Decatur Hometown Hero Needs Support

Our friend and neighbor, Eli Dodson, needs our help. "Mr. Eli," as the neighborhood kids call him, has been in the hospital battling a life threatening infection since the week before Christmas. He has now pulled through and has been moved out of ICU and is slowly but steadily recovering. However, the percentage of the medical bills not covered by Eli's insurance is growing by the day, and he is still in the hospital. Once he is able to come home, he will need home health care for several months. When he is stronger, he will need surgery with additional recovery time.

Eli has been a resident of Feld Avenue since 1987 and has seen his beloved Oakhurst neighborhood change and grow over three decades. He loves Decatur and his neighbors, old and new.

Eli was left confined to a wheelchair after a car accident more than twenty years ago, and he was unable to return to his job at Georgia Power. He does not want to leave his home, so he has stretched his disability income and does without things that many of us take for granted in order to stay in this community. He has continued to work to stay in his home, battling rising taxes and property appraisals and while being targeted by scammers and being harassed frequently to sell his home.

Eli helps to serve his community in any way that he can. He is a C.A.P.S. (Citizens Assisting Public Safety) Volunteer for the City of Decatur Police Department and volunteers at the City of Decatur Visitor’s Center as well as the City Welcome Desk at the police department. Eli has also participated in programs at Oakhurst Elementary School to speak to students about living with mobility challenges and led students on walks to survey accessibility around the Decatur Square and Oakhurst Village. Eli served on the Better Together Leadership Circle, and he was selected as a Decatur Hometown Hero in 2015.

So now you know the "official" things that have made Eli well known around Decatur.  However, it is the little things you may not see or know about that illustrates his kind and caring nature.  When Eli has his lawn mown, he will often make arrangements to have his neighbors' yards taken care of, too. When visitors leave his home, he will roll out onto the porch to make sure you reach your car safely. As you are trying to get the door to make things a little easier for him, he will try to hold the door for you.

Helping Eli is an investment in our community and is a measure of our commitment to each other. Please join in helping our friend and neighbor tackle the medical bills that are weighing heavily on him and that could impact his ability to stay in the home and community he loves so very much.

Update on funds:  My name is Cheryl Kortemeier, and Eli Dodson and I have been Decatur, GA neighbors for more than 20 years. All funds raised through this campaign will be applied directly to payment of Eli's medical bills and equipment for future mobility needs. I have joined forces with one of Eli's closest friends and neighbors to open a "For Benefit of Eli Dodson" checking account at Cornerstone Bank in Decatur, GA. All funds raised through this campaign will be deposited into this account and used to help pay for home health care, hospital and other medical bills (electric wheelchair, PT and OT equipment, etc) in the coming months. If any funds remain once all of Eli's medical expenses are paid, we will release the remaining funds directly to Eli to be used as needed for home repairs and future mobility needs. Our goal is to be completely transparent, so please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

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Cheryl Kortemeier
Decatur, GA

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