02 August 2011

Leon Shambroom

While I was teaching in Ann Arbor last month I missed posts on two blogs I regularly visit. The posts were by Alec Soth and Brian Ulrich both talented photographers and nice guys whom I know from various actual or virtual interactions. Both posts announce a benefit for Leon Shambroom, a twenty-five year old who suffered brain damage caused by carbon monoxide poisoning when he was trapped in a house fire last summer.

Leon is the son of writer-curator Joan Rothfuss and photographer Paul Shambroom whose incisive work I have mentioned here on several occasions. I do not know Joan or Paul. But if you are even an irregular reader you will likely know that a little over four years ago my teenage son Jeffrey died suddenly from a burst aneurysm in his brain. So I share with Joan and Paul the experience of witnessing a son laid low by catastrophic brain injury. In Jeff's case the medical bills were astronomical but finite and were nearly all covered by insurance. Leon and his folks, by contrast, confront large, ongoing, seemingly open-ended, medical expenses.

Among the things that kept me sane after Jeff died was writing this blog. And the many, many expressions of kindness from readers were deeply touching. Please, if you are able, pass along some love and support to Leon too. The benefit Alec and Brian announced has passed. But you can still help out - go here to The Leon Shambroom Fund. I very much hope you will do so.

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