Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Raising money for Uma...

It's been awhile since I've sent out an Uma update. She's doing well, but she's had a rough few weeks, and I thought it would be nice to counteract that roughness with some love and help flowing her way, so I'm raising money to cover some therapy bills. For those of you who don’t know Uma & John’s story, here’s a brief timeline to fill you in on some significant moments:

January 31st, 2007: while she was in New York visiting her fiancĂ© John, a musician who was in NYC on tour, Uma suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was only 27-years-old. Uma was in a coma for several weeks, during which time she had a stroke. Her doctors told us she would probably die (they gave her a “20 percent chance of living” on two separate occasions). But Uma’s a fighter. She woke up from the coma with aphasia (she was unable to speak, read, or write) and with restricted movement on the right side of her body.

March 12, 2007: Thanks to the incredible generosity of friends and family and strangers, we were able to rent an air ambulance to fly Uma out to an in-patient therapy center in California, where she started learning how to walk and talk again, with the help of John, who’s always been by her side.

July 14, 2008: Uma and John got married! It was a beautiful ceremony. A day we’d all been looking forward to with so much hope.

2009: Uma continues to fight to regain her speech and movement on the right side of her body. She does several hours of speech and physical therapy every day. It’s basically her full-time job. She recently applied to be a volunteer at Cedars Sinai, where she will work with other aphasia patients to help them in their recovery.

October 16, 2009: Uma was taken to the emergency room with an incredibly painful headache. There was a lot of fear that she might have been suffering from a re-bleed of her aneurysm, but after undergoing dozens of tests (MRI, catscans, angiogram, spinal tap, etc), her doctors have ruled out all of the scary stuff and it looks like it’s “just” a migraine. As great a relief as that is, she’s still been in the hospital for two weeks now, in a state of constant pain. John has been at her side the whole time. After almost three years of speech therapy, Uma continues to improve. Studies have shown that aphasia patients plateau when they run out of motivation and/or money for therapy. The motivation thing isn’t a problem for Uma. Like I said before, she’s a fighter. But they could always use more money for therapy, and after these last two stressful weeks in the hospital, it would be so nice to ease some of their financial stress. John and Uma aren’t the type of people to ask for help, but when Silvie suggested setting up a website to collect donations for them, I thought it would be nice to ask for them. All of their friends and family have already been so generous in the past, and everyone’s struggling financially right now, so please don’t feel any obligation if it’s not a good time. But even the smallest donations add up quickly, and you would be providing them with such great relief. Thank you!

To make a donation, go here: