Dori Klaaren Medical Relief and Memorial Fund

UPDATE- Dori passed on New Year's Day...24 days short of our 50th year as a couple. The funds to restore her hands will be used to help the family with final costs and a memorial celebration of her life. This will take place in early March, specifics to be set. Thanks to all who donated so graciously. I didn't know she was so appreciated by anyone but me...
how could I have been so wrong.

So many of us around the world know and love Terry and Dori Klaaren. Terry and Dori are successful Tampa Bay area artists who need our help after a horrific medical emergency. Terry's murals are well known around the Bay area with his trademark KLAAREN signature and he is likely most recognized for his sculpture, Recyclosaurus, which can be seen from Fowler Avenue at The Museum of Science and Industry. Terry and Dori have also participated in countless fundraising initiatives for charity but now it's time for us to help Terry and Dori.


Terry's world came crashing down just before Christmas when Dori went into the hospital for routine surgery in Tampa. Due to complications from surgery, Dori developed sepsis which has led to several other medical issues and surgeries. One devastating issue includes Dori losing the use of both hands. Taking away Dori's most sacred artistic instrument is unthinkable to us all. While not yet confirmed, amputation of both hands is a possibility at this point.


This campaign has been organized by friends to help fund Dori's mounting medical expenses and to aid in her recovery. Funds will also be used to purchase any equipment that may be needed due to help Dori cope better at home. Terry will also be Dori's full-time caregiver. While we all know that Terry will get out there and work hard to provide everything that Dori needs, there will be numerous expenses incurred during this time when Terry may not be able to work as frequently as he would like. Please consider donating to support Terry and Dori Klaaren during this difficult time.


Scroll below to read a message from Terry Klaaren ...

35616572_1545602000738280_r.jpegDori Klaaren


This campaign was created by the McDonald family. Terry and Dori have been friends with our father, Blake McDonald, since my dad was stationed in Germany during Vietnam and Terry and Dori were a couple of fun-loving hippies backpacking around Europe (they still are fun-loving hippies)! They kept in touch with our dad and have been such amazing friends to our family over the years. We love Terry and Dori so much and would do anything to help Dori recover from this terrible situation. Their love story is one for the movies and we simply cannot imagine one without the other. Thank you all for your support and considering a donation to this fund.

35616572_1545603069541142_r.jpegDori Klaaren (left); Terry Klaaren (right)


The love of my life and partner for fifty years has been taken down. She suffered complications from routine surgery and now faces life without the use of her hands. We met as art students in high school and have been a team ever since. 1972 took us to greener pastures in Florida from Buffalo, and success there allowed us to spend our first year of marriage biking around Europe. We returned to Tampa in 1975 and started our art business. Dori was a calligrapher, sign painter, and manager of our business. I was a happy painter trying to find my path.

In the late 80's I worked in Orlando for four years at prop shops doing work for the theme parks... large scale painting and sculpting. Dori carried on at home, raising our son and working for ad agencies. As the 90's hit so did computerized signs, calligraphy and CAD programs in ad agencies... her work dried up.  

Our plan was for me to work in Tampa as a muralist... she would manage and promote me. We had great success and were able to pay off our house and put away for retirement for the first time. My murals were in homes and businesses at first, then in over 100 schools in Hillsborough county and abroad. Our business enabled us to travel, doing murals and commissions on the road. 

Dori's talent for planning put us on the road for months, all over the USA and much of Europe. We'd work side-by-side at any given point of interest, watched by other tourists from the Grand Canyon to Monmartre. We made more friends and acquaintances this way. I'd paint a canvas and she would use her pointillist style with pens.   

Over the next twenty years we visited a plethora of National parks and monuments, Europe, Canada and points between, making art and friends along the way. We roughed it when we could. Camping was a major part of our paint journeys, as was hiking.  

We always kept journals of our trips and with photos, drawings and paintings planned to somehow tell our story someday. We'd write books, articles, lecture. Dori needs only to be with me for us to accomplish this. Even without hands she can do this with me, but I worry about her spirit being able to overcome her plight. 

She is strong, and independent, just like her mother, but this is rough and I'm determined to be at her side and see her back to happiness. She has taken an artistic goofball with no plan in life and given me a chance to flourish and do things I'd never dared dream of. I owe her everything. The pouring in of love for her from all over the world has kept me sane. I cannot thank you all enough for your concern. 




Donations (0)

  • Nancy Lowell 
    • $55 
    • 8 mos
  • Marjie & Charles Hobbs 
    • $110 
    • 9 mos
  • Janne Boone 
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Jill Barncord 
    • $20 
    • 9 mos
  • Cathy Bennett-Ryan  
    • $30 
    • 9 mos

Fundraising team (3) 

Heather McDonald 
Raised $195 from 4 donations
Plant City, FL
Terry Klaaren 
Jessica McDonald 
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
This team raised $5,756 from 78 other donations.
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more