Veralee Bassler

Dear Friends of Veralee and Jim,

We want to thank you all of you that are visiting this site to offer your support during this critical time. We hope that through this site we can share new photos, provide updates and stories, and connect with the love and support of the many people whose lives she has touched. 
On July 29th, our dear mother, artist and friend, suffered a severe stroke following a procedure to correct an arrhythmic heart condition.  We have learned over the past 6 weeks that the quality of care and therapy Veralee receives in the coming months and year may very well determine the depth and breadth of her overall recovery. 

While she is making significant gains and continues to amaze and delight her therapists,  Veralee requires constant companionship and assistance with all tasks. Because of the severity of the stroke and the location, it is likely that it will take significant therapy and time (possibly a year) to regain much of her speech and cognitive processing abilities. 

Veralee returned home on Friday, Sept 8th. We are very happy and confident that being home will serve her highest needs and best support her recovery, yet the cost associated with the care needed is stunning. 

This fundraising campaign is intended to support Jim and Veralee during this acute time of need as they face new costs that we estimate totaling well over $50,000 in the next six months. 

The funds that are raised through this campaign will go directly towards covering the costs associated with Veralee’s care including home health care assistance, materials and the purchase of adaptive equipment and therapy that is not covered by insurance. 

Her spirit is strong, her humor is intact, her creative spirit is alive and well. She connects deeply with others and touches everyone she works with, with her tenacity, her courage and her kindness. We believe, as have her therapists and Doctors, that with the proper care and therapy that she will return to her creative life and pursuits.

As an indication of her intention to do the same, I share this story....

During a speech therapy session that happened last week, the therapist built up slowly to 6 picture cards of objects and would ask my mom various questions regarding their function to test not only her ability to identify objects but to understand their use. The cards included a coffee cup, a bed, some cutlery, a brush, a chair and one other. She asked “which one do you make?” I knew immediately she would choose the cup but have a different association with it than the therapist who was searching for “bed”. She said “ok. what other one do you make?” (I whispered to the therapist that my mom makes ceramic cups). Mom smiled, looked closely at each picture, turned to the therapist, took a deep breath, waved her hand in the air and said clearly “I can make any of them”. We all laughed knowing it was true and Dad said “yes, you made me my wedding ring. She could make any of these.”  We all laughed and cheered to know she remembers and knows that of herself even while she works through what must be the most painful and challenging experience of her life. Her journey here is anything but over, and we invite you to join us in supporting she and my dad in this process. 


We would be very grateful if you would take a minute and forward this email to whomever you believe would be moved to be a part of this process and receive updates about our mom’s progress. 

With much love and appreciation from her family that loves her to no end,  

Jim, Megan & P'tah, Kati & Mike, Abi & Justin, and grandkids, Jude, Ani and Leo
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Organizer and beneficiary

Abigail Bassler Averitt 
Longmont, CO
James Bassler 
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