I now find myself using Go-Fund-Me as a way to help someone I adore. Many people already know I have a brother, Bob; but I also have an adopted brother named Arturo, or “Art” as most call him.
Art recently completed a year of chemo treatments. He was almost in the clear, feeling better with no signs of cancer when both of his legs began to swell. So much so that he carried 30 lbs of fluids in his legs, which thereafter started turning purple. He went to the emergency room 3 times, begging to be admitted. Yet each time they sent him home with antibiotics and pain meds and told him to return if it got worse. This worried us..How could it get any worse than that?!
One night when Art was with Bob, he said, “I need to go to the hospital again and I’m not leaving until they find out what’s wrong!” Bob went with him and stayed as long as possible but with Covid, visitors are not allowed to stay long. It took 10 days to find that the cancer he thought was gone, had now moved to his legs!
Sixteen days later, and another chemo round completed, Art was finally discharged. The swelling has now almost completely disappeared and he’s responding very well to the continued treatments. Bob and I are so ecstatic that we will have our brother home for the holidays!
The fact that this is happening during COVID threatens Art’s health, safety and security even more. Unable to work due to his condition, our worry is that Art could wind up homeless and with his compromised immunity, and it could mean life or death for him.
He is in immediate need of funds to not only catch up on many months of past due rent and bills, but to help him continue living safely in his home and surroundings while focusing on getting well. The stress with what's occurring in the world right now and the financial strains is no doubt making it difficult for him to heal. Donations will go toward his living expenses and long recovery.
Art has already had a rough life. A childhood filled with unthinkable abuse led him to leave home in his early teens and his family makes no effort to reconcile or even reach out to him on holidays or birthdays. He finished high school on his own and made a life for himself him San Francisco. Ironically it is because of his family’s abandonment that Art is in our lives. We adore Art, and he demonstrates everyday his capacity for love, kindness, humor and generosity, despite the circumstances of his upbringing. My daughter calls him “Uncle Heart” as that’s what she hears, which is quite appropriate because if you ever have the opportunity to meet Art, you’d understand why.
Over the last few years, Art has found his passion in life, ironically IN ART! He passionately paints and experiments with different media and techniques, often creating amazing pieces that come from places deep within. With no formal artistic training, his work is extraordinary! He has found strength in his artistic expression and has produced a fabulous body of work over the past few years.
Instead of simply asking for donations, Art suggested offering a piece of his artwork to thank you for your generosity. For donations of $100 or more, included as a thank you will be an original piece of Art's work (size to commensurate with the generosity of the donation). If he is able (honoring social distancing) Art would ultimately LOVE to deliver the pieces personally if you are local in the SF Bay Area, and arrange shipping to those who are not.
We lost our mother and grandmother to this awful disease that is now way too common in today’s world. I hear too often of people losing loved ones to cancer, and I just can’t bear the thought of losing anyone else. I heard a survival story recently, which has given me so much hope. Art is my brother and we love him. He is in the fight of his life right now, and I want to help keep him safe and secure in his own home (as opposed to some homeless shelter) and come out healthy and happy, and ready for the next chapter in his life! After years of hardship, and now fighting this disease, he deserves a chance to comfortably heal to getting back on his feet in the safety of the place he calls home. We will be so grateful for any support to this cause. Thank you for your time! Here's a sample of his gorgeous work!
- Susan Ito
- Richard Trimble
- Lisa Andersen
- Cyndie Collins
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