JACOB'S SURVIVAL CHALLENGE (Updated: Mar. 2019)

$4,665 of $12,352 goal

Raised by 61 people in 7 months

Jacob is a bright, kind, energetic boy, who loves his family and his friends.  He enjoys computer games, hiking, museums, theme parks, and reading. 

He's facing a serious survival challenge (due to his father's recent debilitating medical event), but confidence is high that the threatening circumstance he now faces can be resolved positively over the next 60-90 days, if assistance arrives in time.  PLEASE consider helping Jacob and his family cross the finish line, so they can finally surmount this unusual situation.

For a concise summary, please visit our quick access page at "Jacob's Survival Blog." https://teamjacob7.wixsite.com/jacobssurvivalchalle 
For an UPDATE, please click on the Update button link under the top photo.

 
PROGRESS   (March 2019)

Several medical professionals estimated a 6-month-long recovery period of brain repair for Jacob's father, following his hospitalization in September.  As predicted, he is now showing noticeable improvements—even despite the addition of a dangerous 3-month-long C-Diff infection resulting from strong antibiotics used to cure sepsis.  

Recent medical tests have come back within normal range, with a complete neurological testing array to be finished soon.  Though he is still weak and requires a minimum of 9-10 hours of sleep per night, it now looks like he might be able to make his way back completely, or almost completely.  His sense of humor has returned at this point, much to everyone's surprise.  At present he has even begun actively looking for work, and is determined to return to providing for his family as he always has done.  

In the interim, neighborhood friends, the family's landlords, several parents and staff members at Jacob’s school, many GoFundMe helpers, and even the State Patrol, all stepped up by generously providing what they could.  That amazing generosity carried the family forward beginning in mid-September and through the entire holiday season.  More assistance was given apart from the GoFundMe® Campaign, such as gift cards or groceries left on the porch by neighbors, help with basics and supplies, transportation, and bills paid directly for rent, utilities, and phone service.  Clothing was provided and is no longer an issue.  (*If someone has an old working car they no longer use, it is still badly needed and would be very much appreciated—the family would pay for it when they get back on their feet).

Basic humanitarian goodwill, Christian charity, and the Jewish practice of Tikun Olam, all melded together in tangible ways that have preserved the family until now.  The fact that so many people the family didn't know, or hardly knew before this catastrophe, would actually care about them and reach out to them to help rebuild their lives, has made in indelible impact on them.  It has been nothing short of a life-changing experience.  The  family looks forward to being able to "pay it forward" when their lives are stable again.

Sadly, and despite all the good news that Jacob's father is finally rounding the bend, the family still must stave off and survive the horrendously alarming but predictable economic aftermath of this medical event. 


NEW CAMPAIGN GOAL


RESTORATION OF THE FAMILY TO COMPLETE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE is the new goal of this GoFundMe® Campaign.  

We are asking for people to donate what they can toward the goal before it's too late.  Please consider extending help to a really decent family to help them defeat economic disaster before they become homeless.  They are so close to the end and would very much like not to need any help, but they truthfully have no one else to rely on but on those who are willing to walk with them just a bit farther.  

Every contribution, regardless of amount, matters tremendously, and helps to construct a good future.  

The updated GoFundMe® Campaign budget total covers the most critical and pressing costs of rent, utilities, groceries, and supplies for just 2-3 months (at which time the family's situation will most likely be stabilized).  The family has reached financial rock-bottom, so please keep that in mind.  All avenues of public assistance have been pursued, but those forms of supplemental resources are actually quite meager, and in no way provide an adequate solution for this type of catastrophic event.  

You can extend your reach of help by sharing “Jacob's Survival Challenge” GoFundMe® Campaign and/or "Jacob's Survival Blog" with your family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, your place of worship, club, team, group, or organization—by word of mouth, text, email, or regular mail, and on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.  

 Thank you for making a genuine difference in the lives of real people in need.

