Derek's Medical Bills
On Saturday, January 14th, Derek Whitener finished acting and singing in a show at the Firehouse Theatre in Dallas, Texas . After the show he stopped by Target on his way home to buy groceries. On his way out of Target he was brutally attacked by 2 masked men in the parking lot. We don't know who they were or what their motive was at this point. All we know is they beat my friend so badly, that on January 15th he was rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding on his brain. Before his surgery he was having difficulty forming words - a horrifying thing for someone as smart and quick-witted as Derek. They believe the surgery was a success but won't sure until the swelling subsides. He is currently in the ICU, and the overall the recovery will be at least 6-8 weeks. He will be unable to work that entire time. We've set up this GoFundMe to help offset the cost of medical bills and loss of income.
Derek is one of the most creative, passionate, and unique individuals I have ever met in my life. He just accepted a position as the artistic director of the Firehouse Theatre, a community theatre in Dallas. The level of outreach he has done through his artistic endeavors (singing, acting, costuming, etc.) has touched the lives of counless individuals. I know he has inspired me to be a better artist since the day I met him over ten years ago.
Please help one of my dearest friends overcome this horrific tragedy. Let us drive out hate by coming together and showing what love can do.
-Brina Palencia on behalf of all the friends and family of Derek Whitener
On behalf of Derek and his family, I want to thank all of you again. Without your support, this hellish event would’ve been even more unmanageable. It’s because of people like you that Derek received and continues to receive the treatment he needs with no worries. As we enter 2018, remember that love can drive out hate. Let’s keep showing the world what love can do.
The photo is of this morning. Before he got his stitches out, I showed Derek how to do do ink marbling, also known as suminagashi. He said it actually worked his hand a lot, so hopefully that'll be something else he can do to strengthen it. He is so ready to get better, and he asks that you all be patient with him. It took all his strength today just to paint and go to his doctor's appointment. As soon as he's able, he wants to see everyone. It just takes a lot out of him right now. He definitely wants everyone to know how grateful he is and how much you inspire him to keep going and getting better!
Derek, you don't know me, but you know my daughter well. When she says you're family, that means you are FAMILY. Do what the doctor says, rest and accept the help you are offered. If this campaign is any indication, you have many prayers and lots of support. God bless.
I have loved seeing the productions Derek has been part of, and seeing joy in the faces of friends who have posted photos with him over the last few years. Prayers for a steady recovery and for those responsible to be found and prosecuted. Also for strength and comfort for his partner and other family and friends who love him dearly.
You don't know me, but I was active in the DFW theatre community about 3 years ago, before moving to be apart of the San Diego theatre community. I want to wish you a complete recovery and it breaks my hear that this happened. :( My family and I are thinking about you! Hang in there. You are very loved in the DFW theatre area. :)
Hi. You don't know me but you're a friend of a friend. I just wanted to wish you all the best in your recovery. I'm a Physical Therapist who works with patients who have suffered strokes and brain injuries. Unfortunately you are not the first who has suffered an attack like that. Please make sure you are getting the best therapy possible. I'm not saying I work at the best place but it's very respected in this field and we would love to help get you back to what you love. It's called TIRR Memorial Hermann and you can call 1-800-447-3422 or visit their website if you're interested. Keep up the good work!
My prayers to go to out Derek and his family and friends. I read about this attack today, it's horrible and uncalled for, those that did this will be caught and brought to justice. This happens way too much especially to the gay community. We need for those in power to send a message once these idiots are caught. There was no need to attack him like this. God please hear our prayers for Derek and bring him back to great health for his family & friends. Adam
Victor/Newman my family is so heart broken for you, I told my mom and dad and there so sad about what has happened they sendon't love prayers to you and derek....hope to to more in future to raise support awareness. Holding you in my heart. Love you! Dana