Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On something that really does matter, in a time when things rarely matter as much as we think they do

Okay, so I know the holidays are fast approaching, and what money we have, we're stockpiling in preparation for The Great November Turkey Nap and gift-giving holidays to follow. But honestly, we're a nation of fatties, no one really needs four side dishes alongside a turkey, and half of those toys are going to be broken by New Year's anyway.

This is Leola Kinchen. She has Neurofibromatosis-1, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves and produces abnormalities in skin and bone tissue. Manifestations of NF1 range from mild to debilitating; Lee's are severely so, and it's only through her own determination and the generous help of her caretaker Susan that she's been able to keep her job in retail (although she's becoming physically unable to do so) and stay clothed and fed.

The NF1, which can be a heartless bitch of a disease, has resulted in a brain tumor that is pressing down on eight of the 15 major nerve branches in Lee's brain and causing blockages and constriction in most of the major blood vessels. Lee needs surgery, and she doesn't have insurance, and the state of Louisiana, in their wisdom, has decided that she isn't eligible for SSI/SDI or Medicaid. The necessary series of life-saving operations will cost in the neighborhood of $200,000, which she simply can't afford. The only remaining charity hospital in Louisiana won't be able to take her until March or April, at which she'd probably be dead.

We must not live in a country where people die from lack of access to adequate healthcare.

One of Lee's most passionate advocates, who goes by the charming nom de blog Anntichrist S. Coulter, has started a blog in the hopes of raising enough money to offset surgery costs or, barring that, at least make Lee's life a little more comfortable. An account has been set up in Lee's name, and donations can be mailed to

Fund For Leola Kinchen
Bank Of St. Francisville
P.O. Drawer 818
St. Francisville, LA 70775

or go to For Lee and click on the Paypal button to make an online donation.

As of this post, over $1,000 has been raised. If you have any money that's been sitting around, waiting for a good cause, or that's been earmarked for a pair of peep-toe platform Louboutins you don't really need, or that would normally go toward making your house more of a strobe-lit Christmastime monstrosity than your next door neighbor's, consider donating. Rarely are we given the opportunity to do something that actually makes a difference in someone's life. Don't miss this one.

No comments: