Help Jenna Catch a Damn Break!

Help Jenna Catch a Damn Break!

From Leigh Elizabeth

Imagine: breaking your back. Ouch! Then, driving cross country, and getting rear-ended in a car accident. Bills and you can't work. But now, she got T-boned in another accident, re-breaking her back. Seriously.

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Update #13

over 4 years ago

So, hopefully you'll all get to see Jenna's own personal update and thank you note. On behalf of Andrea, I'd like to thank you a million fold for all of your kindness and generosity to our girl. Although we did not reach our goal, we raised an amazing amount of money, and I'm forever grateful.

We tease her, that, because she's my (and our) oldest godchild, she'll have to take care of us when we are old (only half teasing, mind you, because it's true). I never worry about growing old, as I know we'll be in great hands.

Here's another pic she sent me, when I asked her to write her own update and send photos. Too cute not to share. Thanks, everyone, for helping #TeamJenna! #JennaNeedsBackUp #FinalUpdate

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Update, in Jenna's words:

Thanks everyone, I appreciate it. My T-12 was 99% healed and is now fractured again. They say things come in threes and my back is seriously wrecked. I haven't been able to work since June so this is all beyond frustrating. Being an adult with bills sucks even with steady paychecks! Without them it's even worse. My godmother set this up for when I got in the accident the second time, I don't really like asking but I guess desperate times call for it. If you can donate I'd be grateful beyond words, if you can't I completely understand and would just appreciate good thoughts sent my way. 

My original post:

What the heck? I thought I typed all of this. And it was really good, and witty, and darn it. People don't read, but, here we go...

Okay, that cute boy in the photo with her, that's our pup Tennessee. Handsome, I know.

So, my girl has been hit with a double dose of bad luck. Jenna fell down the stairs at her parents' house and broke her back. Got a back brace, healed a few days, and got in the car with her mom to drive from VA to CA, stopping in MO to see her godmom (me). Gets to CA, starts her job at the Nord, gets an apartment, and gets rearended by a yahoo. The accident set her healing back at least three weeks (broken backs take time to heal), and her work forced her to take leave, and suggested she apply for CA disability. Let me tell you, my dad applied for CA disability in the 80s, and it took months, and a lawyer. So, she's got no sick time, no settlement from the insurance company of the yahoo driver, and has bills to pay.

Here's what I know about Jenna. You help her now, she will totally pay this forward somehow in the future. She's just that kind of person, and I'm happy to say that about her (she's the closest to a kid I'll ever have, and yeah, I helped raise her right).

And I promise that all this will go to her living expenses (not that gorgeous new outfit) for these next couple of months, or how ever long she needs to heal.

So, I'm challenging anyone who:

  • was once in their 20s and had crappy stuff happen
  • lives in, was born in, or just loves California
  • has parents who are teachers
  • has three older brothers
  • is part of Alpha Sigma Alpha (she's met two of you and her friend Jocelyn is an ASA)
  • loves dogs, especially rescues like Tennessee,
  • has an amazing godmother
  • wishes they had an amazing godmother  :-)
  • is into fashion (this girl is amazing)
  • lived in Missouri (she lived with us during college)
  • has driven cross country to follow your heart
  • has had a broken heart
  • has had a broken back
  • has been in a car accident
  • has owned a VW (word.)
  • Former "Upper Roomers" & Savio people--this is Larry & Veronica's baby (you know who you are)
  • you get the idea... you are all challenged to step up!

Sharing is caring, giving is living. Please help me fund this campaign however you are able. I love her to death and will do anything for her. She just needs to catch a damn break and then she will soar and conquer. She's pretty cool that way.

-Leigh

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #13

So, hopefully you'll all get to see Jenna's own personal update and thank you note. On behalf of Andrea, I'd like to thank you a million fold for all of your kindness and generosity to our girl. Although we did not reach our goal, we raised an amazing amount of money, and I'm forever grateful.

We tease her, that, because she's my (and our) oldest godchild, she'll have to take care of us when we are old (only half teasing, mind you, because it's true). I never worry about growing old, as I know we'll be in great hands.

Here's another pic she sent me, when I asked her to write her own update and send photos. Too cute not to share. Thanks, everyone, for helping #TeamJenna! #JennaNeedsBackUp #FinalUpdate

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #12

In Jenna's own words...

I wish there was a different way to express gratitude other than the word thank you. We say thank you for everything, in a way I feel as if it's lost some of its gusto. I try to say "I appreciate you" more than thank you or just pay it forward by doing a kind deed for another human being.

