Message from Eddy:
I want to thank each of you for helping my mom and me. You helped us receive a new beautiful home and a new start in life, especially since mom is retiring in 2021. This gift has been a huge blessing, and a huge weight off my shoulders.
The old house had been through two fires and many major water leaks. The house became uninhabitable from the living conditions that soon followed. I started to be embarrassed and ashamed of the horrible condition of the house. Here I am a son trying to take care of his mother and, in my opinion, I wasn't doing a great job. I stopped inviting my friends over; I was looking for every reason to avoid them seeing my house.
The damage grew worse through the years. The water heater was damaged and had to be removed due to the fires. We couldn't afford a new water heater, so we had no hot water in the house for three years. I had to take showers at the gym, and mom had to shower at work. I never told anyone because I don't like asking for help. I like to be the one to help others.
Water damage caused the floorboards to become weak and resulted in mold. I was always on mold patrol and tried to use water and bleach to remove the dangerous black mold from the walls. Then I painted over the damage several times. More damage happened when our sliding door fell beneath the floor, which left a massive gap open to outdoor elements like wind and rain. It also allowed heat to come inside during the summer and cold air during the winter.
It's a great feeling not to have to have to worry about heat on a cold night or continuously checking underneath the hatch to see if there is another water leak. It's also nice not to have to worry about the outlets not working; we used to have to run extension cords from room to room.
Here are two more great feelings. All my friends came together to help mom and me get settled into the new home. The other wonderful feeling was having my new and dear friend to be the first to come over and have dinner with me in the new house.
Once again, I personally want to thank everyone who donated time or money to help me and my mom.
Corbin Carson KFI 640 interviewing Eddy live
Modern Day Elephant Man Stays Positive Despite Pain, Stares, Unemployment
Message from Eddy's friends:
Eddy was born with Neurofibromatosis, commonly known as Elephant Man’s disease. He inherited the condition from his mother, who has a less severe case of the disease. Eddy's doctors said he wouldn't live to celebrate his eighth birthday. He's defied the odds and now is one of the oldest living sufferers of Neurofibromatosis. But it hasn't been easy. Eddy’s disease causes tumors to grow rampant throughout his skull. The tumors cause massive disfiguration and create pressure on his brain, which results in debilitating migraine headaches that can last for weeks. Eddy has endured scores of surgeries to remove the tumors and repair the carnage left behind, beginning when he was only three years old. These surgeries have left Eddy with no right ear, few teeth, a sagging eye lid, and a severely disfigured face literally held in place with screws and wire. Unfortunately, many more surgeries lay ahead for Eddy. Indeed, later this month he will have major surgery to revise his jawline, repair his sagging chin, reduce facial and neck scarring, and enhance his breathing. He will be required to have regular surgeries for the remainder of his life as the tumors continue to grow throughout his skull.
Because of his medical condition and off-putting appearance, Eddy had an extremely difficult childhood and adolescence. Other kids mocked and ridiculed him and adults stared and kept their distance. Even his own father abandoned the family when Eddy was only seven. Adulthood has not been any easier for Eddy. He has had difficulty securing and keeping regular work, and generally has been forced to rely on sporadic menial jobs and the generosity of friends. He even has been compelled to work in a traveling circus, starring as “The Man with Two Faces.” Eddy still has barely managed to survive. Eddy and his mother live in a mobile home that is in serious need of repairs. As the photos below show, the home is not suitable for human habitation. It has been severely damaged by fires and literally is falling apart inside. Eddy does not discuss his home or permit anyone to visit him there. This undoubtedly is because he is ashamed and embarrassed by his appalling living conditions.
Surprisingly, Eddy does not let his medical, financial, or living condition bring him down. He is always cheerful and outgoing. Eddy is the first to volunteer to help others and brings much joy and comfort to many. Although he seldom has a spare penny and barely manages the necessities, Eddy still finds time and money to help others. For example, Eddy volunteered almost four months in Texas helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina. He also has volunteered for over 15 years helping children in an orphanage in Tijuana Mexico. Eddy recently founded a non-profit ministry entitled “Eddy Unmasked,” which is devoted to helping children and teens cope with self-esteem issues. Through that ministry, Eddy has shared his life story and inspiring message to scores of junior high and high school students throughout Southern California. Eddy hopes to expand his ministry and help even more young people in the future.
This brings us to the purpose of this fund-raising effort: We need your help. We hope that you can contribute generously to help improve Eddy’s living conditions and provide funding necessary to expand his incredible ministry. You will not find anyone more deserving of your generosity. Thank you for your compassion and generosity!
Photos of Eddy's mobile home
PS: Please watch the attached documentary video chronicling Eddy's life through 2007.
- Sebastian Sutton
- Ronald Hermann
- Ru-Ying Xu
- Xochitl Hernandez
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