Please help make 2011 Simon's year.

You know all those e-mails that get sent around with some heart-felt story about some child who is in dire need, and if you just forward the e-mail, you could help save that child's life?  Well, the overwhelming majority of those e-mails don't actually have a link that they want you to send along with that e-mail.  A link where people who actually have the means can drop a dollar, or twenty.  A link like this one here.

Like this, those e-mails usually talk about some heart-wrenching case where the doctors spent years trying to figure out exactly what was wrong.  In and out of hospitals.  Parents work vacation time gone by mid-February, every year.  Precious time was wasted, and meanwhile, that child's ability to just be a kid is not really complete.

Simon D is a real kid.  His parents are not rich and not terribly poor.  His father has a decent job.  Simon lives in a regular home with two loving parents.  It's just that he's sick, and the very real costs of needing a bone marrow transplant are overwhelming.  Sadly, there are not very many doctors and hospitals capable of performing this surgery on children.  So, Simon will have to go out of Florida, where he lives.  And his family will have to go too, because you can't just send a child alone on such a scary journey.  The loss of income, the hotels, the travel expenses, the eating at hospital cafeterias. The inevitable follow-up visits with the surgeons.  The estimated costs of this is 75,000 dollars (that's US money).

That is not an exaggeration, and honestly, deeply, even if this goal is made, it's still possible that it wouldn't be enough.  Chances are, this goal will not be reached and Simon's parents will be in debt for the rest of their lives.  Yes, this story is sad, and heart-breaking, but it's also very real.

Please help.  Please send this like you have seen forwarded e-mails like I talked about above.  Am I asking you to give money?  Yes, yes I am, I won't deny that.  I am ALSO asking you to forward this story to others.  The COTA page doesn't tell a story.  It's just a sentence, a picture and a donate button.  Forward this story, and maybe some people will listen and be able to help a little bit.

In case you were wondering, COTA is a Federally registered non-profit.  Donations are tax deductible in the US.  Also, for tax reasons, parents in this situation are NOT allowed to solicit donations themselves.  They must rely on others to do this for them.  Can you be someone who helps?


I have known Simon's father for over 19 years.  He is, in my opinion, good people.  I am just doing what I can.  Seriously, please... help me spread the word for Simon.

Thank you,
Gary Allen