On June 15th I was cleaning up my room at my parents house in Virginia and I went to pick a pillow up off the ground and the worlds biggest spider was hanging out underneath it. Needless to say I freaked and ran up the stairs screaming about said spider. My dad grabbed a paper towel and with a smirk on his face was laughing at my fear of the little creature. I followed him down the stair case and all of a sudden my world changed for the second time this year. I lost footing and the next thing I know my back is slamming against a wooden staircase. I landed upright but couldn't move and the pain was so horrific I was on the verge of passing out. My dad kept me awake and a friend who was at the house grabbed a trash can (smart kid). My dad yelled for my mom and they tried everything they could do to get me up and on my bed. I was writhing. It was the worst pain I had ever felt, I can't describe the moans & sounds coming out because those can't be reproduced. It was horrendous. My parents somehow got me into the car with the front seat all the way down and drove as fast as they could to the hospital. Living in the middle of no where the closest one is 30 minutes away. It was the longest 30 minutes of my life. Needless to say I spent about 12 hours in the emergency room and the first 5 without pain medication. It was torture. I left with the diagnosis that I had a compression fracture in my T12 vertebrae. I was to see an orthopedic surgeon in a couple days. When I saw him I was handed more pain meds & a brace that would become my every day accessory for almost 4 months.

I was able to be at home and rest a lot, my parents were extremely supportive. The Percocet sent me into awful mood swings and I barely could get out of bed. I finally weened myself off the meds and it was getting a little better each day. Things were looking up! I had scheduled an interview back in California and everything with that looked super promising. On July 4th my mom and I trekked back to California. It was an emotional drive, I had left 6 long months ago after my world had turned upside down but I knew in my heart that that is where I belonged. We arrived on the 7th (driving beasts) and I started my new job on the 11th. I was able to work 8 hour shifts! Without wearing my brace! Don't get me wrong after a day of work my body definitely was not happy with me but I finally had a purpose again. It felt good to know that a paycheck was coming in and I was working hard for it.

July 21st came and as I was driving to meet a friend a gentleman was not paying attention and slammed into the back of me. I went to the hospital and my worst fears were confirmed. My T12 was re-injured, I had severe muscle damage and had lost significant height in my neck. I was ordered off work for a month and a half and had to rest for as long as possible. I had just moved into a new apartment and couldn't believe what had happened. Luckily his insurance was super easy to deal with, my car was being repaired but the out of pocket costs were excruciating! I couldn't believe how much I was having to fork out for something that wasn't even my fault. I didn't know what I was going to do when it came to paying my existing bills and that's when Leigh so generously started this fund. I was amazed at the donations from people who have no idea who I am! I was so grateful, I appreciated them. My brother and his fiancé so graciously helped me as well and it helped relieve a bit of the anxiety that was creeping in on me.

I was cleared by my orthopedic surgeon to go back to work! I was so excited! My boss had scheduled me off for the weekend and I was to start back on Monday for 5 hour shifts (not a full work load but better than nothing). It was August 29th and I was leaving my uncles house on the peninsula and driving straight through 5:30 pm Saturday beach traffic when a man decided to turn left and t-bone the hell out of my car. My driver's side was completely wrecked from front to back. I couldn't even open the door to get out. I sat there in disbelief. I did not just get hit again, I did not just get hit again. I kept saying it over and over. There was no way! As we went to exchange information I knew in my gut this wasn't going to be as easy as the first one. He didn't have his insurance card on him, he was driving a rental, he kept saying I was speeding and he couldn't gauge if he could turn left or not. If you can't gauge a left turn, DON'T take it!

Unfortunately the police weren't very helpful and I now started on the agonizing part of this journey. The guy won't talk to his insurance company and they are trying to get me to sign off on a fixed dollar amount before they even start repairing my car. I had to get a lawyer and am now having to go through my insurance to have my car repaired (it's Sept 28th and the repairs haven't even started) I've been without my little VW for almost a month! It's crazy how much we don't appreciate our vehicles until we are without them. Thankfully my godfather's family has been so gracious to let me borrow a car and for that I am so incredibly thankful. I will have to pay out of pocket $1,000 to fix my car and quite frankly I don't have a pot to piss in at this point. When I thought things couldn't get any worse I woke up at my godfather's house on Labor Day and could barely lift my head off the pillow. I had no idea what was wrong and just felt absolutely terrible. I slept the entire day and woke up the next feeling slightly better. I ate something for the first time in 24 hours and could barely stomach it. I laid back down and woke up drenched in sweat. Cassi came to my apartment and we immediately went to the hospital. My temp was 103.5 and I could not stop sweating for the life of me. My body inhaled the first bag of IV fluids and went on to a second. My heart was going crazy because of the fever and I seriously just wanted to give up.

