Marla Update 3-11-2010

Hello, Friends of Marla!

I continue to marvel at the generosity and support shown to my mother during her treatement, rehabilitation, and transition. We’ve recently found out that, thanks to the OBAMA Administration, the COBRA payments have been reduced for the last 6 months of my mother’s allowable, covered health insurance. Thus, your donations HAVE PAID FOR ALL OF MY MOM’S COBRA MEDICAL PAYMENTS.


Mom has found out some bad news recently, however. She has 100% blockage in her right artery, which cannot be fixed. Because of this, the operation to replace her cornea in her “good” eye cannot be done, so she will most likely go blind in that eye. Her other eye on the “stroke” side has had poor vision since the stroke; they’ll still do reconstruction on it, but it looks like her vision will be permanently impaired.

She’s also having trouble with shaking and with balance, and these seem to be worsening.

Despite this, mom is determined to live alone. Most recently, she’s been wanting to move back to Las Vegas and live by herself. We’ll keep you posted.

If you’d like to contact Marla, you can still reach her via email at Marlagregg(at)eatthepaper(dot)com. I will forward messages to her, and can also email you back with her mail and telephone, if you wish.

In the spirit of givine (and in the spirit of what a difference you all have made in one person’s life) I offer this recent news about teacher Jaime Escalante. One of mom’s favorite films is Stand&Deliver, and Escalante was instrumental in my decision to join Teach for America and become a teacher.

Anyone who has seen “Stand and Deliver” knows how much Jaime Escalante (Kimo) has done for this country. The love and dedication he gave to his inner city students, and his unfailing conviction that every one of them was “gifted,” brought out talent that had been untapped – and unseen – by other teachers.

The genius that he awakened in the “unteachable” commanded the attention of the entire world. It caused countless educators to reconsider what their students might really be capable of if, like Kimo, they could awaken the “ganas” (desire) in them. Jaime didn’t just teach math. Like all great teachers, he changed lives. Gang members became aerospace engineers. Kids who had spent their youth convinced their lives didn’t matter discovered they were leaders.

Now, Kimo needs our help. He is seriously ill, and the treatment he needs has depleted all the funds his family can raise. They did not want to ask for help, but we took it upon ourselves to get the word out to all the country and around the world, to make his final days as comfortable as possible – and maybe even give him a chance to beat the cancer that has afflicted him. I have been moved to tears to hear of the circumstances of this great man and am calling for a last National Understanding of his selfless contributions to “making a difference in this world.”

Together, we have a chance to make a real difference in his life. I could not bear to think that we would do any less for one who has given so much for so long.

You have my deepest appreciation for any and all prayers and help that you can give.

Edward James Olmos

Donation info:

“Friends of Jaime”
c/o FASE (Foundation for Advancements in Science & Education)
236 West Mountain Street, Suite 105
Pasadena, CA 91103
Credit card contribution form here.


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