Blinded by the Light
On August 30, 2014, I was permanently blinded in my left eye and my right eye was damaged by mounted lasers and handheld lasers while working as a Black Rock Ranger during the Man Burn on Saturday night at Burning Man.
There are two reasons for this GoFundMe.
The first reason is one of education and safety.
Lasers are not toys. They are very dangerous, due to both the light that you can see and the ultraviolet light you can’t see. These lasers are becoming cheaper and more powerful and there has been very little education about the danger these lasers present to people.
Please, if you use these lasers, don’t aim them anywhere near people’s eye level! Also, keep in mind that they can reach 3 to 10 miles from the point of origin.
Burning Man is considering a new policy on lasers and I applaud their efforts.
If you are an organizer of an event that allows lasers, please address this danger with your staff and event participants in your policies and communications.
The second reason for this GoFundMe is financial.
From September 2014 to February 2015, I’ve lost wages and accumulated medical bills totaling $10,000 that Burning Man’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company has yet to pay. My doctor’s visits will continue until at least July of 2015. The estimated lost wages and doctor bills for March 2015 to July 2015 is another $10,000, for a total of $20,000.
It is embarrassing and humbling to have to ask for financial help, but the level of debt I am experiencing is simply overwhelming. To offset my considerable expenses, I am asking for a total of $20,000.
If you can donate to help me fund a financial bridge until Workers Comp comes through (and there’s no guarantee it will), I will be very grateful. If Workers Comp decides to reimburse me, it will allow me to afford the ongoing assistance, medical bills and additional costs attributed to the significant lifestyle changes I have had to make as a result of this injury.
If you can’t afford to donate, I completely understand. The most important thing is to send this GoFundMe to everyone you know so that we can make sure that no one is ever blinded by a laser again.
Thanks for your time.
Winter is setting in and I will be laid off. I am still waiting for workers Comp to reimburse me for expenses that I have been incuring since my injury on August 30 2014. I still don't know when they are going to be ready to start the process of settling my claim.
Without everyone's generous donations I would not have been able to keep paying my bills. And the emotional support has helped keep hope alive during this difficult adjustment.
With the holidays coming I would like to ask that we keep educating people about the dangers of careless laser use! So that no one else has to lose their vision.
Please share this with your friends!
Enjoy the holiday season
A year and six weeks after I was blinded Workers Comp has approved the Botox treatment for the migraines I have been suffering with since my injury. I don't know how the Botox will affect me and how Much time I will have to take off from work till the side affects subside and I can safely work again. It's been a long year and I could have never kept my head above water without everyone's financial and emotional support. I am still waiting for workers comp to reimburse me for the costs that I have incured since August 30 2014 when I was injured.
Work will be winding down and I will be laid off for the winter. There are no words to express my graditude for the continued financial and emotional support that will help me get thru the winter till I return to work in the spring.
Kelli ( Ranger Halston)
I have still not been reimbursed by Burning mans workers comp insurance for any expenses. I still can't get anyone to tell me when a decision will be made to determine what the outcome will be about a settlement.
I am now going to have to hire a workers comp lawyer to get the answers I need. And to get the medical treatment that I deserve.
I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me during this last year.
I will be on playa this year at Radio Electra 2:45 and E feel free to stop by if I'm not in camp ( there will be a white board) in front of my lotus belle tent there will be a tote with a notebook and pens if you want to leave me a message.
I apologize to anyone that has made plans to attend. I just found out 30 minutes ago.
Thanks again for all the donations and the kind words of encouragement.
I am sorry that someone thought this should no longer be funded; I cannot imagine what you are going through, and I am so proud of you for wanting to educate and inform everyone of the dangers of these lasers. Even pets can be injured; some people use lasers to play with their pets without realizing how dangerous these things are.
Hey, This is Art Bjornestad, I'm Stitch, Someone just now let me know that "I" suggested that this fund raiser be stopped. I would NEVER dream of crimping this campaign, I completely support everything that Kelli is doing and have sent gofundme a message to get that erroneous post removed. This is 100% NOT how I roll. I even volunteered to be part of the laser safety crew at the burn for vehicles. I am also personally contacting everyone who mentioned this affront. $50k or even $500k will never compensate Ranger Halston for what she lost that night. I'm trying to find out what the F* happened. So sorry Kelli.
No one should underestimate what it means to be permanently blinded and having to find a new way of making a living. I thought $20,000 wasn't near enough - naysayers need to think about trying to find a new source of employment that doesn't require vision.
Kelli, I wish I could donate more to help. While I'm not a Burner, my daughter is and I will make sure she knows about this. So sorry the venue fell through.
I think that it is nice to see the support you are getting here. I also think that a petition should be directed to the Burning Man Org to get them to make sure that they cover their obligations here too.
Ban lasers? Fuck banning things. Educate the people !
So Art, because lots of people have donated, you think people that are irresponsible with lasers are going to get some kind of message? Put your ass on the line as a Ranger and get hurt by someone's asshattery, then you can say "no more donations" to your own fund.
No more donations! I hate suggest that, but the donor count right now is a great message to laser users.
Yay, Halston! I'm glad your campaign has been successful! You deserve to heal without the stress of the financial burden.
It's not going to fix anything but I hope it helps ease the burden Halston. -dusty hugs...
amazing response! i hope my gofundme will get this type of response
What an amazing response in less than 24 hours!
I'm so sorry to hear of this happening to you. I, sadly, have my own struggle going on and can only Donate Mass Quantities of Love, Light, Happy Healing Thoughts, Positive Mental Attitude and the Hopes that Workmans Comp pulls their heads outta their Butts! Sooner than Later. Like Unemployment, you'd think that it's THEIR money that you're trying to get back, instead of your own and your Employers. Grrrrr Take Care, Be Well & Good Luck!
I can't donate, but if you need advice or guidance on workers comp hit me up. I have experience as an injured worker who jumped through all the hoops to a successful claim. maybe i can be of help. until then take care.