Help Mick Walk


Early in the morning on January 11th, 2016, Guy M (Mick) Collins Jr. suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, resulting in a bleed that caused swelling in his brain. His wife, Cathy, called an ambulance to rush him to Providence Hospital. The early prognosis was grim, but Cathy’s move to bring in a neurologist led to a quick decision to perform a craniotomy. That decision saved his life, but the damage from the stroke had paralyzed the left side of his body. 

Within minutes of waking from surgery, Mick was already asking to begin physical therapy. Since then he has worked consistently and tirelessly to effectively regain full use of his left facial muscles and to learn to walk with the use of a cane and an assistant. 

While Mick has already made a lot of progress towards healing, at his current level of recovery he still needs around the clock care. He cannot use his left arm at all, nor can he sit down, stand up or walk without the help of others. Mick and Cathy’s children don’t live in Texas, which means that Cathy is currently the only family member who is able to care for Mick. This is a job that she can’t complete alone, and paying for in-home health care is an unsustainable long-term expense. 

Mick is determined to regain use of his left hand and the ability to walk unassisted and hopes to meet this goal through the groundbreaking inpatient therapy program at Neuro-IFRAH Clinic. His physical therapists believe that this program will allow him to gain enough independence to do more of his own self care and improve both his and his family’s quality of life.

Mick is a husband, father of two, and a retired public school teacher of 32 years. His friends and family describe him as one of the warmest, kindest, and funniest people they’ve ever met. He’s always concerned about those around him and helps his loved ones in any way he can. One of his most endearing qualities is his ability to have a saying for almost any situation, most of which are intentionally silly. The family favorite is the one he grinningly uses anytime he’s running late: “If you’re waitin’ on me, you’re walkin’ backwards.” 

Before retiring, Mick was a well-loved teacher, both by his students and fellow instructors. He earned a BBA from Baylor University and then completed his studies at Sam Houston State. He taught math and history at multiple Texas schools, including Robinson and Tennyson, and helped 32 years worth of Waco middle schoolers understand subjects they weren’t sure they wanted to learn in the first place.

Mick has been into physical fitness and healthy eating since his early 20s, consistently inspiring his friends and family. Daily long runs throughout his 20s and 30s turned into daily long walks in his early 40s, which are still his favorite activity and stress-relief. His first steps after the stroke (3 months into physical therapy),  brought him, and everyone around him, huge tears of joy and gratitude. Mick is a remarkable, loving, hard-working person, and his family and friends are praying that he will regain as much functionality as possible.

Mick’s stroke was life-threatening and his progress thus far has been remarkable. At this point, his doctors and therapists are confident that he can regain most, if not all, of the functionality of his left side. 

However, this is the best case scenario and it requires a significant amount of physical and occupational therapy. His therapists have highly recommended an intensive 2-week program in California which is specifically designed for patients who are recovering from brain lesions, plus ongoing therapy once he returns to Texas. 

Mick’s wife has worked extensively with his insurance company, but there’s still an expensive road ahead. We believe that anyone who donates to this cause deserves to know the major costs associated with his treatment: 

2-week therapy program at NEURO-IFRAH Clinic ( in Foster City, California ($15,000)
Flight, hotel, car, food + special orthotics and equipment for California stay
Home health care once back in Texas 
Therapy once back in Texas

Up to this point, the out-of-pocket expense of home health care alone has totaled $44,000 and Mick’s medical bills have totaled $6,275. Costs for travel, equipment, and therapy in California will also be entirely out of pocket. While there is hope that insurance will alleviate some of the costs for therapy once Mick is back in Texas, the remainder will still be well outside of his family’s financial ability. 

We are calling on the generosity of his extended family, friends and strangers to help in the following ways so that Mick can focus on a full recovery:

* Donate whatever you can. No amount is too small, and every contribution will go directly to Mick’s rehabilitation. Contributions of $35 or more will receive Dan Collins and Darryl Curry's CD (plus an advance mp3), "Life is a Trip" - an album of twelve songs about towns (e.g., "April in Paris," "Autumn in New York," and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco") inspired by Mick and created for this cause. 
* Share this GoFundMe campaign (link) on all your social media.
* Leverage any other avenue you have to make this go viral. Please send us possible leads and tips!

Mick is aching to continue his recovery and restore his quality of life as much as possible. Your donations will quite literally make all the difference. 

Thank you all so much,
Mick’s family


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Cathy Collins 
Waco, TX
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