Collin Kelley needs assistance following radiation from a rare cancer that caused significant facial paralysis and other health concerns. Please donate today to help pay for his recovery.
Beloved poet, novelist, journalist, and advocate Collin Kelley is in need of our help as he recovers from cancer. After enduring extensive testing, a harrowing and invasive surgery to remove an aggressive facial tumor, and an intense series of radiation, Collin has been overwhelmed by exorbitant medical bills. After the loss of both parents—most recently his mother in 2018 – Collin’s friends have become his chosen family, and we are inviting you to help during this very difficult chapter.
Collin was diagnosed with rare adenoid cystic carcinoma in his salivary gland, and while he is insured, the extent and range of treatment necessary has caused unexpected debt and a loss of savings. Many of his necessary care protocols have incurred unforeseen expenses: larger co-pays, out-of-network specialists, additional and unanticipated secondary treatments—including necessary pre-emptive dental work in order to complete procedures, supplemental treatments, and more.
Unlike a usual Go Fund Me request, Collin has graciously offered, even in the midst of his own recovery, to extend a once-in-a-lifetime gift to those who contribute. As he is working on another novel, donors of $3,000 or more will receive a poetry manuscript consultation. Donors of $1,500 or more will be able to choose and name a character in Collin’s next book. Donors of $500 or more will be mentioned by name on his blog.
Collin is a force and life blood in the Atlanta literary community. An ambassador of connecting writers and creatives to one another, amplifying books and poets, novelists and journalists, he has been visionary in his persistence, making sure that poetry has voice and space. Over the years, he has volunteered his time to serve with Poetry Atlanta and Georgia Center for the Book, as well as serving as editor of Atlanta Intown magazine for nearly two decades. He has judged contests and mentored student writers, served as editor to dozens of poetry manuscripts that went on to become award-winning collections, done pro bono consultations for presses. His breadth and depth of writing has earned him awards and recognition in multiple genres: fiction, poetry, journalism, essays, interviews and blog writing.
We doubt there is a single writer in the Atlanta area (and beyond) that has not been impacted by Collin’s generosity, graciousness, amplification, or mentoring.
Please note: no donation is too small. We invite you to join in our family, to support Collin and help him on this extraordinarily challenging journey of healing and recovery. We appreciate you giving what you can to help our friend and community member.
In 2018, Collin began to experience significant changes in left side facial movement. He was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and was treated with a course of steroids and antivirals, making a full recovery. However, the facial paralysis returned in 2020, which was diagnosed as a recurrence of Bell’s palsy, possibly a side-effect of the stress put on his body after contracting COVID-19 last March. While the condition did seem to temporarily improve, it did not resolve entirely. When the paralysis began to become noticeable again in early 2021, Collin was sent to specialists who finally determined he had a tumor on his salivary gland that had invaded his facial nerve, which was now also causing difficulties with blinking and closing his left eye.
To compound everything, Collin’s cancer diagnoses arrived just as he had put his savings into buying his first home. The combined medical and moving expenses have drained his finances and there is still additional specialists and many rounds of tests to make sure the cancer does not return. Recurrences of adenoid cystic carcinoma are usually fatal.
Despite the pain and exhaustion, Collin has kept his friends and fans informed with frank Facebook updates. This is one of them we wanted to share:
“The surgery was eight hours, the tumor was aggressive cancer, but the surgeon got it all. My face is carved up like a jack-o-lantern, there are drains dangling out of my neck, and its soft foods for the next few weeks. And six weeks of radiation five days a week. I cannot thank you all enough for your kind wishes and healing thoughts. It truly carried me through the most terrifying experience of my life. There’s still so much living, writing, laughing, traveling to do.”
Thank you very much for your donations and support of our beloved Collin,
Julie E Bloemeke and Steven Reigns