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October 9, 2008

PSA re Soren
Posted by Patrick at 09:56 PM *

A message from Making Light regular Marilee J. Layman:

Our friend, Soren “Scraps” de Selby, has had a stroke and is in the ICU. We’ve sent hope, love, prayers, music, family, and friends. That’s wonderful! However, Soren doesn’t have health insurance and ICUs tend to be expensive.

We have the approval of Scraps’s significant-other, Velma, and I’ll be collecting the donations to my PayPal account and sending them on to her in larger amounts. I’ll also be accepting checks, depositing them, and also sending larger amounts to Velma. Michael Weholt will be auditing my accounts regularly.

You can send PayPal donations to, or checks to:

Marilee J. Layman
9468 Scarlet Oak Dr.
Manassas, VA 20110-5658

Or just click here:

Please email me at with any questions.

Thank you all so much for how you care for Soren! Even the smallest amount will make a difference.

Comments on PSA re Soren:
#1 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:13 PM:

It's not a lot, but it's a start....

#2 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:17 PM:

Done. Likewise, it isn't much but it's something.

Marilee, thank you again for setting this up.

#3 ::: Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:18 PM:

A gift basket can be very personal and sentimental, especially if it’s coming from the heart. A Gift with Tea can warm the heart and soothe the soul. Drinking tea allows your body to relax and gather your thoughts. That’s how the English do it. They sit down and have a “spot” of tea. This gives them a chance to relax and chat.

PNH speaking. Note: the comment above is spam posted from

Results of a whois query:

inetnum: -
netname: MTNLISP
country: IN
admin-c: DC59-AP
tech-c: DC59-AP
mnt-by: APNIC-HM
mnt-lower: MAINT-IN-MTNL
mnt-routes: MAINT-IN-MTNL
remarks: -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
remarks: This object can only be updated by APNIC hostmasters.
remarks: To update this object, please contact APNIC
remarks: hostmasters and include your organisation's account
remarks: name in the subject line.
remarks: -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-++-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
changed: 20041130
source: APNIC

person: Deepak Chanduka
address: Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., Jeevan Bharati Building,
address: Tower 1, 12th Floor, 124, Connaught Circus, New Delhi
country: IN
phone: +91-11-3732212
fax-no: +91-11-3718117
nic-hdl: DC59-AP
mnt-by: MAINT-NULL
changed: 19981224
source: APNIC

Far be it from me to suggest anyone express their opinion of persons who try to hijack a thread like this for their stupid commercial purposes.

#5 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:27 PM:

Anything is wonderful! I'm answering mail as fast as I can -- I'll post when I sign off so folks know I won't answer until late tomorrow (doctor's appt for me).

#6 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:27 PM:

Gift baskets would, I'm sure, be nice. But Velma and Scraps need to pay the rent. Freelancers who aren't working aren't making any money.

Every little bit will help. No one of us can pick up the slack alone, but a lot of people who can afford $10 or $20 bucks can really make a difference.

#7 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:28 PM:


#8 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 10:58 PM:

Thanks for co-ordinating this, Marilee.

#9 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:10 PM:

C'est fait.

#10 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:13 PM:

Done. Thanks, Marilee.

#11 ::: Geri Sullivan ::: (view all by) ::: October 09, 2008, 11:28 PM:

Done. By necessity, it's tiny. I also posted about the fundraiser on my LiveJournal; that might bring some more.

Many thanks to Marilee and Michael for setting this up!

#13 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 12:06 AM:

Sent a bit, and was reminded also to send a bit to the No on Prop 8 campaign. So, yay. Hope Scraps and Velma can make rent... I was a bit worried about how I'm moving to a more expensive place in this economy, and then I thought, Well, hell, at least I'm not in New York New York.

#14 ::: Lucy Huntzinger ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 12:20 AM:

Done, and thank you, Marilee.

#15 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 12:40 AM:

My bit done. Thanks for making this easy, Marilee. And thanks for making Marilee's innate honesty evident to any who would question it, Michael!

