It is a sad reality in today’s world that here in the U.S. medical care is a major cost concern for most Americans.
I promise this is not a political post. God knows I’m sick all the pundit mudslinging in 30 second spots that have invaded our lives for the past half year.
This is a blog about a woman who should’ve died, but didn’t. A woman so filled with strength and life that, despite the odds, survived. Something her husband and two little girls are very grateful for.
Recently I mentioned that a short story of mine had been picked up for an anthology. But this soon-to-be collection of amazing stories by brilliant writers is more than words or tales woven for your pleasure.
It’s a fundraiser for fellow author and survivor Karen DeLabar.
This past summer, Karen contracted TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome, and is still undergoing treatment to this day. As you can imagine, the medical bills are mounting.
Many of you have no idea how much this woman is loved and adored. Not just for what she pens, but because of who she is. I want to share a few quotes from fellow authors about Orange Karen:
"There are aspects of this life we will never understand, forces beyond our human intelligence that will forever remain a mystery. Karen's miraculous conquering of an illness predicted to take her young life is one such thing. She defied odds. She continues to defy medical expectations. How is this possible? If I were to guess, I would venture to say there are certain people made of something more formidable than others, something stern and tenacious and absolutely unwilling to give into darkness. This, in combination with her unwavering love for her young daughters, pulled her from the abyss. I stand in awe every day for this woman made of orange fire and silver steel as I watch her fight hard through pain and surgeries and physical therapy. I look forward to watching the rest of her life unfold, especially her work.” – Tess Thompson
"Karen and I met in Twitter Jail. We spent a long time in and out of the system. That sorta thing changes a gal. Two, three profiles to keep up with the Twitter habit. We wear Orange well. Friends in Twitter Jail; friends for life." – Quill Shiv
"Karen has a strength and resiliency that is unfathomable. I can't imagine how she endured, and is still enduring, all of her rehabilitation: hyperbaric chambers, amputation surgeries...She has done it all with gumption and grace. My heart goes out to her, her two young children, her husband and her family. When I heard what she was going through in the hospital and what she was going to have to go through in terms of rehab, I just wanted to do something - anything - to take just one ounce of her pain and suffering away. I'm not a doctor, I don't have a trunk full of pain patches, but I can write. And if my story can bring a smile to Karen's face and let her know that she is loved, then I'll feel I was able to help somehow." – Christina Esdon
"I am one of those old souls that believes in miracles. And Karen DeLebar is a living, breathing example of one. Not just for surviving an infection that would have killed most anyone else, but because she has retained her sense of humor and that spark of life that says 'I refuse to give in!'." – Shay Fabbro
I was sitting in a virtual bar somewhere in the south pacific. It was a Friday night. I was sitting at the piano bar listening to "a candle in the wind" when I was interrupted by a snortle and a laugh. I turn to find a young pantless redhead rising from her bar stool. I still remember the way her hair glistened from the moonlight. She turned to the bartender and shouted "Another Glinlivet on the rocks" to this day those words still send shivers down my spine. I screamed "no" as I rushed for the bar. I pulled the bottle from the bartender's hand just in time. I grabbed her glass and tossed out the ice. I turned to see fire in eyes of the orange haired lass, she was no ordinary pubaholic, she was something more. I quickly filled her glass and extended it to her. "By all that is holy and scotch, try it straight" I shouted. She snatched the glass from my hand and swirled it under her nose. She brought the glass to her scowled lips and hesitated. The way she finally downed the shot brought tears to my eyes. I waited and watched as a smile came to her face. Three bottles later we were friends. As she rose and headed for the door, her hair still glistening in the moonlight, I shouted, "Wait what is your name?" She glanced back and said Karen, Karen DeLabar" – Glenn Skinner
“If you’ve ever been on an offshore sailing trip in stormy conditions, you’ve seen it: mental toughness, inner strength, grit. When the waves grow to scary heights and the wind shrieks through the rigging, some people lose their nerve. But other folks become resolute, determined. They know the boat needs a steady hand to get through the storm. They hang tough and do what must be done. Recently, Karen found herself caught in an epic storm. Supported by the stalwart crew of her husband and her girls, Karen showed her grit. She brought the ship back to port with strength and good humor and love.” – Tim Queeney
This is a very small sample. There are more…loads more.
There is an open submission for this anthology. The theme is simple: Orange. I ask writers out there to head over to the link below to read, review and write to the submission guidelines. The deadline is 15 December.
Many have already sent in stories. Christina Esdon is organizing the submissions and is generally running the show. Jennifer Gracen, Quill Shiv and Susan Ethridge have donated their prodigious skills as editors for the anthology. Kip Ayers (the cover artist I use for The Arcana Chronicles) is donated artwork for the cover. What we are looking for now are great story donations. If you’re a writer, consider putting pen to paper. On social media, I would appreciate it if this article was shared across the net.
We want to produce an anthology worthy of a warrior.
ORANGE KAREN: TRIBUTE TO A WARRIOR SUBMISSIONS