Donations can be made anonymously on the GoFundMe platform, which charges only a one-time 30-cents-per-donation fee on any donation amount, and an additional 2.9% card processing fee.  A no-fee PayPal option is available on the  "Jacob's Survival Blog" page:   https://teamjacob7.wixsite.com/jacobssurvivalchalle .


"CALLING ALL GAMERS!" 

For several years, computer games have assisted Jacob greatly in overcoming educational obstacles and personal challenges—specifically in the arenas of predictability, competency, mastery, language development, socialization, problem solving, creativity, and individuality.  Jacob and his family have often played together, as one of his favorite things to do.  Jacob says that when he grows up, he plans to pursue a career as a video game designer and programmer.  

Currently, some of Jacob's favorite games include ROBLOX, especially Mount Everest Climbing Expeditions, Minecraft, Subnautica, and Slime Rancher on computer, plus MARIO Kart 8, Smash Brothers, Donkey Kong, and Undertale on the Nintendo Switch, various games on the iPad mini, and Sports Resort and Lego Adventures on the Wii, as well as a number of games such as Fortnite on XBOX1.  Among his favorite YouTube personalities are DanTDM, ThinkNoodles, StampyCat, StacyPlays, Unspeakable, iBallistic Squid, AshDubh, DenisDaily, Aci, Pink Sheep, Exploding TNT, EthanGamerTV, CaptainSparklez, AtlanticCraft, AntVenom, Sky Did Minecraft, Slamacow, Pedro, ShadyVox, Productive Mr. Duck, and Dude Perfect (stuntmen challenge show).  

If you happen to know any of these professional gamers, game developers, computer animators, musicians, or platform owners personally, or if you are a fan, could you put in a good word for Jacob?   Maybe they'd like to be able to help a young gamer survive to the next level—IRL ("In Real Life").  Thanks!


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SPECIAL NOTE FROM JACOB

Jacob wants to send his heartfelt appreciation and a big ”thank you” to EVERY GoFundMe® friend who has come forward to rescue him and his family.  He hopes each contributor and all future helpers will enjoy the collection of Minecraft music videos attached below, which have been especially inspiring and encouraging to him as he tries to overcome this survival challenge.  

"...But if you find some friends—with them by your side it's easier to defend. 
                 And if you call your friends—there's no server mod that can break you in the end..." 

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"Modageddon"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFeCyEKF408&feature=youtu.be
(min. 0:00 - 3:45) 

"New World"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3V7wWemZ_cs&feature=youtu.be  

"Atlanteans"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWG3s0bvDYg&feature=youtu.be  

"Save our Crown"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq7OAmzmGxo&feature=youtu.be  

"Level Up"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouoFkoLyFIY&feature=youtu.be 

"Starless Night"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I47cB9WHqsI&feature=youtu.be  

"Dragons"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfERdhRCUps&fe  

______________________________



The following photo album format is intended to help share and verify the family's unique story, as well as to better explain and confirm their particular immediate need for a GoFundMe® Campaign.


BACKSTORY 

Jacob is connected to a very loving family, but he hasn't always had it easy.  In fact, before Jacob was born, he was subjected to a violent and chaotic environment.  During that time he miraculously survived exposure to dangerous drug-use by his biological parents, as well as several direct attempts against his life.  

Arriving in the world by way of a vanity C-Section delivery, maternity staff at the hospital soon made a report of abuse and neglect of Jacob by his biological parents to the authorities, after police were called in several times because of their disruptive and hostile behavior.  Unfortunately, he then was transferred to an incompetent foster care placement, where he was ignored, starved, made severely dehydrated, and contracted an eye infection that was left untreated.

Jacob's grandparents learned they had a grandson only after he had been placed in foster care.  They hurriedly worked to rescue him from the foster situation, asking the Court for Jacob to be placed with them instead.  Their request was granted, and Jacob came to live with them when he was just ten-days-old.  Jacob’s grandfather quickly converted a spare room into a welcoming nursery, while Jacob’s grandmother worked tirelessly around the clock, getting Jacob’s health and emotional wellbeing back on track.