#16 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 12:52 AM:

Okay, I've hit a lull in emails and I'm going to sign off. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and will be back online about 5pm, probably.

Thanks so much, everybody! You're really wonderful people!

#20 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:52 AM:

Done, though it pisses me off how tiny it has to be right now.

#21 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 02:06 AM:

I'm getting an error message when I click on the donate button at the moment. I have to go to work now so I'll try again when I get home tonight.

#22 ::: Bob Rossney ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 04:43 AM:

I've taken the liberty of porting Marilee's message to the WELL, where Scraps has more than one or two admirers. As the Unix mail program says, hope that's OK.

#23 ::: Eileen Gunn ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 05:24 AM:

Thanks for doing this, Marilee. I hope all our bits add up to a byte. Hugs to Scraps and Velma.

#24 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 06:37 AM:

Marilee, thank you for all of your efforts.

#25 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 07:11 AM:


Also a special thanks to Marilee!

#26 ::: joann cahn ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 08:06 AM:

done ... and thanks Marilee for making it so simple. I was really unsure whether a credit card from France would work -- it so often doesn't.
jo ann, a free-lance editor and translator in France where they make me have medical insurance and a pension ... and a good thing too.

#27 ::: SylvieG ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 08:38 AM:

I don't know Scraps but I do know that in a better world, finances would be the least of their concerns right now. Hope my little bit helps.

#28 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 08:48 AM:

I'm offering to write a poem on the subject of your choice for anyone donating $250 or more. Post in comments on my journal or email me.

#29 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 08:54 AM:

Done, last night. I'll also pass the message along to folks who may not know Scraps but are charitably inclined, if that's all right.

#30 ::: Adam ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 09:08 AM:

Sent a check from my bank so as to avoid the Paypal surcharge, and every little bit goes to Scraps.

Not much, but what I can afford.

Thanks for doing this, Marilee.

#31 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 09:35 AM:

It is my understanding, or at least impression, that recovery of people who are suffering from a brain injury is speeded greatly by helping that person to feel like they are still themselves, in spite of the problems they are currently having.

It is my understanding, or at least impression, that helping the patient to feel empowered is therapeutic.

It is my understanding, or at least impression, that Scraps was looking forward to voting for Obama.

People who are closer to him than I am would know better than me, but I'm thinking that if arrangements could be made for Scraps to be able to vote on November 4, it might cheer him greatly and maybe even add to what sounds like already increasing improvements. It would, perhaps, deepen the feeling in him that he "still belongs here" despite the difficulties he's currently having.

With that in mind, I checked the New York State Board of Elections page for instructions on how to vote absentee which reads in pertinent part:


Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot

* unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability;

How to Vote by Absentee Ballot

* Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at your county board of elections.

* You may also download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form. (pdf 55KB)

* Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.

* You may also request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must be received by your county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. The letter must contain the following information:

o the address where you are registered

o an address where the ballot is to be sent

o the reason for the request, and

o the signature of the voter

An application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.

If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballotNote that according to the application linked to above, "Remember to sign the application, or if unable to sign, have your mark witnessed."


I dunno. It might, at least in small part, help hurry along his recovery.

#32 ::: Racheline ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:08 AM:

Done and posted to my journal.

#33 ::: Ashley ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:52 AM:

Wish it was more, but hopefully come payday it will be!

Thank you for putting this together. I know Soren and Velma through friends and LJ.

#34 ::: Tlönista ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 11:52 AM:

Done. The exchange rate isn't as favourable as it could be, drat it all. Thanks for setting this up, Marilee!

#35 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 12:16 PM:

I just sent ten dollars. I have never met him but I know this is the right thing to do because I know he matters because all the right people are rallying around him.

#36 ::: Lizzie Vixen ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 01:27 PM:

Done. Thanks. I'll post on the Well if it hasn't been already.

#38 ::: Ellen Asher ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 02:21 PM:

I don't do Pay Pal, but I mailed a check to Marilee this morning, with good wishes.

#39 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 02:54 PM:

Done, finally!

#40 ::: Wendy Bradley ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 03:24 PM:

One of the guys who works for me did a piece of work before I even asked him for it and, when I thanked him with added kudos for his psychic abilities, sent me a joke email with his predicted lottery numbers.

You can guess the rest. I only won a tenner, but I can't think of a better way of using it than this. After all, I live in a country where my cousin has just had brain surgery, free at the point of use, paid for by all of our national insurance contributions. I recommend it! (Um... not the brain surgery, but the national insurance thing)

#41 ::: Eleanor Lang ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 03:36 PM:

Hi Folks,

I'm not sure if this is the best way to disseminate information about Soren, but Velma asked me to post this clarification on exactly the sort of stroke he had:

It was a left basal ganglia infarction, not right. This clarification comes via Dr. Karen Sobel, who is my niece and who was good enough to call Soren's primary attending and talk to him for about 20 minutes yesterday, after which she talked to me.

I'm sure that Velma will be along later with a progress report, but Dr. Karen also said that swelling of the brain generally peaks within 3-5 days; so it should start to go down (most likely has already) and when I was there earlier, he was alert and trying to form words.

Keep those good thoughts and support coming, for both Scraps and for Velma.

#42 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 03:53 PM:

Thanks so much, Ellie.

#43 ::: Jeremy Preacher ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 04:26 PM:

Done. May we all have a support network both deep and wide in our time of need.

Or, in a different tongue, the interwebz r 4 helping.

#45 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 05:58 PM:

Scraps and Velma, you are in my prayers. Also the incredible ML support team.

Just in case no one has done it yet -- apply for Social Security disability and Medicare as soon as possible. Scraps will probably be denied the first time (or first few times), but in the event he is eventually approved, the Social Security benefits and maybe the Medicaid will be retroactive to the date of the initial application. (Medicaid varies by state.) The hospitals should have someone (or several someones) in the finance/billing, social work and/or patient relations departments who can help with this, as well as with financial aid from various sources (state, federal, "charity care", hospital write-off, etc.) for the hospital bill. This is part of their mission as non-profit hospitals. It is in the hospitals' interest to help their financially needy patients get all the outside help they're eligible for before they write anything off.

Take care.

#46 ::: Gavin Edwards ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 06:24 PM:

(crossposting from the other Scraps topic, with apologies)

Hey, New Yorkers: Here’s something you can do to help.

Velma has been at Scraps’ side pretty much constantly, and could seriously use some relief. But for obvious reasons, she wants there to be a friendly and familiar face for Scraps whenever he’s conscious.

If you could take a full day or even a half day off work in the next couple of weeks to come to Methodist Hospital and sit with Scraps, it would be a blessing and a huge help.

Bill Tipper has volunteered to get the ball rolling on organizing a schedule. Email him at
william period tipper at gmail period com
and let him know when you could take a shift (and of what length). Scraps’ mother and sister are about to come to town, so we’re looking to start next Tuesday (the 14th of October) and get a schedule through the end of the month.

(This effort may need organizational help in the future--if you’re interested in being point person after this first fortnight, let Bill know that too in email.)

#47 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 07:12 PM:

Thanks so much, folks!

Yes, Bob, telling anybody you think might care is great!

Michael, I did that for my upstairs neighbor, who is still not home after falling down his stairs -- everybody needs to vote!

Wendy, what good luck, and thanks!

Tracie, I think someone might need to help them with the SSD, and it won't be considered until he reaches a permanent measurement for disability, anyway. (Took me two tries, with a lawyer.)

#48 ::: Ambar ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 07:30 PM:

For Bill and Gavin @ 48 (will also copy to Bill at the stated email address):

I was recently pointed to as a free web service for organizing just this sort of thing (helper schedules in the event of a medical crises, caregiver relief, etc). Have not used it myself but am offering it up for what it's worth.

#49 ::: siriosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 10, 2008, 10:31 PM:

My check went out today.

I see a lot of us posted "done." It's entirely possible more rounds will be necessary. I can throw my widow's mite Scraps' way every month, I think. For at least a year.

