Uncle Chris has collected sports cards since he was a young boy. As he aged, his passion has only grown and expanded into collecting memorabilia as well. As he was finishing up months and even years of preparation for the 5-day long National Sports Collectors Convention this week in Chicago, he noticed water rushing into the basement and garage of my Mom's house where he was storing his items before transferring them into the white Dodge cargo van parked next to the garage, that he rented for the week. Frantically, Uncle Chris attempted to get as many valuables high on shelves as possible while my dad, sisters, and I drove to the house to help.
Upon arrival, there were over 3 feet of water practically submerging his car, rental van, and memorabilia items in the alley behind the house. I noticed boxes and binders full of baseball cards from the 1970's that my Uncle collected as a kid, in addition to a Mickey Mantle signed poster with authentication, among so many other items that lost all value due to water damage. After lifting my shorts and trudging through the water, I found Uncle Chris inside, distraught by what had happened in addition to almost 2 feet of water residing in the fully finished basement which contained many of his valuables, a living room, and the master bedroom where two of my younger sisters slept and practically lived.
The basement had to be completely gutted immediately, my sisters had to throw away most of their hanging clothing which were considered raw sewage, and Uncle Chris lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of sports cards that he had been collecting and organizing most of his life.
Unfortunately, the heavy rain caused several drains outside and the sewer drain to back up in the basement. This issue, however, is not covered at all by our insurance policy and we are responsible for expenses related to the clean up, gutting, and replacement of items lost from the water damage. Also, my Uncle and his brother, Brian, were no longer able to attend the national show this week.
I made this account without anyone else knowing, and the last thing my family is looking for is sympathy and sorrow for what has occurred. Our family is incredibly blessed on many different levels and will make it through this tough time. On behalf of my Uncle and my Mom, I ask that anyone ABLE please donate any amount that you can. The cliché "any amount helps" could not be more relevant at this time. Any raised money will help go toward my Uncle Chris' tremendous losses, in addition to both gutting and reconstructing the basement. Other material items that we lost are not the priority, as we have already received lots of support and clothing donations from friends.
With love and appreciation,
- Tammy Johnson
- Lily Cortellessa
- Katie Broskey
- Wendy Pollock
- Claire Dennis
Organizer and beneficiary
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