Leon VanDyke

My name is Stu Kushner. Leon VanDyke is my brother-in-law. The goal of this fundraiser is to provied Leon and his family with medical and relocation support. As of this update on January 16, 2020, he needs funds for medical expenses, housing rental, airfare for his family, and for immigration legal expenses for his family. As funds are collected, they are being distributed at Leon’s direction to support his needs. While he does receive Social Security and some NYS pension, he has only friends like yourself to recover and to relocate his family. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Leon was the founder and leader of The Brothers, a civil rights organization in Albany, New York. The Brothers were successful in:

• improving the racial climate in Albany in the late 1960’s, a time of nationwide racial strife,
• protesting the $5 vote (the illegal practice of buying votes in local government elections),
• running the first black candidates for several local offices,
• organizing rent strikes against owners of substandard housing,
• obtaining an agreement from the Albany County Welfare office for The Brothers to provide assistance to those in need of welfare,
• participating in two years of training in community organizing in Chicago,
• creating an after-school program for local kids,
• organizing protests at construction sites which did not hire black workers, and
• bringing about the creation of a medical clinic in the neighborhood which continues to provide services today.

For the past eleven years, Leon has lived in the Philippines with a new wife and children. Unfortunately, since November 2019, he had three heart attacks in two weeks. His serious heart condition could not be treated in the Philippines and his American Medicare would not fund treatment there. The health care system in the Philippines, a third-world country, also operates only on a pay-as-you-go basis. Given Leon’s past connections with Albany, his doctor in the Philippines, who was trained in Canada, recommended that he return to Albany for world-class treatment.

On December 25, 2019, Leon arrived at Albany Medical Center. He was in a wheel chair, barely able to walk. While at Albany Med, a heart operation was deemed not needed at this time. Instead, medications were given, and a LifeVest device was fitted. The device monitors his heart and would immediately apply a treatment shock if his heart beat indicated the need.

Due to the much better care which Leon was able to receive in Albany than in the Philippines, his condition has improved significantly. He was released from the hospital on January 4, 2020. His energy level is much better as well. Medicare will pay for most of his care given in the US. In order to stay near good medical care, Leon has decided to not return to the Philippines, but to relocate his family from there to Albany.

With his old spirit restored, Leon says that he did not return to the U.S. just to sit in a rocking chair. Instead, he plans on getting back involved in progressive causes, teaching, and in developing a multi-cultural coalition to elect a U.S. President who will actually work to solve the needs of average people.

Donations ()

  • Fred Childs 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Doris Bedell 
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Caroline Waterman 
    • $100 
    • 17 d
  • abbie place 
    • $100 
    • 17 d
  • Bob Fullem 
    • $100 
    • 25 d
See all

Fundraising team: Team VanDyke (2)

Stu E. Kushner 
Organizer
Raised $175 from 4 donations
New York, NY
Leon Vandyke 
Team member
Raised $1,310 from 14 donations
This team raised $7,996 from 87 other donations.
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