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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.
In April 2018, Leo was able to return home and continued to participate in intensive out patient therapy sessions 3 days a week at Craig. While living at home, he needed extensive home care support to assist in day to day functions and continued therapy work at home.
In September, doctors felt Leo could benefit the most by returning to a stroke rehabilitation center for intensive therapies to improve his strength and speech. He has been working hard since then, living full time in Omaha and will be returning to his home in Lafayette, CO sometime in late January to early February.
Upon Leo’s return to be with his family, he will need full-time home care which will be paid for entirely out of the Patnode’s pocket. As you can imagine, this expense is overwhelming and that is where this fundraising becomes so critical to provide the care Leo needs and to keep him safe in his home with his family.
At this time, Leo is still in a wheelchair and has paralysis on much of the left side of his body. Leo is making great progress and has improved his core strength and balance incredibly. He’s taking some steps with the support of his PT and a cane which is an incredible improvement from even just a few months ago when he couldn’t even stand himself up. Having said that, he still has a very long journey ahead and they are taking things one day at a time, as Leo’s needs and challenges keep changing. His speech is very slurred still and he’s got vision challenges as well as tremors in his right hand which is the one hand that is functioning fairly well.
Additional expenses to the home care include securing a recumbent tandem bicycle for Leo to continue his physical therapy on when he returns as well as an indoor recumbent exercise bike and other strength equipment suggested by his rehab doctors. Also, a physical therapist, personal trainer and speech therapist will need to be hired for regular sessions.
ANY DONATION YOU CAN MAKE will be greatly appreciated and will help so much in the long journey of recovery that still lies ahead for Leo, Dani and the boys. Please help us by sharing this link with any friends or family who may be interested in supporting Leo and his family.
Thank you for your love, support and generosity.
Leo has chosen to fundraise for Help Hope Live in part because Help Hope Live assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for contributors. Contributors can be sure donations will be used to pay or reimburse medical and related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to this fundraising campaign, click on the Give button.
For more information, please contact Help Hope Live at 800.642.8399.
Thank you for your support!
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
Hello friends and family of Leo-
This is a long overdue update on Leo and his family...it'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!
HUGE heartfelt thank you to all of those who attended Leo's Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser or who supported it in any way. It was a huge success raising over $10,000 to help support Leo's continued home care needs.
For those who couldn't attend it was a room full of a whole lotta love for Leo, Dani and their families!
The support from each and every one of you throughout this past year and a half has truly meant the world to the Patnodes and their extended families. It is an amazing demonstration of what the TRUE meaning of a loving community is.
Please check out the latest photo album posted on this site from the event and keep an eye out for upcoming events or status updates on Leo. He's been out riding his new recumbent tandem bicycle in the beautiful Spring weather, including a 9 mile ride with his good friend, Andy, to join some pals to watch bike racing last weekend! Prior to this adventure, his longest ride had been 3 miles so he's working VERY hard to gain back more strength and endurance.
Thank you all!!
If you're planning on attending the upcoming Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser for Leo and his family, please register by THIS WEDNESDAY, THE 24TH so we can have a headcount for the chef!
Here's a quick link to purchase tickets: bit.ly
All ticket donations are tax deductible! Thank you and we hope to see you there!!
LEO'S COMING HOME!!!
Leo is scheduled to come back home this Sunday, the 14th! Dani, the boys and his whole community are so excited to get him back after a long 7 months of hard work for him at the rehab center in Omaha.
Two shiny new recumbent bicycles (one a tandem and one single to ride indoors on a trainer), just arrived so he won't have to waste any time in hopping back in to the exercise routine at home. We'll keep you posted on his progress but if you're local, please feel free to reach out to Dani or Leo to line up a good time for stopping by and giving them big hugs! He's anxious to see all of his old friends.
Quick reminder to register for the upcoming Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on April 28th. If you're planning on attending, please click this link to register and make your ticket donations. We hope to see you there!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! Eat Spaghetti For Leo Fundraiser!!
Sunday, April 28th from 4:30- 8:00 at the Altona Grange in Longmont, CO (corner of Nelson Rd and 39th)
In order to get your dinner, please make a donation right here on this page (click the yellow GIVE button below Leo and Dani's photo). Donation requested is $30 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under.
Bake sale, face painting, raffle, beer & wine available for additional donation.
Help spread the word and come join us to shower the Patnodes in love and raise some money for Leo's home care and medical expenses!!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
We're planning a good ole fashioned spaghetti dinner fundraiser at the Altona Grange on Nelson Road in Longmont, CO on Sunday, April 28th.
Renowned chef, Biju Thomas (owner of Biju's Curry Shop in Denver) and co-founder of Skratch Labs and co-author of multiple cookbooks, Allen Lim, have generously agreed to create the meal so I'm sure it will be delicious!
We'll be needing volunteers to help make this event come to life, so please let me know if you're available and interested in helping (email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Additionally, Dani and the boys went to visit Leo again recently and were happy to report that his speech continues to improve and he's made great strides in his wheelchair transfers. That may not sound too important, but it's actually critical for his return home, as he'll have the independence of transferring on his own between chairs, bathrooms, etc. He's hoping to be able to make these transfers on his own soon.
