Brett Jenkins' Treatment Fund

$17,745 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 275 people in 20 months
LM
Lewis Mundt
on behalf of William Braun
 MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Hi, folks. Brett's friend Lewis here.

For anyone who doesn't know her, Brett Jenkins is a magnificent writer, teacher, partner, friend, and human living in the Twin Cities. She's also someone who very publicly lives with mental illness and has been struggling for a long time with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Things recently came to a point that resulted in a serious hospitalization, and Brett knows that it's time to get help.

She's is currently in the mental health unit at a hospital in St. Paul and has found a residential treatment center near Chicago (Timberline Knolls; http://www.timberlineknolls.com/), a women-only program that specializes in many of the things she's up against. Brett's therapist and her doctor have both identified her as perfect candidate for Timberline, which was echoed by the intake coordinator on a recent eligibility interview.

However, Timberline Knolls is expensive. The average stay is upward of $30,000 and 30 days -- longer for some women.

Quoth Brett, "That's the price of a small house or a really fancy pony."

Brett's currently in talks with her insurance provider to see if a one-off exception to her network can be made because of the center's very specific programs and intense endorsement from her caretakers, but it's a long shot. If the provider won't accept the program, Brett is looking at not only full program costs but the expenses of getting to Chicago, the balance on previous medical bills (including two hospitalizations), rent, and everything that comes with life. Brett also had to step away from her job upon hospitalization.

The good news is that Timberline already has a bed available for Brett, so upon raising $10,000 this is an on-the-spot and done deal. Even if her insurance comes through--reducing the total cost to $4,000--the goal is to begin raising funds immediately so that, in any case, Brett can begin treatment as soon as possible. If an excess is raised, Brett and her husband Will will be taking care of some of their expenses and then donating the rest to a mental health organization.

This is a hard ask. Brett's very nervous for a lot of reasons--not the least of all because depression can make you believe you don't deserve help. And this is a big request, but talking to her today (Tuesday, March 14), I firmly believe that this is the program she needs most and the one she's able to more firmly put her faith in. If you know Brett, you know what an inspiration she is as a person, a friend, a writer, a companion, and as someone who's so open and transparent about living with and taking on mental illness. I know her resistance to asking for these types of kindness, but when I asked what an opportunity like this would mean to her she said, "I want to get better. I want to have a future."

Thank you for your kindness, and for your belief in that future.
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Hi, friends.

Lewis here again. We're five days from Brett's final (FINAL!) payment to Timberline Knolls and she's just over $4,000 away from being able to make it.

If you could, please post this around the internet in the next few days--on your pages, in emails to friends, on Reddit, wherever.

We can do this.


Yours,
Lewis
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Hi, all!

Lewis here again. I apologize for the radio silence in the past few weeks, but y'all, we can not tell you how grateful we are for how far we've come in this fundraiser. Brett is home now and we've raised (over!) half our initial goal with this, in-person events, matching donations, private donations, and more.

We can do this. I know we can. Literally as I've been typing this update, $500 more has come through. I'm so inspired by the tenacity on both sides of this effort; on Brett's side for her determination to live, and on our side for our determination to make sure she can do that as easily as possible.

Brett just sent an email to some of us and I wanted to share part of it as an update:

"The treatment was, in all, very difficult but successful. I feel like I've been equipped with a lot of skills and new awareness about my condition that will help me in going forward with recovery at home. I'm really glad I went, and I'm excited to continue doing this life thing with all of you.

"Here's why I'm emailing. I still need help. If you could help share the link to the Gofundme page, I would sincerely appreciate it. The last payment for Timberline Knolls for $9,750 is scheduled to come out of my bank account at the end of May, and I don't have those funds. I am currently unemployed at going through a wonderful insurance-covered partial hospitalization treatment program in Eden Prairie that will likely last another six weeks, during which time I cannot work. I'm living with friends, and also paying for the cost of an attorney to cover a marital separation. In the end, my illness was too big an obstacle for me and my husband to tackle together. I don't say this to place blame, but to show the situation as it is: I am in a tight spot and could really, really use your support right now."

If you have a moment to share this link, to look at another donation, to do anything, we'd be so incredibly grateful. Even posting it on your Facebook or Twitter without a comment is a huge signal boost and could make a world of difference.

I've said this before, but: It's so hard to look at raising over $20,000 for someone's life and then ask for more, because I worry we sound ungrateful. But we're everything but that. This couldn't have been even slightly possible without all of you.


Best,
Lewus
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Hey, folks! Lewis here again!

We're just a handful of days from Brettfest ( https://www.facebook.com/events/1895095874044572/) and I have another great round of news:

During the month of April, Eastlake Craft Brewery in Minneapolis is accepting donations on behalf of Brett's treatment fund. If you're looking for a place to grab a drink or dinner, drop on into Eastlake and just let your bartender know how much you'd like to contribute to Brett. These are fee-free donations and will be going directly to her.

(We're working on getting this set up right now, so Saturday, April 8, may be the first ACTUAL day of this.)

Cheers!
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Hi, all!

Lewis here with another update. Sorry it's been a little while since the last one.

I have great news, which is that as I write this, Brett is at Timberline Knolls in Illinois. She arrived last Friday and in talking to her yesterday, she sounds very grateful to be there and receiving treatment.

The less great news is that her insurance has declined to cover the program costs, and as such, her final bill will still be $30,000. Because of this fundraiser--and thank you SO, SO much!--, Brett was able to put down the requisite $10,000 when she arrived. When she leaves the program in April, she'll owe another $10,000, and 30 days after that the final $10,000.

So we've still got work to do, and I believe we can do it.

Also, if you're local to the Twin Cities area, we're hosting a in-person fundraiser for Brett on Tuesday, April 11. Won't you join us?

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895095874044572/


Best,
Lewis
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$17,745 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 275 people in 20 months
Created March 14, 2017
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