Luckily, Wende had been accepted into the Oregon Health Plan shortly before her attack. The plan will cover many of her base medical costs—for which we are extremely grateful—but her family anticipates many ancilary costs that Wende's extremely meager Social Security checks will not cover. Rent on her home and barbershop, heating bills, credit card payments, and day-to-day caretaking costs are quickly mounting as we stare down what may be a lengthy recovery period. So we're asking for any assistance that Red's friends can pull together. Though she is fiercely independent, Wende has never been what you'd call "financially stable." Most years her annual income barely breaks ten thousand dollars. But the generosity of Red's customers during the holiday season has always made it possible for her to pay her bills and stay in business for the rest of the year (making the timing of her attack all the more stressful). We would consider a contribution of any amount an extremely welcome Christmas gift.
A bit more about Red:
Wende is best known in her native Florence as the sole proprietor of the iconic Red's Barbershop, which she has maintained for over 25 years. In that time she has created many lifelong friends and customers. Often, when her elderly regulars can no longer visit the barbershop, Red comes to their living rooms or retirement homes.
In addition to being a hell of a barber, Red is a political progressive. She volunteers for the Democratic Club, and has worked on the campaigns of many local and state representatives. That said, her lefty leanings have never stopped her from reaching out to customers and friends on the other side of the aisle, and as far as we know, she has never threatened a Republican with barber shears.
A bit more about Wende's recovery:
There's still a lot we don't know. Testing is ongoing, and our primary concern at the moment is making sure that no additional major medical concerns are on the horizon. What we do know is that Wende's life will change pretty drastically in the coming months and years. Firstly, her diet will get a complete overhaul and she will be—like all diabetics—testing her blood sugar levels multiple times a day and perhaps giving herself regular injections (she is not real excited about that part). Wende has two metal hips from a surgery performed 12 years ago, making physical rehabilitation a bit more daunting than it might otherwise be. So the challenges are pretty big, and we know that she will require a lot of assistance in the short-, and possibly the long-term.
Red hopes to return to her barbershop as soon as possible, but her family's primary concern is getting her back to 100 percent health. Until then, any funds raised here will help get her back on her feet and give her some financial peace of mind. We, Red's family, are all extremely grateful for your generosity and for your support of mom as a person and a small business owner through the years. She has been really, truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support she has recieved, and that goes for all of us.
Thanks so much for anything you can do.
—Ian, Casey, Heidi, and the rest of the family
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