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More than two years passed as Jacob's grandparents continued to support and assist Social Services with the legal mandate of "family reunification" of Jacob with his biological parents.  Those were difficult times, as little Jacob would cry in distress, and later as a toddler, clutch tightly to his grandparents and begin shrieking as he was being wrenched away from them by social workers—who were required to carry him to supervised "visits" with his biological parents.  Many times the parents wouldn't bother showing up to see their child at the scheduled appointments.  

After those unhappy bi-weekly visit times, it would take several hours of calm interaction with his grandparents, and a set of distractions that became a sort of routine (such as favorite books or trips to the grocery store and park),  in order for Jacob to relax, engage, and return to his normally happy self.   

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ADOPTING JACOB

In order to keep Jacob safe and give him the best chance in life, the Court eventually ruled to terminate all parental rights of the irresponsible biological parents, who had refused every opportunity for rehabilitation, and who consistently rebelled against developing an appropriate relationship with Jacob despite an array of State-sponsored parenting classes and interventions.  

Jacob's grandparents, who had decided to bravely embrace the unexpected role in mid-life of serving as Jacob’s true parents since he was a newborn, joyfully adopted him close to his third birthday.  They have kept their commitment over the many years since, doing all they can to provide Jacob with a stable and loving home, to help him overcome anxiety and speech challenges, to show him that he can count on fun activities and nice holiday celebrations, and that he deserves to live in a safe, clean neighborhood with excellent schooling.

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Adoption Day at the Courthouse.
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Watching the summertime fountains.
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Preschool.
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Miniature golf champion!
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Checking out a big rig—feeling good in the driver's seat. 
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Clowning around—a robot "army soldier" with mom's mixing bowl "helmet."
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FAMILY HOLIDAYS 

Jacob's family has always put a premium on holidays as an avenue for creating warm memories and solid family experiences.  Typical American fun such as Halloween,Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day,  and July 4 are celebrated, and they also try to honor the faith traditions that are part of their diverse religious heritage. 

Thanksgiving blessings. 
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Hanukkah—commemorating independence and freedom to worship.
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Christmastime—Santa Claus, the giant tinker-toy tree, and a new sled!
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Purim/Feast of Esther — preservation from genocide: costumes, giving, and Hamantaschen ("Haman's pockets") cookies.
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Ready for the school Valentines Day Party. 

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Passover  - deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

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SURVIVAL CHALLENGE CRISIS HISTORY

Despite dealing with many difficulties outside of their control, this small family was able to build a strong life together.  

Sadly, all that was interrupted when Jacob's father (grandfather) developed a serious emergency health condition recently through a rare, adverse, and complicated reaction to a commonly prescribed (and supposedly safe) allergy medication—which produced severely damaging, cumulative effects slowly, over the course of three years. 

He assumed his growing health troubles were simply because his seasonal allergies were getting worse, so he increased the dosage of this harmful prescription on advice from his allergist.  His underlying condition went undetected because originally were no published warnings associated with the medicine or with increased dosages, and "Black Box" alerts weren't published until the original manufacturer's patent ran out (see current information at "Montelukast/Singulair Side Effects Support and Discussion Group" on Facebook (you can make a request to join the group, for full access, and “Montelukast Side Effects” on Drugs. com). 

As the toxic medicine was slowly damaging his brain and body, the matter was made worse when he began applying what promised to be a simple remedy he had read about online to stop anaphylaxis (involuntary closing off of airways), which was starting to get out of control.  It worked for a few weeks to stop the chronic sensation of choking, as well as the dizziness, vomiting, sporadic agitation, and intense diffuse body pain he was starting to experience (which turned out to be caused by his reaction to the medication itself).  In the end he wound up with a dangerous metabolic imbalance, temporary vascular collapse, and significant depletion of brain neurotransmitters from the medication, life-threatening septicemia from a bad fall after losing his balance, as well as extremely painful withdrawal symptoms when he stopped taking the medication.  

