Help Bring Arwem Home

December 31, 2010

We met when we were 16. We took a video production class outside of our “regular” high schools, a few mile apart.  He, because he was “unfocused” and that’s where they sent the troublemakers, and me because I had finished my requirements early yet still had to take a certain amount of class hours. I hated math and there was no way I was going to fill those hours with some advanced calculus or chemistry!

The teacher assigned our first video project that week and told us to pair up.  I had pink hair and Arwem had piercings and tattoos. We gravitated towards each other and then stuck like magnets.  We became fast friends and if I ever hear Vision of Disorder’s “Viola”, I immediately think of the hours spent editing those VHS montages.

He was smart, but known as a troublemaker.  The teachers always took me aside and told me not to hang out with such a “bad crowd.”  I was guilty by association, yet that was my favorite place to be.  I liked being “in the know” of the trouble being caused, while still being sweet and innocent and well liked by the teachers. Arwen broke me out of my goody-two-shoes shell and we cut classes and went on adventures. Over the years, he got us into jams and I got us out. He was yelled at by his mom in Portuguese and then she would speak sweetly to me in English. =)

After graduation, I moved to MD to do the college thing, and he went on to pursue things that sounded way more fun. Piercings, tattoos, tours, and eventually got into suspension (which if you’re not familiar and don’t have a strong stomach, I don’t suggest googling it!). He did a lot of travelling and we caught up from time to time as he breezed through MD or I was home on a vacation.  I loved seeing that a free spirit like him could find work that he loved while making a living.  It actually inspired me to follow my passions and start this business.

In July, I had a text message conversation with him about coming back east after he’d been in TX for awhile. He and his wife (who he also informed me is pregnant) were going to travel to CA with some friends and then come back to NY for a few weeks.  I was planning my trip up to see him when I got the news via Facebook: they were only 8 hours into their trip and blew out a tire on their SUV, flipping the car several times.  Everyone was in the hospital and Arwem was the most critical, needing a tracheotomy and neck surgery, and was in a coma.  He remained in the coma for several weeks while his 2 friends, Jill, and the baby healed up.  Once out, he had sustained a lot of memory loss.  That was one of the most heartbreaking parts for me to hear about.  Someone who truly LIVED his life and had tons of stories couldn’t remember them?! Honestly, I thought if I ever got news of him being hurt, it would be because he had agreed to be suspended over the Grand Canyon or some ridiculousness- never a car accident!

I wanted to get out to TX where they were hospitalized SO badly, but in his condition and being transferred, it just wasn’t working out.  Now, months later, Jill is almost due to have her baby and Arwen isn’t getting all the medical care he needs out in TX.  They need to come back to NY to the support of friends and family and the expense is costly- around $20,000.  When they get a call that there’s an opening in the hospital in NY, they only have 96 hours to fill it.  I feel like I haven’t been able to do nearly enough and now is my chance to do something BIG for them!

If you could check out this link and pass it around, I’d be eternally grateful.

Even if a dollar is all you can spare, that is amazing.  Blogs, links, tweets, and positive thoughts are just as powerful.  Thank you, thank you, thank  you for taking the time to even hear their story! I hope they’ll get a happy new year- and happy new year to you as well!

One Response to “Help Bring Arwem Home”

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