I doubt this will come as a galloping shock to any of you but there are few people in the world that mean more to me than my pal Josie. Time and time again she has proven her worth as a human being in ways large and small. She took time off of work to stand by my side at my dad's funeral. She came to see me at the hospital in the darkest days of the stroke, when they didn't yet know whether I was going to live or die. She rubbed coffee on my lips, for Christ's sake. For being such a tiny girl she's got a gigantic heart, and it amazes me.
And now she's asking a favor.
Her godson, nephew Joseph, whom last I saw as he was taking his first steps towards adolescence - a kid with an ever-present smile and a smudge of dirt on his upper lip that was desperately trying to be a mustache - is in a fix at present. He's going to need everything the medical world can muster up to get him through this. And Josie and her sister Cricket went down to Florida to stand by HIS side, because that's what people with gigantic hearts do.
The favor is twofold: she wants people to reprint her blog entry (yes, there's a new post: Garbo speaks!), and she's asking people to donate to her nephew's medical expenses, as he has no insurance. Make no mistake about it: her pain is my pain. So I'm going to ask the same favor of those few people who know me and who might not know Josie: please repost her portion of this post. Spread the word. Joseph needs help - YOUR help. Listen to what she has to say, and do what you can. You'd be doing ME a favor as well as her.
Although I've always loved blogging, I wish to God I wasn't blogging today. I am because this is so very very important to me.
Long time readers of mine know my brother died many years ago. Well this post is about his son, my godson Joseph.
With the exception of Evan, I cannot think of another boy I love more.
We were sooo very close when he was small, both before and after my
brother's death. He's now a caring, strong man who hasn't had the
easiest life and now lives in Florida.
Last week, work be damned, I bought two airline tickets to Florida,
booked a seedy (kinda) hotel room, and my sister and I high-tailed to
Orlando to visit him.
He has Stage 4 cancer; a very very rare form. They believe it started in
his kidney and has now spread to his lung, lymph nodes, bones and
bladder, I think. Have I mentioned he's only 26 years old, never smoked,
doesn't party or drink? Joseph's idea of partying is ComiCon.
He'd been feeling sick for a while but didn't go to the doctor at first
because he didn't (and doesn't) have health insurance. When he finally
did, they told him he had tumors and sent him home with a prescription
for anitbiotics. (NEVER GET SICK WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE!)
He was in too much pain so returned to the hospital and was diagnosed
with Stage 4 cancer and again sent home. Again, the constant nausea and
pain couldn't be controlled at home so he returned to the hospital.
At that point the best option for him was to go to the Moffitt Center at
the University of Florida to get into a clinical trial, but they
wouldn't accept anyone who had chemo, so he went untreated for quite a
while, hoping to get into the clinical trial.
While my sister and I were visiting him, it was decided he was too ill
to travel to the Moffitt Center anyway and the red tape and bull shit to
get him in was just ridiculous. So now the wait began for the
And wait he did.
Every day I saw him, his stomache seemed to grow because of the tumors.
It surely wasn't because of the hospital food he kept throwing up. We'd
try to bring him things we knew he liked to entice him into eating. As
sick as he is, he'd still keep trying to eat though it was apparent he
didn't want to. The only thing he asked for was Slurpees....Coke and
Mountain Dew Slurpees from 7-Eleven.
Can you believe, I'd never gotten a Slurpee before IN MY LIFE and didn't
know how to work the machine? Also, I didn't know if the foamy stuff
coming out was how it was supposed to work. So I tried another flavor
just to see the consistency. So I have cups of Slurpee lined up on the
counter in this skeezy part of Florida, and in walks a very tall
erm...hooker. Okay, I'm assuming about her profession. And I'm using
"her" lightly. According to my sister, she was really a he. And she
determined that while waiting for me in the car. I must admit, I wasn't
looking at "her" face.
It was weird because here I was with cups lined up half filled with
different SLURPEE flavors and the clerks were ignoring me, letting me do
my thang, but the second the he/she hooker came in, they stuck by her
side till her purchase was made and escorted her out the door. Hmphf. I
wouldn't have minded a little Slurpee assistance!
Shit, I got off track.
This post isn't about hookers (although I saw a few others worthy of note) but about dear, sweet, sick nephew Joseph.
He needs your help. I NEED YOUR HELP.
His mom, Rose, has been his advocate and by his side every step of the
way. She's a single mother struggling to make ends meet as a social
worker and it's impossible to deal with all the costs associated with
not having health insurance and being gravely ill. Prescriptions alone
are a killer.
Rose's friend set up an online foundation for Joe, called HELP JOE WIN HIS BATTLE.
He set it up on www.gofundme.com
Please go there and make any donation you can. I realize I may not have
hardly any readers anymore, but if I've ever entertained you, pissed you
off (lord knows I must've done that) please, please, please do this for
me. No amount is too small. Drop a few bucks for my nephew and believe
me when I say, your money couldn't be going to a better place.
Oh and when you do, mention that Auntie Josie sent you so he knows who the heck you are.
I'm not done asking for favor yet. Yeah, that effing biatch Very Josie
hasn't posted in over a year and here she is asking for favors. It's
If you believe in a higher power like Lightning, please say a prayer for Joe and send some positive energy his way.
Lastly, Tony, Lightning, Rob, Poker Grump, anyone with a blog, if you could please re-post this, it would mean very much to me.
I love you all for helping me and Joseph in this time of need.
a/k/a Auntie Josie
PS What's a post without a little gambling talk?
2 things to worthy of note: I was able to pay for all the expenses
associated with the trip to see Joseph because I came in first place in
both of my football leagues! Yep, that's right baby! First in the
"Anyone Wins But Josie" league that I've played in for 5 years. I've
come in first in 4 of those 5 years, hence the name of the league. I
also joined a friends league for the first time this year. In it you
have to cover the spread, which is not my comfort zone but I did it! Out
of 75 playas, I came in first! In the spread league, 1st place for the
year got me a prize of just over 1K but the fucker hasn't paid up yet.
And has stopped returning my emails. Imma fuck him up.
Also, I play in a local poker league. We play about once a month and the
big finale is at the super bowl, so we play all year to see who will
win first place, a big money prize but also, the highly coveted
personalized Playa's Club shirt personalized with the champion's name on
it. I was going back and forth, between first and second place for the
past couple of months, with the last game of the year being scheduled at
the same time as my last minute trip to see Joseph. If you know me, you
know I love shit like a winner's shirt, but instead I didn't give it a
second thought. Second place is where I wound up but there's always next
year. I love the guy who won first place in my absence but he's lucky I
Okay, do it! Now! PLEASE. Donate HERE.