Charlie Cunningham Medical/Rehab

$109,186 of $200k goal

Raised by 1,679 people in 18 months
JP
Jacquie Phelan
on behalf of Jacquie Phelan
 FAIRFAX, CA
In early August, 2015, Charlie Cunningham, bicycle builder, inventor and all around amazing person, fell off his bike and sustained several serious injuries.

Charlie suffered broken bones, bruises, and trauma to his head. At the time, he didn't feel his head injury was significant. Unfortunately, six weeks later, the head injury manifested into a subdural hematoma, a life threatening condition that resulted in emergency brain surgery.

Currently, Charlie is in the hospital, recovering. His condition is stable, semi-conscious, but he cannot walk, talk or safely swallow food yet. He is making very slow steps to regain very basic tasks. The road to recovery is going to be long and involve many specialists to help him get back to his former self. Charlie's wife Jacquie Phelan, racer and ladies cycling advocate, is teaching him basic speech, in tandem with his speech/swallow therapists. Their home will need modifications to allow him to live there. It is unknown how long he will be wheelchair bound. Your donations will help to offset the costs of his rehabilitation and the "ramping up" of his home (Offhand Manor). Thank you for your generosity.

A bit about me: I'm a friend of Charlie and Jacquie's, since the 80's. An early Wombat and bicycle painter, just helping out a friend. All funds go to Charlie.  :)
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Update 99
Posted by Jacquie Phelan
15 hours ago
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1
1
New job for Jacquie!
I answered an ad for caregiving support for a temporarily dis-armed neighbor...seeing as how the ongoing care for C exceeds our income. I wanted to see what it was like to be Really Useful for someone else, and maybe make a new friend. I feel as though I lucked out, and will be very useful for the posessor of a badly broken right humerus (upper arm bone) who can't easily shampoo or cook.
This sixtyish woman used to ride up her steep hill on her bike in earlier years, and her daughter descended and climbed every day to school and back from 4th grade on!
Both she and her husband have been impressive do-ers and since I only know about a dozen Fairfaxians, and some are moving away, I wanted to boost my base, so to speak. But these two are moving to Spain next fall....
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Update 98
Posted by Jacquie Phelan
5 days ago
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1
1
I learned recently of a study at UCSF (mentioned it already) and the researcher left a message yesterday reminding me that she needs to speak with Charlie.
I told him this morning we'd call. I'd filled out the profile online for him, but they needed to talk directly with him.
"I don't want to take part in an experiment" he said flatly, facing away from me in bed.
"Nothing's proven yet" he went on.
I can only hear him if I cup my ear. The hearing aids are in my messynger bag. I wish I had silicone bat ears as back ups.
"All right. One less thing we have to do". I was a bit relieved (no drilling into his head), but also deflated. I'm supposed to be offering him every cutting-edge modality of care possible.
Oh well....
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Update 97
Posted by Jacquie Phelan
18 days ago
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filmmakers Jarrad and Chris dropped in for a quick visit and feed. Chris was here with his friend Anastasia about 2 yrs ago, pre-accident...they were here from Boulder, and ran about 4 hours of tape featuring...Charlie's shop, his heat-treating oven, and our koi 'fat farm' up on the hill by the treehouse.
Well, things are quite different now, and it's a very rainy Friday, with a different Charlie in front of the camera. Trying to imagine a 30 minute short subject on Charlie, his vision for a bicycle-friendly planet (and of course a user-friendly bike), and perhaps a bit on the New Man, whose life was radically upended in 2015. IF or when the movie's made, we'll have a show at the Marin Museum of Bicycling.
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Update 96
Posted by Jacquie Phelan
21 days ago
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1
1
Learning more about TBI, and stroke. Apparently there are a million and a half new cases each year in USA, probably a huge surge thanks to the wounded veterans. My friend Holly wrote me about a stem cell study happening at the local teaching hospital (UCSF). I enrolled Charlie in it with "mixed Phelans" (pun alert). You see, tampering with the progress he's made seems too risky.
But he can't find his way in the world, or initiate conversation, or see well, given his hemianopia (half the visual field is black, and there's no peripheral input). I vascillate between 'be happy with what we've got' and 'you have to push ahead at all times'.
There is probably no conclusive evidence that stem cell therapy rebuilds the brain, or we'd have it available by now.
When you're in a study, you have to agree that you might be in the placebo group, and not know until after the study's over.
I'm mulling it all, wondering.
Meanwhile remembering how, before his hands were rendered semi-uselss, he could feel things so tiny that when a lump appeared on my right breast, even the mammograms couldn't see it. He'd caught a tiny cancer-lump with his 'feeler gauge fingers ' (have I already written about this?
In short, he spared me : mastectomy. Chemo. Tamoxifen for five years.
How could anyone adequately thank their partner for such a wonderful gift?
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Read a Previous Update
Matthew McKibben
18 months ago

As a home builder, what can I build for you? Ramps? Let's do a build party day and get it sorted out before he's out of the ER.

