To the Editor:
Three weeks ago our family started an online fundraiser for our brother and son Jeff, who was diagnosed with scleroderma last year. Today, we woke up to a fundraiser that has met 100 percent of its goal.
When the idea was first pitched to our family, we all thought, “Wow, maybe we’ll make $5,000, and that would be an enormous help.”
Ten minutes after the website was published, we were up to $313. As far as we were concerned, this was already a success.
We asked for a hand. Hundreds of you extended yours. Without question. Without knowing Jeff. Within 24 hours we were at 60 percent of our goal.
At that point, our family could only speak in pauses.
Jeff goes into treatment this week. We are thrilled to present him with this gift of a bit of financial freedom.
A couple weeks ago Jeff, like anyone who is about to undergo a stem-cell transplant would, felt scared and a bit alone. But seeing all of you walk with him is a sight of strength. We have heard his voice change from scared to confident and ready to get this behind him.
A year ago July, right before his diagnosis, Jeff looked good and healthy. Six months later at Thanksgiving, we saw the power of this disease. He was tired, in pain, could barely walk and lost a ton of weight. He’s only 42. The disease internally started affecting his lungs, and the option of stem-cell treatment was offered. There is simply no other choice. And now we are able to march forward without a stress that most certainly was/is there.
To those of you in our life — we thank you for walking with us during this time. We tip our camouflage hats to you with great honor.
Mary and Ray Pechous, Pat, Olivia, Owen, Ryan, Jeff, Donald, Nicki, Paul, Leo, Maeve, Jude, Celeste, Timmy, Brittany, Emily, Dan, Josie and Charlie
To the Editor: