Friday, May 08, 2015

Hannah's Help

Six months ago today I lost my job. It was the classic corporate hatchet-job, complete with all the VP’s and HR representatives, and cardboard boxes. We stood in the middle of the newsroom as we were told we’d just delivered our last newscast. Somewhere in the bowels of the Radio station, an engineer flipped a switch and Beyonce music replaced the top of the hour news in mid-sentence. We packed our personal possessions from our cubicles and left the building.
The End of an Era. Last day of News92FM, October 8, 2014.
In the Radio business, getting fired is no big deal after the first three or four experiences. It’s a fact of life. You take your licks and move on, hopefully to a better gig. I’ve just never been unemployed for so long.
Here's looking at you...
Actually, I’m just “under-employed.” I have collected a smattering of part time projects, from temporary DJ on a Contemporary Christian music station, to filling-in as a news anchor on a conservative talk AM station, to anchoring a Saturday morning shift on the local NPR affiliate.  I’ve learned to operate a video camera mounted on the nose of a TV News helicopter, and I’m co-teaching a college-level communications class two nights a week.
My hope is that one of these temporary positions will be a door-opener for a more permanent solution. I'm still not busy enough to feel like I'm getting any traction.  A few weeks ago, an elderly aunt suggested I create an online fund raiser for one of our relatives in need, since I “wasn’t working.”

Hannah Coulter is like any other 15-year old girl. She likes music and art and good food and fun. But Hannah is also very different from many of her friends, as she perceives the world around her through the lens of Autism.

Hannah Coulter
 Still, with the loving encouragement of her family, Hannah has competed in Special Olympics events, learned to bowl, and tried to live a fairly active lifestyle. 

Her favorite coach is her Dad, Tommy. Her mother, Marsha, who is my first-cousin, is her constant cheerleader. Hannah adores her big sister, Hayley.

Over the Winter, Hannah was hospitalized for more than 100-days to correct a congenital condition in her trachea. Tracheomalacia is a narrowing of the trachea, in Hannah's case due to an artery pressing against her windpipe. Surgeons were able to perform an experimental procedure that inserted a permanent stint in her throat--a first-ever operation. Hannah can now add "medical trailblazer" to her list of accomplishments.
"Coulter Strong"
As you might imagine, spending that much time in the hospital isn't cheap. Spending time in a hospital out of town is expensive and inconvenient. But Hannah's parents are totally committed to her care and well-being.

Tommy is a Texas public school educator, and was able to "burn" accrued vacation time, but that's all gone now. While he is back in the classroom, the Coulter's financial position now is precarious as they begin to dip into savings to handle expenses. 
Today a GoFundMe account has been established for “Hannah’s Help.” We're looking from within the Coulter-Edwards extended family spheres for assistance in defraying those expenses--most urgently, mortgage and health insurance payments.  

And if you're reading this online from outside our family circle, you're under no such obligation. But your thoughtful contribution would also be most appreciated!

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