Life has thrown me a lot of curves this year and I seriously have treaded water for a long freaking time trying not to drown. Without the love and support of my family, Leigh & Andi, Rick & Cassi, my friends & every single one of you strangers (to me) that found empathy in your hearts and gave to me, I would have given up the fight and let the waves just overtake me.

Thank you for your generosity, for your kind words, for your help, your love, and your good energies. I APPRECIATE YOU!

For anyone thinking about donating, I promise I will pay it back ten fold in good deeds for our world. I promise to be there for others and help hold heads high. Bills suck in general & when you don't have a working back they suck even more. Once again I appreciate all of you, I appreciate your time reading this & I appreciate your kind spirit. T h a n k y o u.

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #11

Can I get 10 people to each give $10 bucks (the minimum)? That would put us over the $1000 mark, as we are only about a week away from the campaign close. (Nobody has donated in 22 days :-( )

The second guy that hit Jenna is not playing fair (trying to screw her out of money to repair her car) and she'll have to pay her own deductible as a result.

And... it's hurts so much to stand that she can't work without lots of pain, which means a new job must be found. Trying for a final push... wish I could hug her and make it all better, but I need your help! #JennaNeedsBackUp

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #10

Hey, guys. We're winding down on this campaign. If you can find a few bucks to help my girl, or if you already have, thanks. Broken back, cross country move, two car accidents that re-injured said back, and so sick she had to go to the ER. You and I called this "summer." Like I've said, I hate to ask, and we'll make sure she gets by somehow, but she is pretty special, and this summer was just rougher to Jenna than anyone deserves. I don't think we'll make my goal, but every little bit has helped her survive. So thanks. Here's a #FBF photo from her first cross country move to CA, when we took Jenna and her friend Charlotte to Mother's Brewing Company. Cheers!

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #9

You know that saying about having no luck, if it weren't for bad luck? If that isn't Jenna, you'll have to make a strong case to me. I get this photo texted to me last night. Kid is in the ER because she's so sick her heart went crazy from dehydration. WBC is through the roof. She used to get sick (and easily dehydrated) like this all the time when she lived with us during college. A few days of being down, getting PowerAde and Panera soup into her, and she'd rejoin the living. So I asked, is it the same? Yeah, only about ten times worse, she tells me. Good Lord. When will it be over? Oh, and you may not know this about Jenna, but she's a cancer survivor too. Yeah, in her early 20s. So if you wonder why I have the audacity to beg family and friends (and strangers even) for money to get her through this, hopefully you don't anymore. She hasn't had health insurance, so this is just another kick in the pants, financially and physically. Thanks for sharing to support #TeamJenna because #JennaNeedsBackUp. God bless her.

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #8

Well, friends, 16 amazing people have donated $870 to help #TeamJenna, which is great. We had to extend this campaign because Jenna was T-boned over the weekend, re-fracturing her vertebra. Please keep sharing and donating, because, more than ever, #JennaNeedsBackUp. Thanks.

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #7

Thanks to my fabulous renter, Teresa, for making the contribution that put us over $500! Yay! Much appreciated by us all... (another donation, another picture, right?)

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #6

Okay, I saved Jenna's favorite picture of the three of us for last. Thanks to all who donated and shared. Four days left in the campaign, but I go in for shoulder surgery tomorrow. and Jenna is seeing the back surgeon today. Please send her positive energy. I don't think we'll make our goal of $2k, but #TeamJenna is very appreciative of you all. Thanks. #JennaNeedsBackUp -- still.

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #5

This is it, guys, only 7 days left to help Jenna. We appreciate all you have done so far. If you've been putting it off, now is the time to donate. Please support #TeamJenna because #JennaNeedsBackUp

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #4

Time for an update! We had a great weekend! Three back-to-back donations for #TeamJenna came in! We are both so awed at everyone's generosity. Just a little further to go... can you help by donating and/or sharing? #JennaNeedsBackUp Thanks!

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #3

One more update before the weekend, but the update is, there's no update. :-( For the first day, we had no donations or shares. Can you help change that? On the positive side, it was nice to wire Jenna what we've raised so far (- fees). So that makes us smile! Love you guys!

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #2

Hi, friends and family! We are at about 14% of our goal, which sounds kind of sad, so if you can help move that needle up at all today, we appreciate it! And check out our new campaign hashtags, and feel free to use them! #JennaNeedsBackUp #TeamJenna

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts! And here's a new photo gem for #TBT!

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Leigh Elizabeth posted a new update:
over 4 years ago

Update #1

I found the place to add last night's offline donation, so we are up to $250! Hey, that is pretty awesome for just a few days in, and trust me, I hate asking for money as much as anyone, but the only other time I did this was to help my friend Dalia in Rwanda build a new house for her family, after theirs was lost in flooding. So, please, help, and thank you, for helping.

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