I can share here.
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Update 3
Posted by Chuck Baker
7 months ago
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First, thank you to all of you who have contributed to this effort – you have all been just amazing. Ron is at home now, and is about to begin working with a new specialist and looking at the possibilities for treatment. He has asked me to pass along this message:

From Ron and Lada:

Lada and I just want to thank all of you who contributed to the GoFundMe Campaign.

You have all made a HUGE difference to us, and we are more moved by this outpouring of generosity than we have words for. We are quite simply awed and humbled by the response. Bless you, bless you all.

We don’t have all the bills in yet, but this will go such a long way to taking one worry away from us, as we continue to deal with these very pressing health issues.

I hope that by the time you read this, we will have insurance in place so we don’t get blindsided again.

I apologise for us not thanking each of you personally at this time, as we concentrate our energies on working with our doctors to determine the best course of treatment.

Once again… Bless you and thank you all, from the bottoms of our hearts.

Ron Thornton and Lada Butina
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Update 2
Posted by Chuck Baker
7 months ago
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Just a quick update: this is the latest of several recent hospital stays. Ron is feeling better after treatment and is back home for the moment. There may be a possibility yet that a living donor partial transplant could be effective, and I and others are urging Ron to look into this, and if it is a possibility and he is willing, then we may put out a call for volunteers to test and to be a donor. I've already heard privately from several who are willing to do so, and I checked into it myself, but I'm disqualified for being over 55. Grrrrr. Who made that rule?!

Again, many, many thanks to all those who have contributed and who have shared the news. Ron and Lada are quite moved by this outpouring of both generosity and of kindness and affection in the many contributions, messages and posts.
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Read a Previous Update
Paul Routledge
7 months ago
3
3

It's sad state of affairs, the US has ridiculous financially imposed healthcare. Blame the greedy insurance companies.

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Steve Hartford
1 month ago
1
1

My thoughts are with you Linda. Ron was an early supporterat NewTek when I was a there, and from his wonderful stories of practical FX at the BBC to digital FX on B5, I always admired his charm and substantial artistic talents.

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Miracle Bennett
7 months ago
1
1

I am flabbergasted, overwhelmed and mind blown by the flood of support I am seeing here. How wonderful. Sending lots of hugs and hopes for recovery!

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Josh B'Gosh
7 months ago
1
1

Get well soon, live long, and prosper.

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Jackie Hodges
7 months ago

Ron was part of my childhood, first ever motorbike ride I ever had was clinging to his waist. My parents would have had a fit. Stay strong and my thoughts are with you and your wife. xx

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Steve Hartford
1 month ago

Lada, my thoughts are with you. (We need to improve computer spelling checkers).

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JJ Whitley
2 months ago

Really sad to hear he died.. I did not know. Dunno what to say.

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Sam Nicholson
5 months ago

I met Ron when he came in to design the miniatures for Max Headroom. Back in the days when everything had to be real, we made an entire miniature city that lasted brilliantly throughout the series. Rod had a fantastic eye for design, great energy to get things built and a wonderful sense of humor which he shared with the entire crew. We went on to do many VFX together like Highlander II and together we rode the digital wave into television VFX. We've truly lost one of the great talents in the VFX business and one of the nicest, most creative people I've worked with. RIP Ron...

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Matt Jolly
7 months ago

We will keep praying for you Ron! You will overcome this challenge!

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Paul Ryan
7 months ago

Thank you for fuelling my imagination with all your wonderful effects work. Wishing you all the very best in your fight.

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JJ Whitley
7 months ago

I agree Paul. If he lived in Canada like I do it would be free. Even transplants are free up here. I remember health insurance was 85$ a month for Americans in Chicago in 1984 - that same healthcare now is $1300 a month. Why? Greed. I am really happy that so many people have helped out in such a short time.

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Philip Nelson
7 months ago

This is fantastic news!!!!!!!!!

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$43,240 of $40k goal

Raised by 393 people in 7 months
Created September 15, 2016
Chuck Baker  
on behalf of Lada Butina
RB
$10
Richard Baguley
5 months ago

I met Ron many years ago when, as a sallow youth, I went to LA to interview him for Amiga Format magazine about his work on Babylon 5. He was incredibly polite, answering my foolish questions and showing me around Foundation Imaging. I remember fondly how nice it was to be so far away from home, but to meet someone that polite, witty and willing to help me out. Now I live in the US myself. So, a few bucks to say thank you to Ron for his remarkable work, and for his kindness all those years ago.

$100
Lena Isaacs
5 months ago

We'll miss you, Ron. This is so heartbreaking. Hang in there, Lada. Thinking of you every day. Let me know when it's ok to visit you.

$100
Lene Larsen
5 months ago
$100
Lene Larsen
5 months ago
JP
$20
Javier Prat
5 months ago

My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ron. Thank you, Ron...your legacy will live on forever. That which is remembered lives.

$10
Christoph Zapletal
5 months ago
RB
$40
Rebekah Bell
5 months ago
MD
$10
Mark Dowman
5 months ago

<3

$10
Patrick Rogers
5 months ago
BE
$25
Bradley Elsmore
5 months ago
Paul Routledge
7 months ago
3
3

It's sad state of affairs, the US has ridiculous financially imposed healthcare. Blame the greedy insurance companies.

+ Read More
Steve Hartford
1 month ago
1
1

My thoughts are with you Linda. Ron was an early supporterat NewTek when I was a there, and from his wonderful stories of practical FX at the BBC to digital FX on B5, I always admired his charm and substantial artistic talents.

+ Read More
Miracle Bennett
7 months ago
1
1

I am flabbergasted, overwhelmed and mind blown by the flood of support I am seeing here. How wonderful. Sending lots of hugs and hopes for recovery!

+ Read More
Josh B'Gosh
7 months ago
1
1

Get well soon, live long, and prosper.

+ Read More
Jackie Hodges
7 months ago

Ron was part of my childhood, first ever motorbike ride I ever had was clinging to his waist. My parents would have had a fit. Stay strong and my thoughts are with you and your wife. xx

+ Read More
Steve Hartford
1 month ago

Lada, my thoughts are with you. (We need to improve computer spelling checkers).

+ Read More
JJ Whitley
2 months ago

Really sad to hear he died.. I did not know. Dunno what to say.

+ Read More
Sam Nicholson
5 months ago

I met Ron when he came in to design the miniatures for Max Headroom. Back in the days when everything had to be real, we made an entire miniature city that lasted brilliantly throughout the series. Rod had a fantastic eye for design, great energy to get things built and a wonderful sense of humor which he shared with the entire crew. We went on to do many VFX together like Highlander II and together we rode the digital wave into television VFX. We've truly lost one of the great talents in the VFX business and one of the nicest, most creative people I've worked with. RIP Ron...

+ Read More
Matt Jolly
7 months ago

We will keep praying for you Ron! You will overcome this challenge!

+ Read More
Paul Ryan
7 months ago

Thank you for fuelling my imagination with all your wonderful effects work. Wishing you all the very best in your fight.

+ Read More
JJ Whitley
7 months ago

I agree Paul. If he lived in Canada like I do it would be free. Even transplants are free up here. I remember health insurance was 85$ a month for Americans in Chicago in 1984 - that same healthcare now is $1300 a month. Why? Greed. I am really happy that so many people have helped out in such a short time.

+ Read More
Philip Nelson
7 months ago

This is fantastic news!!!!!!!!!

+ Read More
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