+ Read More
Grant Petersen
18 months ago

Charlie is one of half-a-handful of modern bicycle geniuses and personal heroes of mine (and I am basically "anti-hero"). Everything I know about him, I love. Everything he's ever designed or made or innovated on his own personal bike, I admire and wished I was that smart. I'm so sorry to hear of this accident. Of course we all want him back on his superlight plastic saddle, held by the seat post that also holds a pump. Go, Charlie.

+ Read More
Lennard Zinn
18 months ago

This is a tragedy and a wake-up call about head injuries and getting them checked out and monitored for a long time afterward. I was just thinking about Charlie last week; I was riding on Mt. Tam since 1981 at Thanksgiving when I rode it with Charlie and a number of other friends. He is creative genius, and a great human being to boot; I hope he gets his full faculties back soon. Get better soon, Charlie, and hang in there, Jacquie!

+ Read More
Paula Mara
18 months ago
6
6

Thank you Caroline, I am very grateful to you for making it possible to help our resourceful and generous friend THE Charlie Cunningham. Best wishes to all...XOXO

+ Read More
Alan Steinbach
17 months ago
3
3

OMG! I am kinda the Cunningham FP, having provided care for Bruce, Charlie's fighter pilot and custom home builder dad, and his tiny book and social antiquarian mom Carol. As a late comer to the world of off road biking, and having been privileged to visit Charlie's shop, I just wanted to confirm the need for this kind of funding effort. For all the closed head injuries that our lifestyle generates, we have a very unsupportive neuro-rehab environment here in the US and A. Maybe the rising tide of reality about football injuries will help, but not in time for Charlie. Any contribution you can make will really make a difference in his recovery.

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
11 months ago
2
2

Jacquie, while I absolutely love his thoughts on greeting age, something many of us are currently doing, my favorite thing is when he talks about the "milky silver finish". This finish is what I always thought was SO beautiful about Campy (you should excuse the expression!) equipment. As far as your personal struggle with responsibility, most of us have been there...we travel a path that is comfortable for us, where we can make the most of our abilities, and then when the situation changes, radically in your case, the flexibility we all develop allows us to change directions. You can do it. You have your friends in your area, and hundreds outside of that. We are all breaking as much wind for you both as is possible. Actually, that's maybe not the best choice of words...

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
14 months ago
2
2

I have had friends use this site to coordinate care/meals, etc: http://lotsahelpinghands.com. Wishing continual recovery for Charlie and some sleep for Jacquie. ♥

+ Read More
Mary James
15 months ago
2
2

Hi Jacquie, I love reading about Charlie's progress. Each small step being made gets him that much closer his goal! Keep the faith : )

+ Read More
Victor R. Hanson
18 months ago
2
2

Grant Cellini unicantor - just like Cinelli Bars in the early eighties because they had greater wall thickness to bend the bars. Here is to a speedy recovery Charlie - we want to see you on trails soon!

+ Read More
Pete Simpson
18 months ago
2
2

Great news Caroline! Thank you for the updates. Get well Charlie!!

+ Read More
Rob Wickens
18 months ago
2
2

Great info https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Cunningham I had seen his bike at the hall of fame in Fairfax. Speedy recovery Charlie!

+ Read More
Mariann Jelinek
9 months ago
1
1

Yep. And "death-grip somersault " can be a lovely metaphor for how stuck we get in our own heads and fears, sometimes. Make that time to meditate, soak in a tub, walk in the woods, breathe, even write for 15 minutes or an hour: you've got to take care of YOU to be able to carry on. Peace and strength, Jacquie.

+ Read More
Richard Dahlgren
10 months ago
1
1

Don't look back, Jacquie! Look forward - there are still a lot of good things, and will be more to come! Think about the progress Charlie has made to date.

+ Read More
Bevin Barber-Campbell
12 months ago
1
1

Ah, that photo brings back great old memories. Mountain biking would be so much less without the contributions from both of you!

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
12 months ago
1
1

From the Rock-Shox shoot! Fantastic style and attitude!

