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June News for Our Client Community

“In early June, the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.” 
– John Steinbeck

Has fundraising made a difference in your life? Can community support extend beyond financial help, offering an emotional or spiritual lifeline?

These are the questions we think about every day as we hear from clients and supportive team members across the country.

In this post, you’ll find soundbites and stories from some of those clients, capturing how community support can mean more than fundraising. Enjoy our latest news and views below.

Mobility Matters

A graphic reads Client Story: Meet Frank, Michigan, Spinal Cord Injury. Frank is standing with assistance in a gray hoodie in a gym or rehabilitation setting. He has light skin, gray hair, and a short gray beard. Next to him is a woman in workout gear with light skin and blonde straight hair.

“You don’t know how good it is to scratch your own face until you can’t.”

For client Frank Guirlinger, community support wasn’t just a financial lifeline – it was a reason to keep pushing forward and believing in brighter days ahead.

Frank lost his mobility overnight as a spinal cord abscess left him with paralysis from the neck down. For the first time, he experienced poverty as spinal cord injury expenses added up impossibly fast. Through community support and a wellspring of personal resiliency, 7 years later, Frank says he’s loving life.

A graphic reads Client Story: Meet Arthur, California, Spinal Cord Injury. Arthur is at an outdoor social event with friends seated in his wheelchair with light skin, brown hair, a short brown heard, and sunglasses. His wife Megan stands behind him with a hand on his shoulder and has light skin, brown hair with bangs, and decorative earrings.

“Those first few days in the ICU were the hardest days of my life. Community support moved me deeply, and it made me want to fight even harder.”

Our client Arthur Martinot and his wife, Megan, are experiencing the first year after a life-changing spinal cord injury Arthur sustained while vacationing overseas. Arthur’s injury and the months that followed brought a network of support to life. Fundraising gave them a safe, trusted place to rally as Arthur began his recovery.

Their interview for our Mobility Matters series covers some of the hardest-hitting challenges of life after SCI, from emotional and physical setbacks to caregiving to accepting help—and finding hope.

Cindy shares a smile with her daughter, Beth, as they speak to two women in a classroom setting. Cindy has short hair and light skin and wears a black and blue printed pantsuit. Beth has light skin and brown hair pulled back, and she wears all black as she sits in a black manual wheelchair.

 “Cindy and Beth’s story reminds us that no matter the circumstances or diagnosis, with hope and love, joy is possible and life is worth living.”

Cindy Kolbe and her daughter, Beth, experienced a life-changing accident that left Beth with paralysis. In a new guest blog, Cindy explains how she and Beth found hope in tandem—Beth through the pursuit of independence after injury, and Cindy through acceptance and grace.

Touched by Transplant

Touched by a Transplant Ambassador story

“My transplant experience would have been vastly different if I had not found Help Hope Live.”

Linda Jara, a heart transplant recipient and Ambassador, found us through a social worker’s recommendation. While she initially turned to GoFundMe for transplant fundraising, once she came across Help Hope Live, she knew we were her best bet.

Fundraising meant more than greater financial security for Linda. It meant peace of mind, better protection for asset-based benefits, and compassionate one-on-one support at a time when she already felt overwhelmed with the challenges ahead.

“Being a transplant recipient is a lifelong financial commitment. Thanks to the support of my community through medical fundraising, I do not have to worry about being able to afford my co-pays.”

A graphic reads Touched by Transplant Ambassador Story. Heart transplant recipient Pat McEntee and his wife Amy are standing in front of a Donate Life step-and-repeat banner with a life-size cardboard cutout of Captain America. Pat opens his button-up shirt to reveal a Superman logo t-shirt. He has light skin, short dark hair, and glasses. Amy holds a sign that says I Heart Donors and wears a black professional dress. She has light skin and shoulder-length straight brown hair.

“To us, Help Hope Live was perfect in every way. They are always there to help, and they were so supportive throughout my fundraising process.”

Ambassador and heart transplant recipient Pat McEntee felt that Help Hope Live fulfilled all his expectations—and then some. He chose us over other fundraising options because we enabled him to better protect his disability benefits, supported direct bill pay for medical expenses, and gave his community a tax-deductible way to help.

Fundraising means more than just financial relief: it can mean relief from stress, administrative burdens, and helplessness.

“I believe that hope kept me alive for the three years I spent waiting for my transplant. It’s hard to imagine where we would be if we had not had the support of so many people.”

Beats by Social Work

A graphic reads Financial Series: Help Hope Live. Finances and Transplant Series: Help Hope Live Interview with a graphic of a watercolored set of headphones wrapped around an anatomical heart.

Catch our podcast interview with the hosts of Beats by Social Work—two certified clinical social workers with expertise in transplants and LVAD devices—on what makes Help Hope Live a safe, smart choice for fundraising.

Lungs of an Angel

Pamela Andersen

“On December 12, I got the lungs of an angel—a herolungs that were a perfect match for me.”

Client Pamela Andersen explains how her unexpected transplant journey took her through a complex emotional spectrum, from denial and anger to gratitude and new beginnings.

Hope Talk: Strength & Hope

Did you catch our Hope Talk on finding strength and hope while living with a life-changing diagnosis? You don’t want to miss the insights and experience that our client Ambassadors Jerry Cahill and Dylan Mortimer have to offer:

Hope Talk:

You don’t want to miss the firsthand expertise and practical tips we’ve jam-packed into this conversation with advocates Ali Ingersoll and Karen Roy, LCSW on navigating insurance appeals and approvals. Watch it now:

See You at Abilities Expo Chicago

Three images depict Help Hope Live's staff presence at Abilities Expo events. In the first, Kelly L Green and Sonny Mullen take a selfie in front of an audience of workshop attendees who are seated or standing, some with mobility aids or wheelchairs. In the second, Brooke Schostak poses with a Help Hope Live client seated in her wheelchair with a Ms Wheelchair cross-body sash and tiara. In the third photo, Sonny and Kate Lacouture are in matching teal Help Hope Live t-shirts at the Help Hope Live booth with a bright teal tablecloth, brochures, and signage.

Planning to attend Abilities Expo Chicago in June? We’ll be there! Catch our workshop on Friday, June 23 and connect with our team at the Help Hope Live booth throughout the expo.

Our Proudest Moments - Starring You

ALT TEXT: Week 19/40 Expanding the costs we cover 40 and forward #40andforward Aaron, kidney transplant: Aaron is sitting down. He is wearing a cap, a black, long sleeve coat. He has dark-colored skin and facial hair. He is sitting next to a young girl, who has her head on his left shoulder. She has braided, dark-colored hair and is smiling. Cynthia, muscular dystrophy. Cynthia is sitting in her wheelchair, outside. she has dark-colored hair and has a tshirt on and has a princess blanket covering her legs. There is a dog behind her. Chelsea, spinal cord injury. Chelsea is sitting in her wheel chair. She has long, light-colored hair and is wearing a cap that says

Did you know Help Hope Live is celebrating 40 years of medical fundraising this year? Each week, we share moments and milestones that have shaped this organization into the trusted, compassionate community it is today.

Catch all our #40andforward milestones—plus client Hope Breaks, updates, events, announcements, and so much more—by following us on social and our Latest blog.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Your willingness to open your heart and your health journey to us makes it possible for us to showcase the work we do every day. As you experience our history and milestones, accept our sincere gratitude for letting us be a part of your story. Because you chose Help Hope Live, you’ve become a part of our four-decade story, too.

The rest of our story is still unwritten. We’ll be here to write it with you.

With hope,
Your Help Hope Live team

Written by Emily Progin