A leg to stand on. That’s all Matthew Stone wants for Christmas, nothing more.
That’s what friends of Matthew’s are hurriedly trying to get for him with proceeds from various fundraisers.
Friend and stay-at-home mother Jacquelyn Pattyson was the first to contact me about the Edinburg Township (Portage County) man:
“He’s 32 years old and has had a pretty rough life,” she said. He was diagnosed with diabetes as a teen. Because of the disease, in late 2012 he had his big toe on his right foot amputated, then in August his right leg (below the knee) in August.
“He has no insurance, no vehicle and can no longer work … Two weeks ago there was a fundraiser set up in his name to try and raise $10,000 for a new prosthetic leg. We’re currently at $1,763 but there is still quite a ways to go …
“Matthew has tried to go through Social Security Disability. Unfortunately, he was denied and is now appealing his case. If he is accepted he was told it may be six months to a year before he gets assistance including getting the prosthetic. He simply can’t wait that long. Due to blisters forming on his left foot from having to use crutches as his only means of transportation, his doctors are telling him he’s getting another infection, and if it progresses it will cause him to lose his left leg as well … It breaks my heart.”
He was a chef at Zeppe’s Pizza and other eateries, Pattyson continued. “But he quit to take care of his eldest brother Carl who had a heart attack close to two years ago. Carl has diabetes as well.
“Matthew is also an artist and creates abstracts prints which he sells online — $15 for an 11x7, $25 for an 11x7 framed print. It’s his only income.”
He has a fundraising site, “Help me walk again by Matthew Stone,” at www.gofundme.com/4kwquw.
And a more traditional benefit is slated for 7 p.m. Dec. 6, at the Outpost Concert Club, 4962 state Route 43, Kent. On stage will be Foul Spirits, Fully Consumed, The Ravenna Arsenal, Mockingbird, Dead to Rights and others. Donation is $10. Attendees must be 21 and older.
No takers for bike
What was to be a straight-from-the-heart, paying-it-forward outreach fizzled.
No, dear readers, it had nothing to do with donors Corey Mitchell, 12, and his mother, Amber Sanford, of Barberton; their hearts were and are in the right place.
Let me take you back to two weeks ago so you understand why I’m so baffled at the lack of response to their offer.
Amber had shared that her son’s bike was stolen from his school and she turned to Craigslist and found a replacement. She was more than willing to pay the asking price, but the couple refused to take her money. Corey was happy to have wheels: “It was more awesome than my old bike.”
There was yet another happy ending, I wrote. Sharon Miller, wife of the owner of Papa Don’s Pub, saw her Craigslist ad, phoned and insisted on getting Corey a brand new bike. Miller presented Corey with not only the bike, helmet, lock and pump, but also a bike and accessories for his little sister.
Corey — over the moon happy with his good fortune — decided to give away the replacement bike, which is in great shape, to some other boy or girl, and turned to me to get the word out.
All I asked was for the child, via his or her parent, to submit a two-paragraph essay telling me why he or she deserves the bike. I was bracing to receive scores if not hundreds of letters. But not one did I get.
Why? Was it because the bike wasn’t brand new?
Did I ask too much — a short essay and the investment of a stamp? I’ve yet to figure this one out.
In the meantime, I hope Corey will find a good home for the bike.
‘Phil’s Wheels’ update
Here’s a follow-up on Joy Martter, the Akron mother who for the last 30 years has devoted her life to caring for her disabled son Phillip, 48. They were the subject of a recent column when members of their church — Norton Apostolic Christian Church — decided to raise money for a replacement van after it was determined her van’s rusted-out bottom could result in 225-pound Phil falling through, wheelchair and all.
An aptly named “Phil’s Wheels” committee was started in earnest at the church. Committee members Adolf and Linda Webel said nearly $12,000 was raised for a replacement van for the mother and son, and that they continue to work to purchase them a new van.
The Webels graciously brought me up to speed on that and more:
“As of yesterday we have collected (an additional) $1,400 from the kind hearts who read your column. We also were contacted by someone who described his life and his wife’s as ‘blessed’ and expressed that he wanted to pay it forward.”
That donor, who read about the Martters, gave an additional $1,100. When asked why he decided to make such a generous contribution, he — who wishes to remain anonymous — had several answers:
“Because we have been very fortunate and believe in helping those that have been less so. Because their life was permanently altered by one bad break and no fault of their own. So, why not give them a break? Meanwhile, we have been so lucky. People who have been fortunate have a duty to help others … It’s the right thing to do.”
Apart from the monetary contributions, Linda Webel also shared the following:
“There are a few other delightful occurrences. A lady called Joy and asked that someone come and get a bag of dog food since she is an animal lover like Joy and wanted to share in the way of dog food. When Joy’s daughter and granddaughter went to pick it up they visited for three hours …
“My neighbor Shirley came to my door Friday night with a small jar full of rolled coins and about 10 more in her hand. She had been collecting coins for a year. The total was $112. She handed me a small paperback called Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright. Her whole family (10 siblings) does this every year and then share how they anonymously gave it away. I am going to do this with my 11 grandchildren this Christmas …
“Another neighbor of a committee member came to her door and gave her envelope with ‘Phil’s Wheels’ on it. Inside was $10. Little is much when God is in it.” Stay tuned.
Healing Hands for Arthritis
Major kudos to all seven of Northeastern Ohio’s Massage Envy locations and clients, who made donations in fishbowls one day in September during the spa’s Healing Hands for Arthritis event, totaling $6,091 for the Arthritis Foundation. That represented nearly six times the amount raised the year before.
“We were overwhelmed by the community’s strong support for Healing Hands for Arthritis,” said Kerry LaCroix, Massage Envy regional trainer. “The event was truly a team effort and we are very thankful for our wonderful members and guests, as well as our therapists, estheticians and clinic staff who helped to make it a huge success.”
Nationally, this is the third year that Healing Hands for Arthritis has raised nearly $2 million for the Arthritis Foundation.
Jewell Cardwell can be reached at 330-996-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.