Let me introduce Jerry and Cheryl to you. Jerry is a fun, lighthearted and kind husband and father. Jerry was an editorial/political cartoonist for the Boston Herald and the Syndicate for the last 33 years. Cheryl is a Wonder Woman full of life and spontaneity. As an artist, a dancer, a baker, and a mother, Cheryl's child-like enthusiasm for life is contagious.
Together as a couple, they embodied life. They took joy in bringing home- baked bread, meals and laughter to so many. They were always blessing others.
A few years ago something started to change for Jerry. First, he started repeating stories. Gradually, his normally fun and witty humor made less sense. He started slowly losing social inhibitions and normal social behaviors. Cheryl and their family didn't know what to do. Jerry wasn't the same.
After a long road of prayer, testing, misdiagnosing, and questions, Jerry was finally diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia in 2019 - a rare form of dementia where portions of the brain shrink (atrophy) leading to devastating personality and behavioral changes. There is no medical cure. “Sixty Minutes” recently did a report on Frontotemporal dementia calling it "Devastating, prevalent and little understood" (linked below).
Cheryl is an award winning baker featured in ‘AAA’ magazine for her artisan baking skills. Before Jerry's diagnosis, Cheryl was about to increase her baking business to help bring in supplemental income for the family. During all of their marriage, Jerry carried most of the financial responsibility. Since his illness, Cheryl has literally become the "breadwinner."
Her ability to make baking bread a sustainable source of income is critical and with Jerry’s illness, this has been extremely difficult. Not only must she attend to his needs with her time, drive to all the medical appointments since he can no longer drive, but the medical bills have been staggering and impossible to pay without his ability to work.
Jerry needs constant supervision. In addition to the devastation associated with her husband slowly slipping away to this debilitating disease, Cheryl must wrestle with tremendous medical expenses and logistics. And an even greater obstacle, the very real threat of losing their home, which is also the base of her bread business.
Jerry and Cheryl need our help.
We are starting a campaign to help Cheryl with two important funding needs for 2020:
1. Ongoing care for Jerry. Cheryl cannot be Jerry's only caretaker - he needs professional help. Here are the associated costs:
Weekday Care: $132/day with transport x 5 days/week = $660/week = $2,640/mo.
Weekend Care: One weekend day per week is $272 which is $1088/mo.
TOTAL care for 2020 is $3,728/mo or an annual sum of $44,736
2. Expected out of pocket Medical expenses for 2020 are $15,000
We hope to raise at least $60,000
We want to spread this far and wide. We are asking anyone who wants to make a difference and help alleviate the pain and loss caused by this devastating disease - please make a donation and please share in your networks!
Many hands can lift a very real burden!
Here are a few links to discover more about Frontotemporal dementia and about Cheryl's bread business, Nomad Bakery:
Watch the recent 60 minute report on the devastation of Frontotemporal dementia
Mayo Clinic's description of Frontotemporal dementia
Visit Cheryl's Bakery website: www.nomadbakery.com
See Nomad Bakery on Facebook and Instagram: @ nomadbakery
Members at Congregation Ruach Israel are hosting this fundraiser for Jerry and Cheryl.
- Jerold Hurwitz
Organizer and beneficiary
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