This fundraiser is to help my dad, Mike Fay. He is an extremely generous man of great mind and heart and he now needs financial support to continue to live in his home. Please take the time to read his story and donate what you can. Also if you would share this link on your facebook or twitter, we would be very grateful!
Mike is currently living with and fighting against a neurodegenrative disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). This illness is an extemely rare form of Parkinson's, referred to as a Parkinson plus syndrome, there is NO CURE and carries a terminal diagnosis. Only 20,000 people in the US have this disease out of our 300 million citizens. This debilitating disease looks a lot like ALS with the exception of muscle tone, instead of the muscle atrophy there is muscle rigidity. PSP has taken from my Dad his ability to swallow and eat, he can no longer speak and his movement is nearly gone, with the exception of his head, which he can move from side to side. He spends his time either in his wheelchair or his bed and hasn't walked or eaten in over two years. His nutrition and medications are all administered via a feeding tube directly into his stomach.
Mike has retained his fantastic sense of humor and his great love of people and their stories. He has retained his avid interest in current affairs and never misses the news or Jeopardy. He regularly checks his emails and Facebook feed. He has really enjoyed these series; Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Borgias, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Dexter, Mad Men, John Adams, The Tudors, The Good Wife, NCIS, Criminal Minds, The Wire, Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire and many others. Mike is a huge Denver Bronco fan and an avid watcher of golf. Being limited in his ability to get out in the world, this intellegent television programming has been a staple in his life.
Mike has been blessed to retain his cognitive clearity. We have an alphabet board that he can painstakingly spell out his needs and ideas by moving his head to denote what letters he wants, spelling out his thougths. He has been incredibly positive and hopeful throughout this illness progression. He was diagnosed 3 years ago, but has been suffering with symptoms of PSP for close to 8 years. The prognosis for this illness is 5 to 7 years. Because of his excellent health otherwise, my father has survived longer then most people with PSP.
My mission is to keep my Dad in his home through to the end of his life. He does not want to go nor do I want to put him back in a nursing home. Mike has spent the last 2 1/2 years and $8200/month for his care at a nursing facility. This has emptied his IRA and the equity in his house. I took my Dad out of the nursing home at the begining of September 2014, as he was running out of money. My Dad is delighted and relieved to be back in his home of 43 years, as am I. We were told that he needs to be instutionalized for his care, but have found that is not true. With the help of private aides, we are able to maintain the best environment possible for Mike.
It is his wish to live out the rest of his life in the safety and comfort of his own home, this is my wish as well. The fulfillment of this wish is the most important goal in my life to date. I have dedicated all my time and resources to my father's care for the past 3 years. As Theodore Roosevelt challenged us to DARE GREATLY, this is my purpose. His care is better at home and the costs are less. We have gone through all of our resources and at present and am asking for help from the greater community of humanity. That's where you come in.
Mike is as rare an individual as is his illness. My father's life has been dedicated to service, the service of helping others. He has been a pillar of volunteerism in the Greeley, CO community for over 40 years. He has been paying it forward for close to 70 years. Now, I pray, is his time to receive the blessings he has so geneously sowed through all his humanitarian efforts. His activities include volunteering for and donating to the Greeley Independence Stampede for over 40 years; has been an active member of the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus for 50 years; the Boy Scouts of America, as an active member for 45 years; Sertoma for over 30 years; the Elks for 46 years and has always been the first to help anyone in need. The paralysis and lack of speech has left him unable to actively help others which has been a devistatingly difficult aspect of living with PSP for my Dad.
In his 45 years of service to the Boy Scouts of America, Mike has received; the Bronze Pelican Award, St. George Emblem for outstanding service to the spiritural development of youth, Pioneer of Scouting Award, which he received twice, and the Silver Beaver Award. The Silver Beaver is the highest award given to a volunteer by the Boy Scouts, an honor Mike holds dear to his heart.
Mike is one of those rare individuals who combines a sense of duty to his church and civic responsibility to the community at large. His moto has been "Go big or go home." And you can believe he has always gone big, and now going big means staying in his home.
Mike has entered a time in his life where he needs financial help to sustain what quality of life he has left and to be able to stay safely in the home he loves. With assistance from his four aides, Mike is able to get the 24/7 care he needs with myself living with him. Help us DARE GREATLY to give my Dad, Mike Fay, the best end of life experience possible.
Please help me, help him!
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