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Leo Needs Your Help

As many of you know, our dear friend, Leo suffered a massive brain stem stroke during a procedure to repair a brain bleed in November of 2017. This brain bleed occurred during a routine gym visit while on a work trip in Arizona. Leo spent a month in ICU in Arizona and was finally air transported to Craig Rehab Hospital in December, where he stayed as an in patient for several months.

Updates (8)

February 2, 2021

Hello friends and family of Leo-

It’s been a while since we’ve sent any updates, mainly because Leo and family have been laying extremely low during COVID, as he is in a fairly high risk category. They have stayed close to home and continue to work as they can on Leo’s recovery. Leo has a caregiver who comes approximately 45 hours a week and he is primarily functioning from his wheelchair. He has, however, developed the strength and ability to walk short distances with a cane and a little back up support of a caregiver walking behind him for balancing help in case it’s needed.

Since COVID, Leo has had to forego much of his in-person therapies however, he does get to some PT and also does some speech therapy via Zoom as well as various exercises with his care givers as much as possible. Leo’s mental capacity continues to be intact and his whit and humor shine through on text messages, as it’s difficult for him to speak beyond several short words at a time.

One thing Leo has been able to consistently do nearly every day the past few years is ride his stationery bike for an hour without fail. Maybe days, he rides it 2 different sessions. He blasts his music and rides his heart out…still a passion for Leo, despite his many physical limitations.

This brings us to the main purpose of my email today…Leo and bikes. As you all know, he has always been an incredibly strong athlete in general, but an especially strong cyclist and although he enjoys getting on his trainer daily, it’s certainly not the same as riding outside on his own. Well, a good friend and neighbor of his, Adrian, has recently coordinated an amazing surprise for Leo. He’s been working for months with a contact we’ve developed since Leo’s injury who runs a local adaptive cycling program and works with Veterans and other brain injury patients to design and build custom adaptive mountain bikes. He’s built a bomb proof custom foldable fat mountain bike recumbent trike with a super powerful electric motor for back up whenever he needs assistance during a ride. This bike is also designed with all of the hand controls on the right side, as Leo’s left side is still paralyzed.

Here is a link to the base model bike that was customized to suit Leo’s needs and abilities:

I’ve also attached a couple photos of the base bike that will be customized.

This bike is a COMPLETE SURPRISE for Leo, so please don’t mention it if you see or talk to him. It is being finished as you read this and they hope to surprise him with it soon. Here’s the rub…a bike like this doesn’t come cheap. The price tag on it is around $8,000. We’re working with Dani to sell his old mountain bike and to contribute those funds towards this purchase, however, that will only cover a small portion of the cost. We’re reaching out to see if any of you may be interested in making a tax deductible contribution towards Leo’s surprise! We’re hoping this new bike will allow him to regain some independence and to once again share the joy of riding bikes with Dani and their boys.

We know so many of you have already contributed so much to Leo’s long term recovery expenses and they cannot thank you enough for the support.

Please feel no obligation or pressure to make additional contributions but if it something that works for you at this time, you can contribute (tax deductible) through this Help Hope Live page that you're viewing this update on.

If you’d prefer to Venmo Dani directly instead, (which is not tax deductible but still very greatly appreciated!), her handle is @Danielle-Patnode

If we do happen to raise more than the cost of the bike, the extra will be contributed directly to the ongoing costs of Leo’s caregivers, which btw, are paid for entirely out of pocket (no insurance coverage at all on their caregiving costs). This is a staggering expense that will be ongoing for the foreseeable future.

Since so many of you are avid mountain bikers yourself, we thought it couldn’t hurt to mention that Leo’s amazing Turner mountain is for sale. It’s a high end carbon bike that had a new frame warranty replacement only months before Leo’s stroke. If you or anybody you know may be interested in more details on this bike, please email me back directly and I’ll be happy to give you more information and send pictures.

Thank you all again for the unbelievable support and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the bike surprise for Leo. As I mentioned, Leo is very capable of texting and LOVES to hear from old friends so don’t be shy about shooting him a note or dropping a card in the mail to let him know you’re thinking about him. Especially during COVID, he’s been quite isolated this past year and hearing from old friends is always appreciated.

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy and thank you again-

With much love,

Dani & Holly

September 11, 2019

Hello friends and family of Leo-

This is a long overdue update on Leo and his's been a busy summer! Although progress continues to move very slowly, Leo keeps getting stronger and more capable every day. He has made huge strides in being able to do wheelchair transfers on his own and has done several without assistance.

He's also stronger on his feet and although he still needs a bit of assistance from somebody for balance as he walks with his cane, he's taking more and more steps on his own every week. At home, he is trying to do much of the moving around by walking instead of in the wheelchair when somebody is available to assist him.

Leo participated in 2 adaptive sailing classes out at the Boulder Reservoir with friends and he loved getting out on the water. He has also gone camping twice this summer with friends and it's VERY nice to see him getting outside to do some of the things he used to enjoy so much before his stroke. He rides the indoor stationery bike every day for at least an hour and gets outside on the tandem with friends when he can. Be sure to check out the new pictures posted from these adventures.

Securing reliable, experienced home care support continues to be a huge challenge for Dani and Leo, and of course this is a very large ongoing expense as well. The goal is to get Leo in a position to be able to be left without home care for portions of the day soon, once we're all confident that he will be safe and able enough to move about. The fundraising campaign continues to be open and this money raised is going directly to pay for the caregiving expenses that are entirely covered out of pocket (Dani and Leo have no insurance coverage at all for home care services).

Leo would love to hear from you all so feel free to shoot over a text or email or swing by to say hello if you're in the neighborhood. The continue support of friends and family is incredibly important and helpful to the whole family. We'll keep you posted on Leo's continued progress as well as more upcoming fundraising events. Thank you for the support!

Photo Galleries (7)

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October 26, 2021

Dani and Leo - you guys inspire me. You are amazing.

Brian Hawkins

April 13, 2021

One of the most active people I had the pleasure to spend time with during my youth. Leo was an inspiration to me, a friend and supported me with motivation before and after my time in the military, and was the first person to pick me up and share a beer with me upon my release from active duty service. We went to high school and community college together, carved the mountains of New York and Vermont with our snowboards and shared some of the same hopes and dreams for life. If you're reading this... you obviously know the guy, know his charm and shared some some laughs and can appreciate the goodness within his heart then and now. Todays date... lucky for me...and lucky for Leo. Love you brother...even if I am on the opposite side of the world from you and your family. Till we meet again. B.


March 6, 2021

Go Leo! Love you!

Alicia Maltzman