Your generosity will first go toward helping me help my parents.
Many of you don't know that my only sibling, my beloved sister, Katherine Allen, "Georgia", passed away on October 20, 2017 from stomach cancer. We haven't been able to pay for or complete the burial phase of her funeral which was a traditional one at her request.
I've never experienced anything more difficult. I hope to enlist your generosity to try to heal the gigantic financial hole this sad and tragic, life changing event created for my grief stricken parents and myself.
Due to a horrific 10 year legal battle with her ex-husband, and as a result losing custody of her son, my devastated sister had no savings, no assets, no life insurance, debilitating unresolved grief, and many medical bills when she transitioned.
Each time I've logged into this campaign, I got stuck in my own despair around what she and my parents have gone through and I feel guilty asking for help because so many people in the world are going through much worse than we are!!
However, I'm realizing that I am so unbelievably blessed with so many loving friends that will help me and also FORWARD THIS and help get the word out, that I MUST put my stuck-ness, fear and pride aside and ask for help.
Watching my sister die of stomach cancer has had a huge impact on my life. As terrible as it was, I choose to accept the gifts of new found strength and compassion that my sister gave me through her suffering and early departure from this strange world at age 56.
My Mom (81) and Dad (83) are long ago divorced but resumed a friendship when my sister became fatally ill. They both live primarily on their meager monthly social security checks, have almost no equity and tiny savings accounts that will disappear once they pay the $9500 in funeral costs. My mom's 2009 Honda (debt now bumped UP from $3500 to $7300??) is slated to be repossessed. Payments stopped when my sister, who managed my mom's finances, became too ill to continue, and all our energy and resources were diverted to her. Now, Wells Fargo dealer services has doubled what they say she owes, explaining to me that that is their process!?
Helping my parents recover from the above is my first priority and with what might remain, hopefully a memorial celebration and finally, helping me stay in my house.
FYI, while my sister was fighting cancer, I was flying back and forth to her side in Chicago. I took a financial hit as I spent almost 3 weeks of each month camping out with her in various hospitals from May to October. I missed a LOT of work, lost good clients, and incurred considerable travel and other expenses.
Yes, I would do it again and more!
I have been applying for loan modifications, but have been denied for the fourth or fifth time now over the course of a year, and my house is now 'in foreclosure'.
The reason? The loan processor and investor bank keep telling me I don't make enough money to qualify. Apparently only high income people are helped when they have a crises?
My stress has been unbelievable.
Rather than scramble to find a new place to live, I'd like some time to recover from my loss, help my parents, and re-build my music career and entertainment business.
Compared to what many others on this planet are going through, I know my 'stuff' is so trivial. Still, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your understanding, compassion and your kind generosity!!
Pictures and more for you below... :o)
(Above) My sister, age five, encouraging me to get my very first haircut at age one by pretending to get her haircut first. The barber is one of my Dad's best buddies for the last 80 years, Patsy Valentino. They go all the way back to his first year in school. Now, 51 years later, Patsy's barber shop is still right across the street from where my Dad lives in South Chicago Heights, IL. He's still having a ball BS'ing with the locals AND doing a great job cutting hair at age 83!!
(Below) It must have worked as my 1 year old Afro now looks clean cut at the end of it all, as my sister beams a satisfied smile of 'success'!!
(Above) My sister the ballerina! Little did she/we know that the talc powder in the puffball in the tip of her shoe (and that we all used all the time for every possible application) was probably where the asbestos came from that contributed to her getting mesothelioma stomach cancer and stopped her life about 30 years short.
(Below) Was all that hair for real?? "Bro" and "Sis" together in the 70's. Unlike me, my sister kept that hair thickness until her first and only chemo treatment. We really loved each other, in between some fights for the record books! LOL. :o)
(Below) My happy sister in the law library after getting her law degree. She worked for several years with the Public Defender in New Mexico until her fateful marriage and the downward spiral that followed. So much potential that was never reached!! One would naturally think being a lawyer would have helped her in the ensuing custody battles with her husband. The opposite was true. She was hyper sensitive but didn't show it and kept her feelings inside. Her own legal issues were just too personal to her!
(Above & Below) Some of the happiest days of my sister's life at the birth of her son when she was 42! Sadly and without ever touching an illegal drug and continually showering her son with gifts and love, she inexplicably lost custody and never was able to see him again after he reached 5 or 6 years of age. She fought but weirdly lost due to biased NM court officials repeatedly ruling against her. Losing visitation with the love of her life devastated her and in grief she was much more susceptible to cancer and other illnesses in my opinion.
(Below) Mom and Dad taking a break from my sister's hospital bed where they stuck by her side EVERY day that she was in a coma for the last 10 weeks of her life. She was obviously there, but the brain damage kept her from fully waking up for more than a few minutes at a time. We fought to honor her wishes to be kept alive (no doubt in hopes she could still recover and see her son again). I feel infuriated at the insurance driven medical establishment, deeply saddened, fully responsible as her M.P.A., and totally confused as to how many things could go wrong!
(Below) My mom trying to put on a brave face and taking comfort in a stuffed sheltie sheep dog sent to her by our family friend Colleen Porter, to try to cheer her up after my Sister's passing. My mom and sis were very close and my mom is having the hardest time of any of us in coping with her loss. I hope we can keep her from any additional stress and pain that would surely come if her car gets repossessed. She, most of all, would benefit from your help!
I guess that's it. Thanks for anything you feel able to give. With all my heart I am grateful to you! Love, Peace and Light! Andoni
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