So. This is a story about my friend Dawn.
I met Dawn when I was living in Beaumont, Texas. I was a new mom, and involved in a dangerous relationship with my son's father. Dawn was taking classes at the college I was teaching at, and we became friendly. One night, when things were especially bad, and I was desperate, I reached out-- I was fairly new in town, and knew almost no one.
Dawn didn't just respond, she saved my life, and my son Hank's life. She told me what to do-- how to pack a bag that didn't look suspicious. How to sneak out of the house. What lawyer to call. She gave me her address, and said, "When you are done meeting with the lawyer, come here." She met us at the door with dinner, hugs, a bed for me and a crib for Hank. We stayed at her house that night, and the next morning, she put us on a plane back to New Jersey, to my family, and safety, and a life I began to rebuild, thanks to her love and help. I really don't know where I would be today without her. Her house was a model of love and safety and laughter, and it reminded me that I deserved a real life. One like she had built.
In getting to be her good friend, I learned that Dawn had been a single mother at 16, and had raised her beautiful daughter Tiffany with love and joy and success, completely on her own for many years. She had moved to Beaumont, where she met and married her awesome husband, Jeff, and had four more beautiful kids. She fosters dogs. She fostered, for a while, children, until it became imperative that she and Jeff adopt their twin boys, who are now three years old.
You read that right. Dawn has seven children.
Last week, we learned that Dawn has Stage IV lung cancer that has metastasized to her lymph nodes and spinal cord. She is an otherwise healthy, 48-year old non-smoker. She also had two stokes over the last few months, which we've now learned were a result of the cancer.
We are launching this campaign to raise money to help Dawn and Jeff pay their already mounting medical bills, which are pouring in even with their excellent insurance, and before treatment for the cancer has even begun. I know there are dozens of people with stories like mine, who Dawn didn't just help, she saved. She has worked tirelessly for others her entire life; she deserves people working for her. If you can offer any help, please do-- every thing matters. And please, please share this far and wide.
- Michelle Marin
- Julie Carolan
- Mary Gregory
- Michael & Melissa Leal
- Meg Lauber
Organizer and beneficiary
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