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Community Support for Alex & Marta

$41,720 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 429 people in 16 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created January 15, 2018
Dearest Friends and Family of Marta and Alex,

As you already know, Marta and Alex are two of the most wonderful, funny, caring, generous, and inspiring people you'll ever meet.

They've been a perfect match for each other from the start.  They met working at Market Organics six years ago and fell in love after some adorable old-school flirtations at the store.  

Just a couple of years later they were engaged, living in a cozy apartment, and working their butts off to open Railbender Studio in Hintonburg in 2014.

Their next challenge — Alex's stage 4 cancer diagnosis — took them by surprise in June of 2015 but these two lovebirds took it on with as much optimism and determination as everything else they do in life.

But despite Alex and Marta's most dedicated efforts to survive the disease, Alex's cancer has continued to spread very aggressively and he has now entered palliative home care.  He is surrounded by his loving family every day, and he has an incredible team of medical care professionals to support them through his end-of-life journey.

Marta and Alex did not ask us to fundraise on their behalf and they're already very grateful for the support they've received over the years through your donations of money, services, food, gifts, time, and love.  So many of you in their family, their circle of friends, and their community, have supported them more than they could ever have expected.  Thank you so much!

They have also done everything they can to support themselves financially over the past few years.  Marta continued to work as often (and for as long) as she could at Wheelhouse Cycle, and she has also applied for the EI Caregiver Benefit.  Alex has been receiving the CPP Disability Benefit for a couple of years now as well.  

Despite all of the donations, the CPP and EI benefits, OHIP coverage, and Marta's income; the reality is that they've been hit quite hard financially.  At the time of Alex's diagnosis, they had just invested all of their savings to open Railbender, and they had cancelled Alex's insurance to cut back on their expenses.  

Keeping a new business running, paying rent, buying the best foods, missing work for appointments, chemotherapy, surgeries, and clinical trials; and trying to fit a lifetime of memories into a few short years has taken it's toll.

This is a special time when we can all pitch in to make a difference in the lives of two people we care so much about.  We can give Marta and Alex the gift of not having to worry about money during this important and emotional time.

Your donation will help to cover expenses like rent, food, gas, medical expenses, and end of life planning; and will also help reduce the debt that has crept up on them while they've been focussed on beating cancer.

Our first goal was to raise $10,000 for them, which would have put a significant dent in their expenses and debt.  Thanks to your generosity, we reached that goal in less than 24 hours!

Our second goal was to raise $15,000 and we reached it just a few hours later!

After speaking with Marta, we realized that we are very close to being able to cover ALL of their expenses and debt (not just putting a dent in them), so our third and final goal is to raise $30,000.

We know it would give Alex peace of mind to know that Marta is being taken care of after he is gone.  Thank you once again for your generosity,  we could never have helped our friends without love and support from each and every one of you.

Please share this link by email or Facebook with anyone you think will want to (or be able to) help Marta and Alex:
https://www.gofundme.com/weloveyoualexandmarta

Thank you so much!

Danielle

---

PS if you'd like to send Alex messages of love, please feel free to post on his Facebook wall (but please don't tag Marta in your posts).

She will be able to see who has donated on this fundraiser page, but it can be difficult to watch people actively fundraise for you every time you open Facebook :)

There's also a way to hide Facebook posts from her feed if you want to be extra sensitive:

When you write your post, there is a "friends" button in the bottom right corner of the text box.  If you click it, there is an option to post to all of your "friends except."  If you choose this option, you can remove Marta from the list of people who will see the post.

Thank you again!
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Hi Everyone!

Railbender is turning 4 on Thursday and as a way to honour Alex, to give the finger to cancer, and to thank you – their friends, clients, and community – they're doing a fun celebration:

Drop by the studio to get a #fuckcancer tattoo or to enter a raffle for a $100 Railbender gift certificate! First come, first served this Thursday, February 15th!!

#fuckcancer tattoos will be $75 and all proceeds will go to the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) to help patients access acupuncture treatments which benefited Alex tremendously during his cancer battle.

Included with your $75 tattoo is a set of 4 cork coasters by Bearface Designs, donated by MakerHouse, PLUS a raffle entry towards a $100 Railbender gift certificate. You can also enter the raffle without a tattoo :)

Doors open 11AM to 7PM, first come, first served! Other tattoo options include a traditional cancer ribbon in the colour of your choice
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Hi Everyone,

It's hard to believe it's already been over two weeks since Alex passed. We're still missing him very much.

Your donations have continued to pour in, and for that, I want to thank you all. None of us ever expected to see such an outpouring of support. Please know that you've helped Marta during the most difficult time in her life.

