Thursday, August 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Camille...

Your loving readers and fellow authors have so far amassed all but the last $1,500 or so we need to purchase the $5,495 machine that will let you keep on breathing--something that's very important to us, and I'm sure to you as well!

To all my friends: is going great guns, but the fund can use everybody's help. Every $5 or $10 donation adds up and brings us closer to the goal of purchasing this Inogen oxygen generating machine that can mean the difference for Camille Anthony between life and death. Let's get busy and help her so she can keep bringing us all more of her wonderful stories...and the smiles and friendship that mean more than words can say!

I'm going over to now and putting in the few dollars I might otherwise be spending this weekend while I'm in Akron for two EC booksignings on trinkets for my kids that would only clutter their rooms and make more work for me, LOL. My college boy, Jerald, has also asked me to hold back a few bucks from his allowance and use it to feed the "kitty"-- he met Camille and her teeenage twins in Baltimore last year, and it really got to him to find out she is so ill.

Hey, have I talked you into giving yet? I hope so, because I don't know of any worthier cause!

Thanks in advance, and drop over again for an update on how is progressing toward its goal of getting Camille Anthony the life-giving equipment and supplies she needs!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Help the Quiet Kitty…

I’ve heard it over the years, but this particular situation has brought the issue home for me. Authors, unless they’re covered by spouses or through SDJs (stupid day jobs), generally have little or no health insurance. Why? Because most authors, unless they’re Dan Brown or Nora Roberts types, don’t make enough money to pay astronomical premiums for individual policies—and none of the writer groups I belong to (Authors Guild, RWA, and NINC) has been able to get or keep group insurance policies even WITH astronomical premiums.

The reason for this is that most authors who need health insurance fall into a pool of undesirable insureds: middle-aged, female, with greater than average medical problems. Therefore, companies drop the groups like hot potatoes whenever the contracts come up for renewal, everywhere except in one or two states whose laws make it difficult or impossible to cancel group health policies.

Come on. Imagine a single mom, two teenage kids, who has suddenly become disabled. It’s taken her six months to get approved for social security disability, which in her state makes her total earnings about $100 per month too high for her to qualify for SSI benefits or Medicaid. Medicare doesn’t kick in until two years after she’s been on social security. But she has to have expensive treatment, on an ongoing basis, or she DIES. One piece of durable medical equipment she must have costs $5,500, although we’ve been able to locate one supplier who will give her a substantial discount.

This author is being inundated with bills and hounded by collection agencies, but still she can greet you with a smile, offer wisecracks when others might be dissolving into depression or hysteria or both. She still cares enough to offer her time and skill to help other authors. Most important, this amazing woman has stories in her head that she wants and needs to write.
I want to help her cope, make it possible for her to function without the daily intrusion of collectors, the constant worry that the treatments that keep her going will be terminated once those bills get too high. And I want you to help, as little or as much as you can afford. Visit for more information, and to learn how to contribute via Paypal or your personal check.