+ Read More
Maryann Pearson
12 months ago
1
1

Jacquie this post makes me smile. Seems your spirits are lifting! Walking Bon Tempe and thinking of mud baths - all good. Wishing you and Charlie more lake walks and soft landings.

+ Read More
George McLaird
13 months ago
1
1

Thanks for this update. I'm no expert but I have heard wonderful things about crawling to help the brain to function better. But I've also heard it doesn't help. So, give it a try and see for yourself. My a 1000 unexpected blessings come your way

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
13 months ago
1
1

The link I posted earlier about MCIL was a typo when it was originally posted. The person meant Marin Center for Inpendent Living, not Memphis. I thought that was confusing! Here is the correct link: http://www.marincil.org/

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
13 months ago
1
1

I shared the link to Deer Park's Nextdoor.com community to let people know what's going on in case they want to contribute/help. Some suggestions came back that you may already have heard of: Marin Villages: http://www.marinvillages.org/content.aspx?page_id=0&club_id=134956 Brain Injury Network: http://www.binba.org Memphis Center for Independent Living (not sure what their national outreach is, but they were recommended): https://sites.google.com/site/mcilaction/

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
14 months ago
1
1

Jacquie, Caregivers get the short end of the stick, no matter how much they are committed. The airlines have it right: put your own mask on first. It sounds like you have a great group of friends there, and I hope thay can give you the help you need. Keep up the good work.

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$109,186 of $200k goal

Raised by 1,679 people in 18 months
Created October 5, 2015
JP
Jacquie Phelan  
on behalf of Jacquie Phelan
RR
$1,227
RBW RBW
9 months ago
5
5

OK! If my column addition is right, the qualified donations came to $1,227, which is the number we'll match. "Thanks," is never the perfect word in a case like this, because it sneakily puts the thanker on a higher plane than the thanked. Let's just say it's a nice boost from nice people to nice people. Yay!

$500
RIVENDELL BIC YCLE WORKS
10 months ago
4
4
RS
$100
Ross Shafer
18 months ago
4
4
$100
Rivendell Bicycle Works
9 months ago
3
3

OK now, here's a chance to give CC (via JP) a minor-major shove. From now until Wed-the-20th at 5pm, RBW will match all donations up to a maximum of $1,500. So...C & J could have $3K more by then. Have tried this in the past with almost no uptick, but consider that your $20 donation will actually add $40. Let's go!

CK
$500
CVC John Koslosky
18 months ago
3
3

I still remember the first time seeing one of Charlie's bikes come in the shop in 1983. The clever, innovative, and purposeful design fascinated me, and their owners' pride and passion for it inspired me. I remember thinking that the man behind these amazing bikes must be part genius and part artist. Turns out he is. Thanks for inspiring a whole generation of bike geeks and mountain bike lifers. You not only showed us how wonderful bikes could be, but also how beautiful and rewarding riding them in Marin was, and still is. Thanks for everything Charlie (and Jaquie)!

DP
$250
Davis Phinney
18 months ago
3
3
GG
$100
gary gleason
18 months ago
3
3

I wish you a speedy and full recovery Charlie. Your bright mind and healthy lifestyle will be the wind at your back through this. Stay strong.

JM
$20
Joe Murray
18 months ago
3
3
GH
$100
Gary Helfrich
18 months ago
3
3

Get well and heal!

$300
chris ioakimedes
18 months ago
3
3

I hope that you heal super soon Charlie.

Matthew McKibben
18 months ago

As a home builder, what can I build for you? Ramps? Let's do a build party day and get it sorted out before he's out of the ER.

+ Read More
Grant Petersen
18 months ago

Charlie is one of half-a-handful of modern bicycle geniuses and personal heroes of mine (and I am basically "anti-hero"). Everything I know about him, I love. Everything he's ever designed or made or innovated on his own personal bike, I admire and wished I was that smart. I'm so sorry to hear of this accident. Of course we all want him back on his superlight plastic saddle, held by the seat post that also holds a pump. Go, Charlie.

+ Read More
Lennard Zinn
18 months ago

This is a tragedy and a wake-up call about head injuries and getting them checked out and monitored for a long time afterward. I was just thinking about Charlie last week; I was riding on Mt. Tam since 1981 at Thanksgiving when I rode it with Charlie and a number of other friends. He is creative genius, and a great human being to boot; I hope he gets his full faculties back soon. Get better soon, Charlie, and hang in there, Jacquie!

