Hello, I'm Ben. You may know me from my decade of work as a music writer or my brief tenures in radio & and as comic relief at Roadburn. Otherwise, I fear you've seen my twitter, where I mostly just act like a fool. If you're reading this, we probably know one another personally, and you don't need a refresher like that. If you don't, I'll try to make this brief. The shortest version is that I'm undergoing a series of major surgeries and losing my residence all at once. The whole story is below, but I'll still try to keep it short out of respect for your time.
In late 2018, my ulcerative colitis (diagnosed in 2016) took a turn for the worse. I ended up hospitalized in early 2019. Since that massive flare, I've lived in a state of "not well enough to work but not sick enough for the government to think I'm disabled." It's a place many disabled people find themselves. Living this way is expensive because I can't work (yet) but don't qualify for most benefits. I stumbled from treatment to treatment for a few years, with varying results. None of the drugs we tried were powerful enough to get me back on my feet. In February 2022, my doctors and I decided it was time to remove my colon and create a j-pouch. The j-pouch is an artificial colon made from other parts of my insides. My first surgery in February was a success. My colon was removed, and I got an ostomy bag. My second surgery in May was more complicated, but my doctors removed my rectum and created the j-pouch. On Monday, August 22nd, I will endure my third and final surgery. The j-pouch will be connected to the rest of my digestive system and my ostomy will be removed. This should be a time to relax, recover, and prepare for a slow return to normal life.
Unfortunately, I recently found out that my landlords have chosen not to renew the lease on my apartment, which turns over on September 30th. Instead of being able to adapt and readjust, I'm being forced to find a new home, pack my current one into boxes, and move while recovering from surgery, all without a job or other consistent source of income.
I imagine that no amount of charity from friends will convince a landlord to sign a lease for me. Still, I have no choice here. I have to move. I need to cover the cost of moving supplies. I've already spent nearly a hundred dollars on boxes and packing supplies because my disability prevents me from utilizing the classic "go to stores and ask if they have spare boxes around" tactic. Once I find a new apartment, I'll need everything from cookware (currently shared in the home and none of it's mine) to a dresser and bookshelf. In addition, I need to exist in the meantime. I have loved ones who do as much as they can to help me, but I can't allow one person to be the sole source of aid in my life. By creating a fundraiser like this, I hope to minimize the burden on any one party and make it easier for me to face this challenge with confidence and poise. I honestly don't know how much to ask for. Every amount feels like too much to ask of others, but nothing feels like quite enough to rebuild my entire life when I'm starting from scratch in my mid-thirties. Thank you for your kindness and understanding.