Friday, September 3, 2010

You Can Make a Difference: An Request from Jaid Black

Maggie Voglesong is a longtime EC reader with a heart of gold and a generous, courageous spirit that touches everyone she comes into contact with. She is also a woman who, sadly, is living a nightmare most of us can't fathom.

Maggie's beloved husband, Bruce, was diagnosed with Gardner's Syndrome in June of 1980. He lost his fight with this little known genetic disease a few years ago. As if his long, painful illness and resulting death weren't difficult enough to bear, all 4 of Maggie's adult children have since been diagnosed with GS, which they inherited from their father.

Gardener's Syndrome is arguably one of the worst diseases a person can have, genetic or otherwise. In the words of an HIV+ patient, at least with AIDS there is still hope. On the contrary for GS sufferers, very little is known about the disease, even amongst doctors. There is no ongoing research for this vicious illness, though it claims the lives of its victims in a horrific manner. As Maggie told me, "I've been in the fight against this monster since June of 1980, and in all that time, there have been no advances in treatment, nothing done for all those who live with it that has changed; then, as now, the only thing you can do is cut out the diseased parts of the body until you either run out of parts or say 'that's enough'."

A devoted mother, Maggie spends most of her time caring for whichever daughter is in the hospital at any given time. The painful reality that she will most likely outlive her children is a nightmare from which there is no awakening. I first became acquainted with Maggie's story when our customer service department forwarded me a letter of appreciation she took the time to write to EC during one of her many trips to the hospital with Bruce. She thanked EC for its supportive staff and wonderful authors; authors who have helped her and her daughters escape their painful realities through the splendid worlds they've--we've--created.

We might not be able to cure Gardener's Syndrome, but together we can give Maggie and one of her children a much needed vacation from doctors and hospitals. Maggie and her daughter Karen would love more than anything to attend this year's Romanticon in Akron, Ohio, where they can meet their favorite authors and "forget" for a little while. The economy being what it is, however, they simply cannot afford it.

Our goal is to collect $1500.00 to pay for Maggie and Karen's flight, hotel, food, etc. ANY amount of money you can contribute would be appreciated! None of us can save the world singlehandedly, but together we can ease a little bit of pain for two courageous women.

For as little as $5, you help make a big difference. To contribute, go to here.


Tina Marie Engler (a.k.a. Jaid Black)

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