+ Read More
Paula Mara
18 months ago
6
6

Thank you Caroline, I am very grateful to you for making it possible to help our resourceful and generous friend THE Charlie Cunningham. Best wishes to all...XOXO

+ Read More
Alan Steinbach
17 months ago
3
3

OMG! I am kinda the Cunningham FP, having provided care for Bruce, Charlie's fighter pilot and custom home builder dad, and his tiny book and social antiquarian mom Carol. As a late comer to the world of off road biking, and having been privileged to visit Charlie's shop, I just wanted to confirm the need for this kind of funding effort. For all the closed head injuries that our lifestyle generates, we have a very unsupportive neuro-rehab environment here in the US and A. Maybe the rising tide of reality about football injuries will help, but not in time for Charlie. Any contribution you can make will really make a difference in his recovery.

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
11 months ago
2
2

Jacquie, while I absolutely love his thoughts on greeting age, something many of us are currently doing, my favorite thing is when he talks about the "milky silver finish". This finish is what I always thought was SO beautiful about Campy (you should excuse the expression!) equipment. As far as your personal struggle with responsibility, most of us have been there...we travel a path that is comfortable for us, where we can make the most of our abilities, and then when the situation changes, radically in your case, the flexibility we all develop allows us to change directions. You can do it. You have your friends in your area, and hundreds outside of that. We are all breaking as much wind for you both as is possible. Actually, that's maybe not the best choice of words...

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
14 months ago
2
2

I have had friends use this site to coordinate care/meals, etc: http://lotsahelpinghands.com. Wishing continual recovery for Charlie and some sleep for Jacquie. ♥

+ Read More
Mary James
15 months ago
2
2

Hi Jacquie, I love reading about Charlie's progress. Each small step being made gets him that much closer his goal! Keep the faith : )

+ Read More
Victor R. Hanson
18 months ago
2
2

Grant Cellini unicantor - just like Cinelli Bars in the early eighties because they had greater wall thickness to bend the bars. Here is to a speedy recovery Charlie - we want to see you on trails soon!

+ Read More
Pete Simpson
18 months ago
2
2

Great news Caroline! Thank you for the updates. Get well Charlie!!

+ Read More
Rob Wickens
18 months ago
2
2

Great info https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Cunningham I had seen his bike at the hall of fame in Fairfax. Speedy recovery Charlie!

+ Read More
Mariann Jelinek
9 months ago
1
1

Yep. And "death-grip somersault " can be a lovely metaphor for how stuck we get in our own heads and fears, sometimes. Make that time to meditate, soak in a tub, walk in the woods, breathe, even write for 15 minutes or an hour: you've got to take care of YOU to be able to carry on. Peace and strength, Jacquie.

+ Read More
Richard Dahlgren
10 months ago
1
1

Don't look back, Jacquie! Look forward - there are still a lot of good things, and will be more to come! Think about the progress Charlie has made to date.

+ Read More
Bevin Barber-Campbell
12 months ago
1
1

Ah, that photo brings back great old memories. Mountain biking would be so much less without the contributions from both of you!

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
12 months ago
1
1

From the Rock-Shox shoot! Fantastic style and attitude!

+ Read More
Maryann Pearson
12 months ago
1
1

Jacquie this post makes me smile. Seems your spirits are lifting! Walking Bon Tempe and thinking of mud baths - all good. Wishing you and Charlie more lake walks and soft landings.

+ Read More
George McLaird
13 months ago
1
1

Thanks for this update. I'm no expert but I have heard wonderful things about crawling to help the brain to function better. But I've also heard it doesn't help. So, give it a try and see for yourself. My a 1000 unexpected blessings come your way

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
13 months ago
1
1

The link I posted earlier about MCIL was a typo when it was originally posted. The person meant Marin Center for Inpendent Living, not Memphis. I thought that was confusing! Here is the correct link: http://www.marincil.org/

+ Read More
Lisa Sebastian
13 months ago
1
1

I shared the link to Deer Park's Nextdoor.com community to let people know what's going on in case they want to contribute/help. Some suggestions came back that you may already have heard of: Marin Villages: http://www.marinvillages.org/content.aspx?page_id=0&club_id=134956 Brain Injury Network: http://www.binba.org Memphis Center for Independent Living (not sure what their national outreach is, but they were recommended): https://sites.google.com/site/mcilaction/

+ Read More
Ben Schultz
14 months ago
1
1

Jacquie, Caregivers get the short end of the stick, no matter how much they are committed. The airlines have it right: put your own mask on first. It sounds like you have a great group of friends there, and I hope thay can give you the help you need. Keep up the good work.

+ Read More
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