A Friends of Bob Newman Update

A Friends of Bob Newman Update Our beloved friend and colleague (and former SPD President) Bob Newman was severely injured in March. He spent several days in critical condition, was in a coma for weeks, hospitalized for months, and is still spending his days rehabilitating--receiving physical therapy, undergoing tests, working hard to get back to health.

In the months since the accident, not only has Bob been unable to work to support his family, but the expenses involved in his ongoing care have been huge, and they continue to mount.

A group of Bob's friends (Florian Bachleda, Michael Grossman, and Emily Smith) launched the Friends of Bob Newman donation site in April as a tangible way to help Bob and his family as he continues his road to full recovery. The outpouring of support from Bob's extended family and community through the donation site has been remarkable. The funds raised to date have made a significant contribution to paying off Bob's extensive medical bills and providing him and his family with much-needed living expenses while he's recovering. 

There is good news about Bob's rehabilitation, and the Friends of Bob Newman site has announced a new goal to raise even more money to continue to help.

BN and girls.jpg(Above: Bob Newman with his daughters Lillian and Ivy Curry, October 13, 2013 in Taconic, Connecticut)

The Good News: The cognizant part of Bob's brain is A-OK and fully recovered. He's thinking, talking, reading, watching movies, and engaging in regular activities again (and even doing a little posting on his Newmanology page on Facebook). After months in the hospital, Bob has come a long way toward returning to his former physical self.

The Challenges Ahead: Bob's rehabilitation continues every day. He needs to keep improving his strength and balance, and get his energy and stamina back where it used to be. There are still more tests necessary to determine what caused Bob's accident, and to prevent it from happening again. At the same time, there is some permanent or long-term damage that requires continued therapy, but will not hinder him from eventually returning to normal activity. Because of his recovery and rehab, Bob is still unable to work. Exacerbating the financial challenges, he lost his severance pay from Reader's Digest when that company filed for bankruptcy in February 2013.

The New Goal: There has been an incredible outpouring of support from Bob's friends that has made a huge dent in the family's expenses, but the financial need is not over. The Friends of Bob Newman have set a new goal, to raise an additional $50,000 for the family over the next three months. The donations go directly to Bob's ongoing and past medical bills and rehab, adn also to help defray living expenses for Bob and his family while he is recovering and unable to work. Bob has been so generous, given us all so much over the years, whether it's been jobs, introductions, advice, laughs, musical tips, links or just his ready smile and his quiet, steady friendship. This is a time for us all to give whatever we can back to him.

To find out more information and to donate, visit the Friends of Bob Newman page. As a special thank you to donors, the organizers have arranged a special downloadable music mixtape, specially crafted by Bob's friend DJ Norman B, whose Life Elsewhere weekly talk show on Tampa radio station WMNF is an eclectic mix of culture, music, and politics. Norman has made a custom mix titled "Listen While You Work," especially with Bob in mind, so you know it will include a diverse range of great songs and artists. It's two hours of audio joy that is the perfect soundtrack for making magazines, or just relaxing at home. And everyone who donates on the Friends of Bob Newman page will receive a copy of this wonderful mixtape.

For more information on Bob's accident and recovery, read this account by his wife Christine Curry. There is also an extended report on The Village Voice website, which includes a recent update sent out by Bob to Friends of Bob Newman contributors, as well as some happy photographs with Bob and his daughters. "Words fail me when I try to express how much your support has meant to me," says Bob. "I only hope that one day I can tell each of you in person just how much you've helped me and my family get through this time of deep struggle."

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