I cannot do justice in describing the gift John has as a mentor and teacher. The world needs John in it and I hope that our help can provide John with healing care to help him through this crisis and keep him with us a bit longer.
John has been a part of my family since 2000; we were at Lupines the day I was in labor with Jake. Every week for 7 years he was the grounding focal point of my parenting self-improvement. I came away from Lupines feeling centered and able to parent with calm intent for the next week. When we moved down to San Diego, John agreed to come host Waldorf pentathlons and Medieval tournaments and music/improv camps for me, and so we spread his influence to a little circle in Southern California. I was hoping to entice him out to Austin for similar ventures now that we are here! His ability to direct a group of new musicians in jam sessions - with the musicians rotating from bass to drums to violin to guitar while still sounding great - is awe inspiring. He has a talent for guided improv, and for months at a time he would create a new play each week for the kids to act out. And high quality plays at that!
Here are some initial testimonials and insights about John from some of his past families (we are all his family as he has been more than just a teacher to us all):
* Leilani has very fond memories of John while we were in Lupines at Lisa's house. Leilani also attended John's theater/music class at La Di Da Cafe in Half Moon Bay when she was 6-7, went to his home in Montara for music classes when she was 10-11. She spent many memorable years working with him. She especially loved John's ability and talent for storytelling and story making. I remember her being completely engaged during those times of creating stories. I feel John was instrumental in helping her develop her own love of storytelling and creating. Leilani has loved creating and directing plays and stories ever since Lupines. She is in the midst of creating her own youtube channel for that exact reason! Thanks John!
* John Engel was one of my son's first teachers. And though we haven't work with him for years, I still feel his influence in our daily lives. Many of the talents ripening in my son's adolescence -- art, acting, music -- started as seeds John planted. I'm so grateful for the wisdom and focus John shared in those early years.
John's main concern is being able to make his car payments so he can continue to teach. If he cannot make his teaching rounds he has no means of earning an income. He of course needs help paying his medical bills so he doesn't have to exhaust himself teaching and so he can focus on healing.
The $7,000 is just the amount the ER charged him and does not even cover his ongoing treatment or car payments. He has no insurance and is selling his musical instruments to raise money for his treatment. Obviously, as this is his livelihood this will adversely impact his ability to generate income; if he survives he will be unable to buy his equipment back as all of his money will have been spent on medical care.
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