Looking at Lori

There’s an article in today’s Traverse City Record Eagle and it’s about a woman I know, Lori Steel, a Northern Michigan free lance writer. I met Lori through several articles she’s written where she contacted me as a resource, usually about real estate issues. She and I also have friends in common, as you do in a small town, and one of them suggested that I read Lori’s blog, “7th & Pine”. I did that, and immediately included her blog site on my blog roll—if you look to your right on this page, it’s the first item.

What I learned from today’s Record Eagle is that Lori’s friends are sponsoring a fund raising benefit for her this weekend. They are doing it because not only is Lori a warm, caring person well loved in our community, but also because her plight illustrates the fear of any independent contractor that it is a an uncertain future when you are a freelance writer, a painter, a musician, a commissioned salesperson.

In Lori’s case, she began to notice symptoms of weakening ankles and legs last summer. She sought medical help in September, and as yet (it’s April!), she has no definitive diagnosis. At this point her movements are limited, she needs assistance to “move from thing to thing”, as she puts it.

And she still doesn’t have a clear diagnosis: perhaps its ALS. Perhaps it’s Lyme disease. Perhaps….who knows?

To quote the Record Eagle, “Steele has been unable to work as a freelance writer since the middle of March. Adding both stress and financial anguish, her insurance company has denied all coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

“After months of paying for tests and treatment out of pocket with no definitive diagnosis in sight, Steele’s financial resources have been tapped out. Doctors in both Traverse City and at the University of Michigan search for a cause while Steele struggles to stay afloat, emotionally, professionally and financially.”

Click on Gertie’s blog roll link to “7th and Pine”, and read Lori’s blog. It’s a beautifully written story of her love of her son, of hope, and optimism. I read it this morning, and as I write this, I am thinking of today’s diagnosis from MY bug doc: “You look great,” he said. “You’re good to go, as far as I am concerned.” Today Bug Doc is calling Quick Draw, and they’ll make some decisions by Friday, I hope, when I go to visit the Super Surgeon.

Good news for me! But I feel Lori’s tragedy most acutely. In her blog she describes a conversation with her son:
At breakfast:

“Mom, when was love invented?”

“Probably when people were invented.”

He mulls this for a second.

“I think maybe love was invented when Jesus and Crisis were born.”

The fund raiser is open to the public and will be held on Saturday, April 12, at 7 pm. in the Mercato located at Building 50 in Traverse City. To donate items for the fund raiser or money directly to Steele, contact Kris Hains at (231) 421-1249 or e-mail krishains@aol.com.

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One thought on “Looking at Lori

  1. It was so obvious last night at Lori’s benefit that she has given to the community in such a huge way….practically the whole town was there to give back! What a beautiful event it was, and what a beautiful person she is! Thank you for your post, Judith. I know you were there, too, in spirit!!

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