I met Richard Dean (nearly everyone calls him "Dean") almost 30 years ago at a recording studio in Falls Church, Virginia. He was producing rap and hip hop songs, and I was recording film scores. Our friendship began with a casual conversation in the hallway, when he surprised me by referencing the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. I soon saw that he brought depth and sophistication to every track he produced, and that he had a gift for story-telling.
Eventually, Dean became a self-taught and self-employed video editor. Considered by many in the DC-area film business (including me) to be technically and stylistically brilliant, he has edited PBS feature films, videos for two presidents, and countless commercial projects, and he has made magic with every documentary film we've worked on together.
Unfortunately, this talented and hardworking 50-year-old man has faced many health challenges over the past 18 months that have limited his ability to work. Due to a series of problems with his circulation, he has had to have both legs amputated below the knee in separate operations. During one of those surgeries, he suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. He has also suffered damage to his kidneys and now spends 15 hours a week in dialysis. Because Dean was not able to work during the period of his surgeries, he has given up his own place and now lives with his mom in the Maryland suburbs.
After recovering from surgery, Dean has made himself mobile using a wheelchair, crutches and a cane, and he wants to get a specially equipped car so that he can get back to work, traveling to client sites and shoots. He was recently certified by the State of Maryland to drive a car using hand controls and has been approved to receive funds to have a vehicle modified, but this can only be done on a late-model car, and Dean doesn't have one. What he needs, in order to be able to transport his wheelchair and all his film equipment, is a large SUV such as a Chevy Suburban or a GMC Tahoe, and in order to qualify for the installation of controls it needs to be made within the last three years. The cost of a car like that is roughly $50,000.
Anything you can donate to this campaign will go towards the cost of that car. Thanks for considering making a contribution. This is a man who needs his life back.
- Joe Jackson
- Marilyn OLeary
Organizer and beneficiary
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