Allen Williams Gate of Fire Fund
$50,450 of $50,000 goal
On February 23rd, 2015, Award-winning Illustrator, Concept Artist, Writer, Husband and Father of two Allen Williams posted on Facebook:
"I feel a little like I'm naming Voldemort here but...I need to say I have recently been diagnosed with HPV related squamous cell carcinoma. The two-month cure will surely be hard, but it will be the cure that causes difficulty, not the actual disease...somehow, I just have to get through this gate of fire."
Physically, Allen is hanging in there. But as he predicted, it's the cure that is causing difficulty. As well as fighting cancer, he and his wife Vicki are having to battle insurance companies to pay their hospital bills. And it is not a fight they are winning.
The price tag for surviving the cancer lodged in his neck is $50,000. It includes a tonsilectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. An ER visit for an unexpected fever and a dangerously low white blood cell count. Out-of-pocket expenses for a speech therapist for Allen's 'swallow exercises' so he doesn't lose the ability to eat. The list goes on and on.
In his Facebook posting, Allen said, "I spend most of my days drawing and painting and I've included everyone in that aspect of my life. I would feel somehow dishonest if I didn't share this as well."
Now, Allen needs your help to get him through this ordeal and back to his drawing board, without his having to haul a debt the size of a small house with him.
As an artist and human being, Allen Williams is beloved. He has given so much of his art, inspiration, friendship, and time to us all. Let's return the favor and help him now when he and his family need it most.
Strength and honor,
Iain McCaig, Karla Ortiz, Christian and Andrea Alzmann.
PS: For those few who have yet to discover Allen's work, prepare to be gobsmacked by his website and blog: http://www.ijustdraw.com/
As well as donating here, his website has a store full of original art , prints, and books. All purchases there go directly to Allen, so shop with impunity!
The GATES OF FIRE Appeal has officially ended, and ended in style, thanks to you: $50,400!
As of now, this site will no longer be taking donations, and will soon sail into the cyber-sunset.
One last heartfelt thank you, from Allen and Vicki and their family, as well as the Appeal organizers. We will never forget the miracle that happened here at the Gates of Fire, thanks to YOU.
Wishing you all good things,
Andrea, Christian, Karla, and Iain
Congratulations, everyone--Allen's through the Gate! We made it!
Thanks to you, Allen, Vicki and his family have crossed one big finish line and are now beginning the slow steady journey towards Allen's full recovery.
There is still so much to do and so many more that need our help, but today you've struck a light in that darkness. We are humbled, grateful, gobsmacked by you all...words fail so sound effects are likely to take over. Run for your earplugs.
With eternal gratitude,
Andrea, Christian, Karla, and Iain
PS: The four of us met recently in San Francisco and someone took this photo of us to share on the day we made $50K. Who knew we'd be photobombed by the Porter?
Allen is done with chemo and radiation, and (touch wood) on his slow road to recovery. Thanks to your generous donations, the monstrous cost of treatment and recovery has been whittled down to less than nasty size.
You've helped Allen and Vicki make it through some tough times, an overwhelming show of love and community. Extra special thanks to Jean-Baptiste Monge for donating the proceeds from the sale of his beautiful faery painting, and to Donato Giancola for his young Obi Wan Kenobi art, which is currently on auction at the link below; and to Arnie and Cathy Fenner and John Fleskes and the many artists who donated original sketches at SPECTRUM FANTASTIC ART LIVE, which are also being auctioned off on EBay at the link below. There is even an auction on the way from the Stormtroopers of the 501st, who will be selling some original Star Wars art and their own memorabilia in Allen's honor.
Many many folk have posted and re-posted the Gates of Fire Appeal on social media, and there are blogs about it that will warm your heart (read Arnie Fenner's 'Muddy Colors' Blog post--it will make you proud to be an artist/art lover, as well as a member of a remarkable community: http://muddycolors.blogspot.ca/2015/05/gate-of-fire.html).