Leo's new insurance has provided better coverage than originally expected, which is allowing for a longer stay at the rehab center in Omaha. No firm return date has been set yet, but he will likely be staying until March or April. The more time there, the better for his continued improvement. Please take a moment to send him a card or note if you can. He LOVES hearing from friends back home.
His mailing address is:
6315 N. 70th Plaza
Omaha, NE 68104
Thanks for all the continued support and thank you in advance for helping to make this next fundraiser as big of a success as our first one. More details to follow....
As always, the best possible way to raise more money on this tax deductible fundraising page is to share with other friends and family. Thank you for helping to spread the word.
What an incredible start we've had to Leo's new fundraising page! We're looking at nearly $2,000 raised in less than 2 weeks! PLEASE share the link to friends and family and encourage them to subscribe for updates on Leo's progress.
Take a look at this incredible video of Leo taking a few assisted steps in rehab in Omaha. He's making such great progress! Go Leo!! Keep it up!!
Dani and Leo - you guys inspire me. You are amazing.
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.
Go Leo! Love you!
Keep rolling LEO!!!
Can't wait to see you back out on the bike!
Looking forward to seeing Leo on his new bike!!!
Thanks for all who helped put this together!! Looking forward to checking out this awesome machine and getting out on a ride with Leo. Much love - The Hebeler Family
For the custom adaptive mountain bike. Hoping that it will help Leo do more of what he loves!
Roger & Sarah Knight
RIDE ON LEO!
For Leo's new "bike." Embarrassingly small compared to the need, I know. Love, Ray
Rad ride Leo! Hup Hup. Love, Patty, Rich, Gordy & Rowan
Thank you to everyone who supports Leo and Dani! Go Leo!
Go Leo! So impressed with your spirit. Keep it up!
"THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I"
Hi Dani and Leo, all my love and strength to you and the kids as you’ll get stronger.
Sorry to hear about the ordeal you\'re going through. I heard about you through John Samuel, and I\'m a friend of Mike. This sort of thing could surprise any of us without warning. Keep up the recovery progress, and keep your thoughts positive!
(I was born in Council Bluffs)
Sorry we couldn’t come to eat spaghetti with everyone yesterday. We wish Leo and family all best wishes as he returns to the family nest.
Love ya bud!
While we can't enjoy spaghetti with you this Sunday, we are always thinking of you!
Such great news that Leo is coming home! Dani, please reach out if you need anything. Would love to drop off a meal or anything else that would be helpful. Thinking of your family all the time!
Alison Smith(or Sirlin)
Sending love to the Patnode family. My wish is for Leo's recovery and family strength.
Good luck, Leo! You have a beautiful family!
Petunia Mafia team member Pixie
Ticket purchase for two adults and one child! Looking forward to the event!
We\'re SOOO excited to get you back home, Leo!! I\'ve been missing those cookies!! I get dibs on the first batch! Can\'t wait to see you soon! xoxo- Holly and Greg
Wishing you all the best in your recovery! xxoo
Can’t wait to see you Leo!!!
Can’t wair for the spaghetti dinner with you Leo! We are so psyched to have you back in the hood!
Hope this helps guys!! Good luck from Atlanta!! Love kg
Looking forward to you returning home!! Can’t wait to see you “Ride Your Bike”!! Love you
Thinking of Leo and Dani and the kids.
Sending over a big hug to you all
Hey Leo, I\'m just checking in ... after a while not checking in on your news. I think of you ... always in light of the happy, intense-energy person I knew in your IPS days. I know every day you\'re fighting the good fight. I\'d like to stop in and see you one of these days ... if that worked for you all. (I\'m living back in Boulder.) Sending out good vibes to you.
I love you big guy!! Keep fighting everyday to get a little better. I would do anything to drink a beer with you right now.
Adrian, Dana, Caleb, Ashton
We are with you always, Leo and Dani, Reece and Sander!
Thank you for the update. We are continually sending our love, strength and hope to you all! Go Leo!.
I love you Leo!! I am so proud of how hard you are working! Your determination and strength is unbelievable. I miss you and think about you every day. I cannot wait to see you again. Love you Bro!!
Wishing the best for you guys.
Leo: Keep improving, get better!!
Dani: Hang in there!!
Thinking of you!
Leo, it’s been years since our days teaching at Pathways Academy at McLeans. I’m thinking of you and your beautiful family and hoping for continued progress and recovery. Best, Becca Katz
Leo still looks way cooler than me. :-) Best to all. Keep up the great work.
Can\'t think of a better way to celebrate a friendship and lend support when and where we can. \"Help\" it on it\'s way.
Peter & Lucy Robbins
We love you Dani and Leo!!
Praying for your husbands recovery and continued healing/rehabilitation. Praying for you to find the support needed, the rest that has been missing and for a peace to surround your family during this journey. I also am praying for your business, that it may thrive and be blessed in more ways than you could ever imagine.
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Help Hope Live
Note in memo:
In honor of Leo Patnode
Help Hope Live
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100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087
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