Paddles for the River Boat: A post stroke fund

I had a stroke on 6/25 that nearly killed me (the surgeon was amazed I survived). I entered the ER struggling to form words and ended up in emergency brain surgery. I now have a stent in my brain.

The brain surgeon said there was nothing I could have done - it was a birth anomaly (thus the "sexy picture of my brain). Vessels that supply blood to my brain - rather than connecting and forming joined and redundant pathways for blood flow - are separate.

I, River (aka Heidi Kieffer LaMoreaux), was lucky. So lucky. I’ve been given days I might not have had. The aphasia that brought me to the ER is nearly 100% resolved.  My physical functions are unimpaired. I seem normal.

I’m not the same -  To look at me you probably wouldn’t notice any impairment. My body moves well. I still speak with my signature humor and snark.

Yet, I’m a raw nerve relearning how to be in the world. Nothing seems certain. Old concepts of self no longer fit as they did. “Givens” are tenuous at best.

But as the mud clears, several things are becoming clear. I cannot hold down a job with regular hours - yet. My ability to look at screens is diminished. My emotions are difficult to regulate. I'm having trouble with sensory overload - light and sound are often painful. Earplugs, eye masks and naps are new friends. The doctors say this is normal and will likely lessen in a few months - but my resources are already exhausted.

The hard truth is that I need time and resources to heal - and that I cannot provide them for myself. I need quiet. Rest. Calm. I need the cocoon of my fiancé’s home in Portland and the funds to move there.

In short, I need support. It's unlike me to request help - in fact I’m finding it excruciating to ask. I’m used to giving rather than receiving. But asking is what I have to do. I must trust that the Universe and those who love me will tenderly weave a net and not allow me to fall. I need to “trust fall” into the arms of my community.

And so, as medical bills mount and I've had to leave my job as there is currently not a position open for "Sits in the dark and spouts cool sciencey things, tells jokes and sends out loving energy.", I'm doing this thing.

This GoFundMe is a stone I’m throwing into the abyss - hoping that ripples will reach those who feel inclined to support me - as River, as Heidi, as teacher, as friend, as colleague, as someone you care for. I'm hoping to create a space which allows others to gift me with space and time to follow this process through - to find the healing that my soul and my body require and that this situation demands.

If you feel so moved, I would deeply appreciate your support.

I'm trying to cover 3-6 months of living expenses plus medical bills.
Anything you can give will help. Sharing this with others who might also be able to help is deeply appreciated too.

 Thank you!


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  • Melissa Bratz 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Patricia London 
    • $500 
    • 1 mo
  • Sabrina Chase 
    • $150 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 3 mos
See all


River LaMoreaux 
Portland, OR
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