Off With The Bandages, In With The Band

We are all looking forward to our FUNdraiser on Sunday, August 3rd, where we can celebrate our fantastic community and support Mark and Charlie and their families. Thankfully, we can see light at the end of the tunnel, for both Mark Pitner and Charlie Paget-Seekins have been improving over the past week. It's time for us all to look forward, as the months ahead will be challenging for Mark, Charlie, and their families.

Mark has been moved from acute care into the U.C. Davis stroke rehabilitation program in Sacramento, which is very selective. Their criteria for admitting patients asks that the patient have good support at home that will improve their chances for successful recovery. It's difficult to explain to an anonymous doctor just how special our community is, but the sheer quantity of visitors may have had an impact. Certainly Joansey's vigil at Mark's side has been influential. Mark's family has also been very supportive, and they have been impressed with Mark's friends' concern and support as well. It's certainly no surprise to anyone who knows Mark that he would be surrounded by so much love and kindness.

Mark and Joansey both participate in the rehabilitation, and there are several hours daily of occupational, speech, and physical therapy. Mark will be in the inpatient program for a month or two, and then will continue his rehabilitation at home. If there are local qualified people interested in offering assistance once Mark has returned home, please let us know.

Charlie is recovering well from his first reconstructive surgery. He has been up walking around and doing some light chores at home, although his level of energy is diminished as he is still healing. He has been happy to have the wires closing his jaw replaced with elastic bands that allow him to eat soft foods with a spoon. The surgeons at Stanford are very skilled, and he is looking great! He will still need further surgery, and dentistry, before he is finished with this whole process. Charlie's partner, Misha, has been holding down the fort at home and taking good care of Charlie, with the help of his mom, Diane.

The new normal for these families includes a lot of driving, a lot less income, and a reorganizing of priorities. It is exhausting and expensive, and we can certainly sympathize with not only Mark and Charlie, but their partners, parents, and children. It is still hard to know exactly what is needed and how we can best help our friends. The benefit on Sunday, August 3rd, at our Anderson Valley Grange, will be a great time and place for us to show support and learn how to continue to help in the months ahead.

The benefit will be at the Grange, starting at 5:00 on Sunday, August 3rd. There will be food provided locally by Aquarelle, Alicia's Tacos, Bill Harper (with lamb tapas!), sweets from Paysanne, treats from the Unity Club, and beer and wine from the Lion's Club. There will be carnival type games around the main hall into the evening, there will be plenty of time to visit, and a variety of music. Around 7:00, there will be a live auction with WDan, and raffle with Taunia Green, Raffle Queen! There will be live music by the Ukeaholics, the Hubberts, and the Real Sarah's to dance to starting around 9:00, the silent auction will close, and raffle prizes will be awarded to any winners—you must be present to win! If you'd like to help with the carnival, please contact Bill Meyer at 895-2318. Volunteers will be needed to help with set up and clean up.

We are so fortunate to live in this community, where we know how to have fun and garner support for our folks. If you would like to help but cannot attend the benefit, please contact Taunia Green at 272-2414. Along with the expenses associated with their medical bills and lost wages, there are certainly many other ways that our friends will need our support, so if you have time and energy you can donate, please let us know.

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