On June 26, 2018 Jon suffered a freak accident while vacationing with Cheryl and several friends. At the time, the accident appeared to be significant but not catastrophic. On July 18, 2018 however, paralysis set in. Jon is currently pursuing intense physical therapy in Jefferson Hospital’s Magee Spinal Rehab Clinic in Philadelphia.
Jon, with Cheryl’s unflagging help, is now preparing for a new and radically restricted life, one where he is unable to feed himself, hold a book, and do all the things most of us take for granted. We all pray for some return of function, and there are positive signs—the most important of which is Jon himself and his remarkable response to his accident. His spirit is strong and optimistic. But both Jon and Cheryl must plan for a future very different from the one they had previously imagined.
Fortunately, Jon and Cheryl are not without resources. Unlike too many of our fellow citizens, Jon has health insurance as well as long-term care insurance. But even with these resources, Jon is facing huge and ongoing expenses that could quickly deplete his and Cheryl’s savings. Jon, for example, will need 24-hour care for the foreseeable future.
In short, Jon’s accident is truly a catastrophic, life-changing event that will require resources long into the future that go well beyond those available to Jon. Cheryl and Jon have sold their home, which is no longer accessible for Jon, and are in the process of retrofitting a single level condominium. In addition to home care, they will need to purchase expensive equipment, such as a patient transfer system, specialized wheelchairs, and so on (for more about quadriplegia and its personal and familial impact, please consult this site.
After consulting with Cheryl and Jon, and with the help of State College lawyer Amos Goodall (a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national practice group), we have established a third party (inter vivos) trust fund to support Jon’s ongoing needs. All monies generated through your generous donations to this GoFundMe campaign will go into a trust managed by the Achieva Family Trust, a nonprofit group founded in 1951 by a family who wanted to ensure that members of their family with disabilities could have the same chances in life that all should be given. The sole purpose of the Trust is to provide for Jon’s needs to supplement but not replace what he is eligible for from insurance and other programs. Based on Cheryl and Jon’s consultations with staff at Magee, we know that these needs will be considerable. For more information about Achieva, please consult this website.
Jon will return home from Magee in a few weeks. His mind is clear and active, and his spirit astonishingly positive and generous. Please match Jon’s spirit with your own generosity by joining what we’re thinking of as Team Jon. We deeply appreciate your support!
PS: If you want to bypass GoFundMe and make a direct contribution, write a check to "Achieva Family Trust FBO Jon Olson" and mail to:
Achieva Family Trust
c/o Jacquelyn E. Connell, Esq.
711 Bingham ST
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
If you make a direct contribution, we'd be grateful if you would leave a comment here letting us know the amount (so we know where we stand on the campaign).
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- Lora Mendenhall
Organizer and beneficiary
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