Joel was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and suffered major spinal injuries that will result in lasting physical consequences.
I have known Joel for over 20 years. He is my dearest friend and a man among men. Over the years Joel has given a lot to others, He has worked with the California Conservation Core helping to provide and maintain access to our public parks and where he and I met, the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, Florida Programs. Joel spent 10+ years in service to the inner city youth of his community.
Joel has a fantastic son, whom he has invested his heart, body and soul in. Joel has been a volunteer coach in his community, a chaperone for school events and has done service with his church. Much of Joel's beautiful life has been in service and giving to others.
Joel's spinal cord was severed. He is paralyzed from the chest down. Within several hours of regaining consciousness, Joel was informed that he would not walk unassisted again. His immediate reaction was to reassure his friends and family that he would be fine and explained he would need a bus schedule and that he will move to an accessible home and get back to work. As physically broken as he was, he immediately started problem solving and reassuring his loved ones. That’s Joel.
Joel's colleagues at his amazing employer of the last 4 years, Dentsply Sirona, have rallied around him and have created a visit rotation so he always has a visitor. They have dedicated people and resources to help Joel move and they are working intently with his family to help with insurance and disability paperwork. They remain wholly committed to Joel.
As with any catastrophic medical situation. His insurance will only cover so much, and so much of what he will need, will not be covered. I come to you, as Joel's friend and his advocate to ask you unflinchingly, to donate whatever amount you can.
These funds will be used to help meet his current financial commitments; rent, utilities and the like. They will also be used to help with any costs he may have for accessibility equipment he may need, retro fitting his home with accessibility features and to help defray the considerable medical bills his critical care and rehabilitation will incur.
They say, in your life time, if you have a one best friend through your years, you should count yourself lucky. I am most lucky that my lifetime friend is Joel Thornton. He has been my mentor, my confessor, my rock and my brother. To our Outward Bound family, I ask that you rally, to take care of our own, to unabashedly support our friend and colleague. To freely and compassionately offer your resources and service. He was there for many of us through the years. Let us be there for him.
I ask one more consideration, gofundme has an option of donating on a reoccurring monthly basis for one year. When you click the donate button you will see a check box that says, "Give this amount monthly?" All you need to do is check that box.
Whether it is $1 or a $1,000,000 monthly, it will help immensely by spreading it out over time. Joel’s recovery is a marathon and not a sprint. By donating monthly for a 1 year period, you will help in the long game as he regains his strength and works through rehab. If you have any questions regarding this process please do not hesitate to contact me through this gofundme site and I will respond asap!
I want to personally thank YOU for taking the time to read this call to action. So often we look around our world and ask, “What can I do?” You can help a good, good man, a man who I will stand up for, a man who has given so much, reclaim his life and health by taking just a few minutes and giving what you can. You can keep up with Joel's progress by clicking this link to his Caring Bridge site:
With highest hopes and greatest gratitude,
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- Mark Dwyer
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