|Dear Friends and family,
Our mom, Conny Van Dyke, is in some pretty dire straits right now, and she needs your help.
Mom had re-entered acting over the last few years, and worked as a full time office manager at Click Media for a couple of years, until its closing due to the economic downturn. She looked for work, but 64-year old actresses are hard to place in jobs, especially with so many younger people unemployed.
She had just started a new job when on Mother's Day she suffered a massive ischemic stroke that landed her in the intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai with a blocked carotid artery, and a blood clot in her brain. Both are inoperable. She has no insurance, and no savings.
After four weeks of stabilizing her and 24+ hours of speech and physical therapy, she returned to her apartment in West Hollywood. We work with her daily to help her to regain the use of her left arm, which is almost completely paralyzed, but it's slowly beginning to respond and strengthen. We also do cognitive exercises with her to help her improve her ability to keep track of time and improve her memory. All of this is a stopgap measure until she can resume professional therapies in July.
More than just an entertainer, Mom has devoted her life to helping others less fortunate than she, with 15 years of work raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for United Cerebral Palsy, 7 years with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Jerry's Kids), as well as being a teacher and law enforcement officer. Her greatest joy is standing in as "Mom" to so those of us whose own families are far away, out of touch, or don't accept them. She has excelled at making sure that everyone around her feels entertained, safe, and loved, and while putting everyone else first, she wasn't saving anything aside for herself.
She's three months away from her 65th birthday, September 28th, when the most anticipated gift she will receive will be Medicare and disability coverage. With it, most of her medical and living expenses will be paid, and she will be able to receive the care she needs to recover from this devastating stroke.
Our challenge is to help her bridge the 12-week gap between now and September, ensuring that she has the needed resources to make a full recovery, regain her strength and ability, and enjoy her life fully again.
The expenses involved in her daily care over the next three months are extraordinary. She requires constant supervision, which is outside the reasonable parameters of what we can provide. (Example: she needs help with tasks such as sitting, standing, using the bathroom, heating meals, and showering). Even part-time supervision with a home health worker costs $2,500/month to start. This is in addition to her rent and other expenses. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to make Mom's transition to Medicare coverage, an accessible home, and the necessary care a reality.
We know times are tough, but no one has it tougher right now than she does.
Ask yourself: What if your own mom were in the same situation—-with nowhere to turn and no other options?
Your gift of $100 or more will help to sustain a woman who has sustained us all through her salty wisdom, laughter, and love.