I write this on behalf of my old friend, Teri Smith. She and her ex-husband have shared custody of their daughter Nira for 7 years since they separated. Recently, her ex-husband filed for full custody of Nira during one of her stays with him in Washington State.
His case centers around a chronic disability which has afflicted Teri for most of her life -- she contracted Lyme Disease and experienced continuing symptoms after anti-biotic treatment. She was later diagnosed with Post Lyme Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue (known also as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), and environmental sensitivities. Her doctor is treating her and she is recovering, but the illness has disabled her from working for the moment. Regrettably, her ex-husband claims that this disability makes Teri unfit as a parent. As friends and family will attest, this is untrue. Teri has been deeply involved in her daughter's life as her parent for the past 11 years even during all of the physical and emotional turmoil of her disease. Teri's case for fitness is strong, but she needs her day in court, which is expensive on Teri's limited income. That's why we, friends and family of Teri and Nira, have come together to help them stay together!
Teri doesn't want to have sole custody of Nira or take her away from her father, she just wants to be able to continue to see her and be in her life. Nira has expressed her own desire for this to be the case as well.
So, we've come together to help fund Teri's effort to prove that she is fit to continue to do the most important job of her life, the one she's been doing for the past 11 years with her daughter -- to continue being a mother.
And we need your help! We've got to raise $3000 by the end of October to keep her lawyer retained, or she will lose his counsel going forward. The other $6000 of the goal is for covering subsequent expenses that will occur as the case continues.
Any amount you can give will help! If you can't donate right now -- please just share this story with your own friends and family.
As a way to show our appreciation, my fiancee and I have set up an sister fundraiser that feeds into this one - at www.careicatures.com. We know that every donation represents a hero, so we're offering to draw every donor above $15 as a superhero in thanks for their support! Check out the link for more information.
Note that if more money is raised than is needed for Teri's legal fees, the surplus will be donated to research foundations for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, to help all those suffering from this disease.
Thank you all very much!
- Ann Moore
- Subra Balan
- David Balan
- Lauren Huppler
- David Balan