She was able to start withdrawing the funds last week to pay bills and cover expenses, and the money we raised together has been incredibly helpful in reducing her stress levels right now. Thank you again for helping your friend when she was in need.

I wanted to send you another update to share a few bits of information in case it's helpful or interesting for you.

Marta, Yves, Marcel, Donna, Mat, and I made a trip to Gatineau Park shortly after Alex was cremated so that we could scatter his ashes in one of his favourite places. He loved to go hiking and camping in the park, and it's where he wanted to rest. So the next time you're in Gatineau Park, you can say hello to Alex :)

Mat filmed a short video about the journey that you can see here:
https://vimeo.com/253046797

Blair Crawford from the Ottawa Citizen wrote a beautiful obituary for Alex in today's paper. It's also available online here:
http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/alex-neron-19xx-2018-hintonburg-tattoo-artist-made-his-studio-a-centre-for-the-arts

The Kitchissippi Times will also be sharing an article about Alex very soon so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Railbender's 4-year anniversary is coming up on February 15th and Marta & the Railbender team have come up with a great idea to raise money for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre to thank them for taking such great care of Alex. Keep an eye on the Railbender Facebook page for more details (hint: #fuckcancer).

Last but not least, we're all very excited to celebrate Alex's life with you at Railbender (3 Hamilton Ave North) on February 25th. You can drop in anytime between 1pm-5pm.

Thank you all once again for your incredible support.

Much love,

Danielle
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Dearest Friends & Family of Alex & Marta,

Thank you for your tremendous support and generous donations over the past few days. We've reached our goal and have officially helped Marta cover the expenses and debts that came up during Alex's nearly 3-year long battle with cancer.

Sadly, Alex did not live long enough to see that we'd come together to make sure Marta was taken care of, as he passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening.

As his father, Marcel, said in a post yesterday, Alex will be missed by all. No more pain and suffering, he is now at peace.

Marta and Alex's families are incredibly grateful for your support, thoughts, and messages. They need some time to mourn but are planning to celebrate Alex's life at Railbender on what would have been his 41st birthday, February 25th, 2018. We will share more details about the celebration as things come together.

In the meantime, for those of you who would like to get together to share love and memories about Alex, an informal vigil has been organized by Andrea Stokes in front of Railbender Studio (3 Hamilton Ave North) tonight at 7:30pm.

Last but not least, even though we have reached our goal of raising $30,000 for Marta, which is HUGE you guys (thank you), we will be leaving the fundraiser up for the full 30 days. If anyone wants to donate who hasn't yet had the chance, your donation will be money that Marta can use to go back to school, or get a massage, or grab a coffee, or buy groceries, or travel, or pay rent — whatever she needs moving forward.

Thank you again for coming together during this important time.

Marta, we love you and we're here for you.

Alex, we love you, and we will love you forever. Goodbye dear friend.

Big hugs and much love to you all,

Danielle & Mat
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Hi Everyone,

I want to thank you again for your incredibly generous donations, and for continuing to share this fundraiser to help support Alex & Marta. So far we've raised twice as much as we initially set out to, and this link has been shared 751 times! You are all incredible, thank you so much!

I had a chance to chat with Marta this morning and she wanted to thank you for your generosity and messages of love. She's reading all of the messages on the fundraiser page, and she sees all of your names coming through :)

She also wanted me to give you an update on how Alex is doing. He is resting very comfortably and is not in any pain, but sadly he is in his final days and he is no longer able to communicate. We know he'd love to see all of your faces one last time but for now he isn't able to receive visitors. Marta said that you can leave messages on his Facebook wall if you want to send him some love. We are now past the point where he would feel uncomfortable about asking for help from you all.

When we started this fundraiser, our goal was to put a dent in their expenses and debt to ensure that Marta did not have to worry about money now, or in the immediate future.

Now that we have raised twice our original goal, we are actually very close to being able to cover all of their debt & expenses, which is crazy. We never expected to be able to help this much!

We are raising the goal for the fundraiser (one last time) to $30,000 because that is the amount that we feel would cover ALL of their expenses and debt.

It's just a goal to strive towards, and what we've raised is already huge so we don't want this to seem ungrateful. We just have the chance to help more than we ever thought we could. They will still receive every dollar that is raised whether we reach the next goal or not. Thank you for understanding! We just want to do the best we can by these two.

Thank you again for your incredible support. We can't thank you enough. You are all wonderful people and Alex would be so happy to know that his lady is being taken care of.

Sincerely,

Danielle

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$41,720 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 429 people in 16 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created January 15, 2018
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