Artist Carole Christie on YouCaring

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I understand how common it is to get donation fatigue, especially this time of the year when every organization whose mailing list you’re on is sending end of the year fundraising campaigns. I certainly get it. It’s overloading, and not everyone has spare money to give. Even if you do, you reach a point where you’ve spent everything you set aside for giving, and the asks are still pouring in.

All this said, I wanna point you to a personal fundraiser going on right now that touched me. Artist Carole Christie, whose work you saw on this site last year, is in need. You can find her story on the YouCaring site she’s set up.

I’ve seen this before, and yet it never ceases to amaze me how quickly and completely many in my brain injury community are allowed to fall through the cracks.

Brain injury problems can cascade and multiply. If you get forgetful and disorganized, you might lose your bills or forget that you didn’t pay them. Interest builds up, and you get notices about past due and overdue. But that doesn’t suddenly scare you into becoming organized and good at memory. That’s not how impairments work. And if you’re in enough trouble that you can’t even afford paying your basic bills, you’re likely not able to afford rehab. The rehab that might help you learn how to be more organized and get memory aids. So you know you’re struggling, but you don’t know how to fix it. One thing I can promise to people who don’t understand brain injury is that if you’re going to learn new strategies–self-taught or in rehab–the very brain power you need to do that learning is often the brain power you don’t currently have. If you had it, you wouldn’t need to be in rehab. It’s a vicious irony.

This is not about being a victim. When you’re faced with an inaccessible world and a support network that demands you have physical wounds showing in order for them to believe you’re struggling and lend a hand, it’s easy to fall behind. Carole has dignity and agency and appreciates contributing to her community and creating art. It’s not like it’s easy to ask for help or ask for money.

I believe in interdependence and the way that our community is stronger when we work together and support each other when support is asked for. The stress of a brain injury itself is enough. Dealing with poverty on top of that does not make for an easy recovery. Please visit Carole’s YouCaring page and consider lending some support to a fellow peer and artist with brain injury who’s asking.