Medical Fund for Tangerine Bolen

Tangerine Bolen, who on our behalf has spoken truth to power nationally and powerful truth personally about her struggle to remain active, hopeful, and sane in the throes of catastrophic illness, is in dire circumstances. Now we who have come to know and love her must act on her behalf.

She writes, “If I can't get adequate help, either healing my brain enough so that I can re-enter the workforce, or get enough of a safety net to ensure I have a place to safely live out the rest of my life and a way to keep food on the table, I will NOT survive.”

Some of us were lucky enough to know her before her devastating Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 6 years ago, the result of Flagyl administration for a minor infection, which broke the blood/brain barrier, destroyed parts of her Central Nervous System (CNS), and destroyed in a virtual instant the active, activist, ambitious life she'd built over more than three decades.

Others of us have been privileged to meet Tangerine after her illness had taken so very much from her. Despite the drug’s imposition of debilitating physical and soul-crushing psychological/emotional injury, Tangerine is a warrior of the highest order.

Though some cognitive functions seem forever lost, the part of her brain that allows her to dictate essays into her phone remains clear and clean, and she has seized on that to unsparingly describe the anguish of having her body & spirit so cruelly caged and of having her hope mostly crushed underfoot by a medical system that always puts the poor at extreme disadvantage.

Despite enduring what would lead most of us to dead-end despair and a daily wallow in self-pity, Tangerine will have none of that. Sharing her story and strength, she informs, inspires, and carries on already weighed-down shoulders a great many of us who also are poor and/or have suffered devastating long-term illnesses. Whereas most of us cannot powerfully articulate our situation, Tangerine speaks with fierce and tender eloquence for the rest of us.

Last winter, through her organization RevolutionTruth, Tangerine rallied long enough to spearhead a Native-led lawsuit against Trump for bypassing the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision on the necessity of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) before DAPL could proceed at Standing Rock. (see

It took almost 4 years to even get a TBI diagnosis, which finally opened some treatment options, though coming cuts in Medicare/Medicaid and possible repeal of the ACA will only make things worse.

(Feb. 2014:  more of the original story 
of her activism and onset of her illness, and of friends who came to her aid then:

She writes, “I am a canary, one of many, for the health of this nation, on all fronts—social, cultural, economic, our shared values and priorities, our medical care, safety net, and the ineffable: How much we have allowed our entire world to become economized and corporatized?”

So this is a response both to an urgent and ongoing need and to those who have asked, “How can I help?
” We plan to raise $25K to lighten Tangerine’s burden and allow her to breathe and get help as she moves forward. There is no reason why we cannot do this.

We can fund:
1.  Studio rental near the Brain Rehabilitation Program in Albuquerque
2.  Hiring an advocate to help with taxing paperwork / phone calls and represent her to doctors, pharmacists, pilot programs, state medical bodies, and the like.
3.  Paying bills/co-pays for treatment, medicine, and associated items such as transportation. 

We will offer a range of donation options and ask some of you to offer fabulous prizes to reward high-level contributors (more on that to come). If this ain’t a worthy cause, I don’t know what is.


(1) If you want to provide a reward, please message me through Facebook, and I will provide updates as they occur.

(2) Richard Elliott and others have helped and offered feedback, but any mistakes herein are solely my responsibility. —Russell


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Organizer and beneficiary

Russell Fuller 
New Hanover Township, NJ
Scotty Stipe 
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