$18,406 of $50,000
131 donations

This fundraiser ended on 09/20/12

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Dedicated to my Misha. The December 21 Project is about providing hope, opportunity and awareness of the impacts of spinal cord injuries.

The December 21 Project is an effort dedicated to my wife Misha.  This is our story. 

Misha suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) as a result of a one-vehicle accident on December 21, 2011. The accident occurred as Misha was returning from Christmas shopping at a local mall.  We thank the couple that stayed with her until help arrived and the first responders for taking all the precautionary measures to ensure she did not sustain any further injuries. 

She was evacuated to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center where the doctors initially diagnosed Misha with a spinal cord injury that required emergency surgery. 

Although we are still coming to grips with this new life (post-spinal cord injury), this family has demonstrated a level of resiliency worth noting. After a year in Iraq, a year in Afghanistan, countless days in between, and almost two years of living in Washington (back and forth on the weekends); Misha, Jasmine, Christian, and Joshua understand a little about overcoming adversity. This time, I get to lead the charge into a new chapter in our lives. Misha has shown an inordinate amount of courage in the wake of this ordeal. She has not let this situation damper her positive outlook on life or has it changed her perspective about people. As a matter of fact, her outlook and perspective has only been validated since all of this stated back in December. Her attitude has been nothing short of phenomenal. We have seen people faced with a great deal less adversity become apathetic and bitter. 

A good friend told me that maybe the meaning of my 42 years of life, 18 years of marriage, three kids, 19+ years of military service, 10+ years of coaching and all of the life lessons from each is the frame work needed for this next chapter in life. "My Friend, I think you're right". My team is ready!

Misha is fighting hard everyday to recover from her injury. She is focused on retraining her muscles to function in order to perform routine tasks. When she is performing these exercises, her body becomes extremely fatigued. We hope to regain some level of mobility in her lower extremities as well as her hands and wrists. Rehab is tough but she is ready and willing to tackle this next phase of her injury. 

The average yearly health care and living expenses and the estimated lifetime costs that are directly attributable to SCI vary greatly according to severity of injury. For example, a low tetraplegia (injury at the C5-C8) is approximately $710K for the first year and $105K each subsequent year. The estimated lifetime costs for the same type of injury at the age of 25 is $3.1M and at the age of 50, $1.9 M. 

There is a misconception that insurance is the answer to all of your worries when you are faced with a catastrophic injury like this. The insurance companies are a business and in the insurance business, cost to profit is the bottom line. I assume the vast majority of our hospital bill will be paid between the health and auto insurance. A spinal cord injury to this magnitude is an enduring event. The insurance should pay for the next phase of recovery and all the bills associated with day and outpatient rehabilitation. However, the side not discussed or mentioned too often is the personal side of these types of injuries. Both of my insurance companies told me point blank that they do not assist in home or vehicle modifications. The angst for most people in this situation is dealing with the insurance companies; what they will and will not cover and what are we left to pay out of pocket. As in most severe spinal cord injuries, the victim and family is left to pay a great deal out of pocket. 

The December 21 Project (D21P) provides an opportunity to support Misha and the family during this difficult time by offsetting the financial obligations associated with the "life" after a spinal cord injury. Insurance covers a majority of our immediate needs but we will need additional resources to bridge the gap. Giving Forward allows you to donate using Pay Pal and debit/credit cards on a secure site. Donations may also include cash, checks, and gift cards (Home Depot / Lowes, Wal-Mart, Target, Mastercard/Visa/AMEX ect), which can be sent to Keith and Misha Chisolm.

We would like to make The December 21 Project as non-obtrusive as possible. We ask that our family and friends promote our support page and spinal cord injury awareness across their social media networks by posting statuses or mentioning this effort. We understand not everyone is in a position to help by providing resources. You can still help out by increasing awareness and exposing others to our effort. We would like to see as many people exposed to the D21P effort as possible. Everyone who visits this site is welcomed to sign in the Guestbook and offer electronic Hugs as well as some positive words of encouragement to Misha and family.  

Everything helps. We truly appreciate everyone’s continued love and support. The warm thoughts and comforting words have been overwhelming. We will provide updates through our page here and on our The December 21 Project Facebook page.
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