Because his dangerous medical condition came on gradually, his family didn't realize he was in bad trouble until things started advancing very quickly, evidenced by suddenlysignificant changes in his behavior and health, and culminating in a complete collapse.  Thanks to friends who helped get him to the ER in time, he was able to receive the medical attention he needed, and he pulled through after a week in the ICU. 

Once a very outgoing, warm, talented, intelligent, and accomplished individual who always put others first, he came home a ghost of his former self.   His thinking was confused, jumbled, and fragmented.  He was extremely anxious and struggled with bouts of illogical paranoia and stark negativity.  Because executive function abilities of his brain were still impaired, he could not approach nor complete simple tasks.  While formerly able to understand graduate-level statistics, for example, he could not make sense of elementary school math homework.  It was sad and distressing for him to experience this and for his wife too.  Jacob of course was very scared, and missed him beyond words.  

Up until his hospitalization, the family always was able to rely solely on Jacob's father's income. To make matters more intense, Jacob’s mom (grandmother) had forfeited her own mid-life career plans when she changed course to stay at home and take care of infant Jacob.  At this point, clear career options and opportunities are not as plentiful as they were earlier, and her health is not robust.  It will take time for her to reenter the workforce because of the many obstacles and the realities of age discrimination.  Even so, she is optimistic about getting things back in order after this ordeal, and then pursuing income-generating avenues that can contribute to the family's budget.  Jacob just needs to keep moving forward in life from a secure base.

Timing is critical because homelessness is once again looming on the horizon (family will be homeless at the end of March).  Being forced to forfeit the safety of their current residence is hardly survivable, but under such circumstance they also will be more vulnerable to threats from their criminally dysfunctional relatives, including Jacob's biological father, all of whom have never stopped maliciously hunting the family since Jacob's adoption.

While Jacob's grandparents have always tried to do the right thing, they've reached the end of their ability to "go it alone."  This unique family will be destroyed without successfully surviving the present urgent emergency, but with enough help from the larger world of good people, "Jacob's Survival Challenge" can still end happily.  

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Dear Friends and Neighbors—in Colorado, the United States, and around the World—WE WANT TO SAY THANK YOU!

We appreciate all of you so much. Your amazing love, outreach, and unfettered kindness provided such amazing sanctuary and relief for Jacob and his family, that they were able to avoid the prospect of homelessness across the span of several months and even had a calm holiday season—thanks to all of you. Truly incredible!

Jacob’s father is close to passing the 6-month time framework estimated for brain recovery. He is improving more rapidly at this point, and is JUST NOW able to start the process of looking for work.

We have COMPLETELY UPDATED our GoFundMe® Campaign ( https://www.gofundme.com/jacob039s-survival-challenge) and our short-version blog page ( https://teamjacob7.wixsite.com/jacobssurvivalchalle) to include ALL the news and current information. You can connect to the updated story at those sites.

As of the first week in March, Jacob’s family is almost out of the woods—so close—but they need a bit more help from the community in order to make it across the finish line and complete this difficult survival challenge. We’re asking you to consider being a part of “Team Jacob” over just the next 60-90 days, as the opportunity for resolution has finally become a reality. Every donation is very helpful, as the family is facing homelessness again due to of the predictable economic aftermath of the medical event that temporarily disabled Jacob’s father.

The family is extremely eager to rebuild their lives, but are starting over with nothing. Your assistance can make all the difference. They very much want to end their journey in the winner’s circle, and believe they have a good chance to win—but they need their team in order to bring home a victory.

PLEASE stand by Jacob and his family, and give them a boost toward safety by participating one more time in “Jacob’s Survival Challenge.”

With sincere gratitude,

—Team Jacob GoFundMe® Campaign
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