The money raised by the auctions will hopefully take us to the Gate, but we still need one last push from YOU to help Allen make it through. Whatever you can do--whether it's buying art or direct donations or spreading the news or just plain cheering Allen and his family on with an encouraging word--it ALL helps.
Let's bring Allen home, folks. We're almost there...
Love and Art,
Iain, Karla, Christian and Andrea
SPECTRUM FANTASTIC ART LIVE EBay Auction: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XSpectrum+Fantastic+Art+Live+2015+%23SFALAllen+Sketches+Collection.TRS0&_nkw=Spectrum+Fantastic+Art+Live+2015+%23SFALAllen+Sketches+Collection&_sacat=0
DONATO GIANCOLA's Obi Wan art: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Obi-Wan-Kenobi-Star-Wars-Drawing-by-Donato-Giancola-/321767666870?ssPageName=ADME%3AL%3ALCA%3AUS%3A1123
501st STAR WARS AUCTION: to be announced!
Chemo is complete, and there is only more day of radiation. Allen has rarely stopped sketching throughout (see his latest drawing-in-progress below). He did take time to post about the Appeal though. “All of you and your endless capacity to be compassionate...to share your own stories and your generosity...it’s really left me without words. It’s very difficult to express how profoundly inspired I am by all of you...”
Vicki told me recently: “I feel everyone’s love, everyone’s helping...it is wonderful. And when I feel upset, I go and read all the wonderful things people have to say...”
Hang in there for the home stretch and share, tweet, post, blog, and shout out to everyone you know about the Gates of Fire fund. They say it’s the last few percents that turn good into great. Let’s rock it!
Iain, Karla, Andrea and Christian.
I just posted this on my wall, but figure I'd also post it here!!! In life our experiences, our observations, our surroundings and our fellow humans help shape who we become. Sometimes we are fortunate and meet individuals that make us think, make us wonder, make us better. In my life, I've been very fortunate indeed as there have been many individuals like these. Allen Williams , award winning illustrator, concept artist, husband , father of two and friend, is one of these incredible individuals. For many of us, Allen has given us wisdom, knowledge, strength, inspiration, hugs, and the occasional dirty joke ( hee hee hee!) . I am who I am today, because Allen gave me bravery when I needed it the most. Allen was recently diagnosed with cancer. He's hanging in there and is on the path of recovery, however he and his equally incredible wife Vicki Williams are battling insurance companies, hospital bills and of course, the illness. Today, I wish to help Allen and his family in this battle and I hope together we can all give them the aid they so deserve, now when they need it the most. The fantastic Iain McCaig, Christian Alzmann, Andrea Alzmann and myself, urge all of you to come together and help this amazing individual! So, everyone, let's help them!
It is a radiation day but that was sidelined. We are back at the cancer center adjusting IV fluids and anti nausea meds. Hopefully this will keep him going until we are back next Tuesday. This is our new norm. While he sleeps, I take a minute to check emails. This is where the overwhelming part comes in. While we continue moving slowly through this tunnel that somehow became our life, this amazing community gathered around us. I am stunned, humbled and so honored to call all of you our family. Hours later Allen is awake and reading all your kind words and well wishes. He too is so moved by your love and compassion. It is hard to convey how this will help us on our journey and it is impossible to say thank you enough. You have each touched our hearts. Knowing we are surrounded by this much love and support is a gift beyond measure. I have to add a special thank you to Iain, who I have never had the pleasure of meeting but owe a big hug to for telling Allen's story with such heart. You are an amazing, artist, writer and human being. Thank you! With all our love, Vicki Williams
There are not enough words to thank each person enough for reaching out to us and helping and caring for us in this way. It helps beyond belief that I do not have worries about the day to day things this situation bring with it that would keep me from helping my husband and my family to my fullest extent. There are ups and downs recently, but we move forward and will persevere. Our love and thanks go out to each and every person for your kindness. Love you all. Vicki, Allen, Duncan and Maeve