Benefit for Howie Wallen

$9,015 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 140 people in 5 months
Created October 28, 2018
Howard (“Howie”) Wallen needs your help. He would not ask for himself, so we are doing it for him.

Howie played guitar with us in Alone In A Crowd 30 years ago. He is now a macrobiotic chef, with a wife and a teenage daughter. In the spring of 2017, Howie was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma: a slow growing tumor originating off of the auditory nerve between his inner ear and his brain. The tumor affected his balance and ability to walk and caused right side functional deficits. In May 2017, he underwent a 6.5 hour surgery that was supposed to have him back up and running in a month…

The surgery, which left him deaf in his right ear, did not remove all of the tumor… and it is growing back. Howie now suffers from chronic debilitating headaches; loss of balance; cognitive, memory and speech deficits; a tremor in his right arm and hand; vision problems; facial numbness; extreme fatigue, anxiety and, understandably, depression. With these disabilities he cannot work, and that has hit his family very hard. And, as the tumor grows, Howie’s symptoms will only get worse. If left unchecked, Howie’s condition is fatal.

So, Howie must have another surgery, this time a 10 hour surgery, followed by radiation treatment. We can only hope that after this he will improve… but there is no guarantee.

Let’s let Howie and his family know that they are not alone during this ordeal. After 30 years, Alone In A Crowd is getting back together again to play a one-time benefit show for him on February 16, 2019 at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia.  We hope you will show your support and come. If you can’t, you can still donate to this fundraiser we have set up for him.

For Howie,

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Wanted to share some news with you! Howie came out of surgery approximately a week ago -- he spent several days in ICU with a drain coming out of his skull (see the pic). He was released just the other day and is now recovering at home in Maine. He is in a lot of pain, but in good spirits. He is supposed to get his stitches out on Friday!

Howie is not out of the woods yet. Apparently the tumor was too close to his facial nerve, and this prevented the surgeon from completely removing it. So it looks like Howie will need further treatment, probably radiation. We'll try to keep you posted on his progress.

To all who have donated to this campaign: please know that the treatment Howie is getting is because of you. Please help spread the word! Tell people about the benefit show video online at Hate5six.com! Every little bit helps!

Not Alone,
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A quick update: Howie has been undergoing pre-operative screening this week in preparation for his surgery in Boston in 6 days. It can't come soon enough; since the benefit show a month ago, Howie's symptoms have been getting worse. He sent this picture a few days ago during one of his chronic headaches. He could barely keep his right eye open.

This entire campaign has been incredibly positive and very helpful to Howie and his family. But the reality is this: even if the surgery is successful Howie is likely to have permanent deficits that he will have to endure for the rest of his life. No amount of money makes up for that, but to have to deal with this kind of illness and be worried about paying the bills is nothing short of soul-crushing.

So thank you all who have donated... every bit of it has helped tremendously. Also, we are ONLY $364 shy of our recent goal of $8500! When we exceed that goal, even by a small amount, Hate5six.com will release the entire AIAC benefit show video online... We are so close -- spread the word! Every little bit counts!!!

Please understand the $20k ultimate goal of this campaign was somewhat arbitrary. We still have no idea what Howie's out of pocket costs will be, or what he will need in the future. So, we are leaving the campaign open for an indefinite period. Please be as generous as you can be, encourage others to donate, and, most importantly, please keep Howie and his family in your thoughts. We will be updating this page with Howie's progress.

"Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire."

Not alone,

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Hello everyone and thanks for helping Howie! The February 16, 2019 show was a huge success; Howie got to see first hand so many of the folks pulling for him and his family. The uploaded picture is of just one of the many people who let Howie know he and his family are not alone (photo by Todd Pollock). Truly special, and Howie thanks everyone who attended.

So, what now? First, the good news: Howie is scheduled for surgery in Boston March 22, 2019! This is, of course, a really big deal -- and something that everyone who has donated has helped with.

The bad news: Howie is not out of the woods yet. He must go on for a mess of pre-operative procedures, then go under the knife for approximately 10 hours. Of course, there are risks associated with the surgery (including brain damage). After surgery he must undergo physical rehabilitation and radiation treatment.

So, though Howie is on his way to getting the treatment he needs, he has a long way to go -- and this costs money.

Consequently, we are continuing the our gofundme for Howie. We have partnered with Sunny Singh at Hate5six.com, who filmed the benefit show for Howie with multiple cameras and a multitrack recording. Sunny will not release the video online until this gofundme reaches at least $8500 -- just $1650 more. Considering the one video teaser Sunny released already has had 17,500 views, it should be easy to reach our very modest goal for Howie. Think about it this way: if everyone who viewed that video each donated just $1, we would raise more than 10 times what we are asking. It doesn't take much if everyone pitches in -- and every little bit counts.

So, if you didn't make it to the show, and want to see the video, please donate!

For Howie,
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Thank you all who stepped up to help Howie! As you know, Howie is deaf in his right ear. Well... you have helped to make a real difference by helping Howie get fitted for a hearing aid!

And not just any hearing aid, this one transmits what the right ear should be hearing to the left ear. It will help Howie fight the disorientation that comes with his condition! And higher tech means higher cost... but thanks to you , Howie doesn't have to worry about that anymore.

He is not out of the woods yet though, the tumor is still growing and his insurance has still not approved the second surgery. So his family is trying to save money for the procedure on top of making ends meet. The time is now! Every little bit helps... you do not have to donate a lot to make a difference.

Tickets to the February 16 show are almost sold out! Get yours now! Come show Howie and his family are not alone!

For Howie,
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$9,015 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 140 people in 5 months
Created October 28, 2018
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