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61 donations

This fundraiser ended on 01/06/12

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Ellen and Don MacLeod's friends are raising funds for Ellen's cancer treatments and their urgent daily needs. Please show your support!

Sometimes life deals great people a really bad hand. Our friends Ellen and Don are weathering the "perfect storm."


In 2005, artist Ellen MacLeod gave up her commercial illustration business to be the fulltime caregiver for her aging parents. Shortly before they passed away she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Her husband Don's online bookselling business began failing about the time of the financial meltdown; the two of them struggled to keep it afloat, but it finally went under and they filed for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile Don's osteoarthritis worsened, severely limiting his mobility. This was made more painful by the effects of neck injuries from two auto accidents—neither one his fault—that also resulted in partial loss of feeling in his hands and feet.

In 2009, one month after Ellen’s diagnosis, their house went into foreclosure.


These charming, creative, exuberant, dedicated people have been fighting hard to come back from this triple whammy. But with next to no income, they need help to simply make it through the next few months.


Due to the deep fatigue caused by chemotherapy, Ellen has decided, in consultation with her oncologist, that she's had enough mainstream medical treatment for now. She has continued to follow a course of herbal medicine and Chinese healing arts like acupuncture and Chi Gong. The results have been really encouraging—her cancer stats are better than ever and her oncologist is impressed—but the treatments aren't cheap.


Ellen and Don need money for the basics: food, heat, electric, gas, telephone, housecleaning, as well as Ellen's treatments and any unexpected expenses that crop up. Mold abatement in their basement is another crucial need—breathing in mold spores isn't recommended for someone with a chronic illness.

And above all, Ellen needs the peace of mind that comes from a modicum of financial stability so she can marshal all of her body's and her mind's resources to recover from cancer.


The MacLeods are the kind of people who make their community, their circle of friends, and the whole world richer for their presence in it—they're bright, creative, sensitive, inventive, and spiritually alive. They've responded to the "perfect storm" that threatens to rob them of all security with courage, humor, and an amazingly upbeat attitude.

They've given generously of their time, attention, and spirit to their friends during this nearly impossible time in their lives. Now those of us who love them figure it's time for us, and anybody else who identifies with this all-too-common contemporary dilemma of health-crisis-meets-financial-crisis, to be generous in return. Help us build a nest egg for the MacLeods so that fear and stress and turn into healing for them both.
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