Holding Scraps, Velma, and the Fluorosphere in the light. If that's redundant, I don't want to be right.

#50 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 12:55 AM:

I'd already donated before this went up; not as much as I might have wished, but I keep having to hit my savings to pay my own medical bills (*sigh* — doctor makes a mistake on one of my prescriptions and naturally I end up paying extra to fix it. Seroquel is dmnd expensive).

#51 ::: Luke ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 01:07 AM:

Siriosa @51: Good point, and I'll come back again. Thanks!

#52 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 12:09 PM:

Check in the mail.

#53 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 01:10 PM:

Done with a huge thanks to Marilee! Hugs to Velma and Scraps!
~ Ed and Mel

#54 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 01:26 PM:

Marilee, you're welcome, and thank you too!

#55 ::: Harriet Culver ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 01:51 PM:

(posting belatedly)


#56 ::: William Shunn ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 04:03 PM:

Laura and I are in. Feeling otherwise pretty helpless from here in the Midwest.

#57 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Done. I don't know if Scraps remembers me (we met a couple of times over the years), but please pass along my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

#58 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 06:01 PM:


I've just mailed a check. I apologize for it being much less than I originally planned to send. Unfortunately, the economic crisis caught up with me the day after Patrick posted this thread. I've been told I'm being laid off at the end of the year, so I will have to keep my expenses to a bare minimum until I've found another job.

Soren and Velma are going to have medical expenses to pay back for some time, no matter how well the treatment goes. I hope I'll be able to help some more later on.

#59 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 12, 2008, 07:46 PM:

Oh, Bruce, I'm so sorry about the layoff! I hope you find another job soon! Don't worry, every bit helps, no matter the size.

#60 ::: ICTOOS ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 12:15 AM:


A few words of advice.

First- Talk with the office manager for the Intensivists group. Very often they will knock off significant amounts of the bill just for asking. Our surgeons knock about 90% off when they have someone indigent or uninsured.

Next, depending on what hospital you're in, talk with the social workers. Catholic Heath partners, for example, are excellent at reducing the bill and the social worker can get you plugged in to any number of programs depending on where you are and what type of hospital you are in.

Finally, remember that when it comes time to pay the bill THEY need to work with YOU. Set up payment schedules or, heaven forbid, if the person is disabled there could be assistance in meeting the financial obligations. If you ay them $20/month my understadning is that there isn't much they can say.

Which hospital are you at?

Good luck.


#61 ::: Velma ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 09:13 AM:

ICTOOS at $#62, thank you. We're at New York Methodist. No one from Social Work has come to me yet, but I shall hunt them down this week.

#62 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2008, 09:16 AM:

Velma @ 63... No one from Social Work has come to me yet, but I shall hunt them down this week.

Cue in Star Trek's fistfight/pon'far music.

#63 ::: LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 10:32 AM:

How is he doing today?

#64 ::: Delia Sherman ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 02:26 PM:

Done. With good wishes and hope.

#65 ::: leeann ::: (view all by) ::: October 14, 2008, 09:29 PM:

Done. Thankful for the good news.

#66 ::: Laurel Krahn ::: (view all by) ::: October 15, 2008, 01:52 AM:

We're going to have a jar (or something) for donations on the bar at Convivial 3 this weekend, will pass along money raised next week.

Those looking for more info on how Soren is doing should check the comments in the other thread about Scraps here at Making Light; you might also check the Livejournals of fimbrethil, coyotegoth, and (of course) roadnotes.

#67 ::: Debbie Notkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:58 AM:

I just dropped in to say that after I posted the donation link in my LiveJournal, I got this comment from a friend:

"I don't know the people in question but I am so happy to see so many people I do know taking up their cause that I donated a little out of joy."

Posting it here hoping Velma will see it.

#68 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:36 PM:

Allan B, thanks for the check! Your edress here bounces and I couldn't find another. :)

#69 ::: pir ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 06:36 AM:

done. thanks for organizing this.

#70 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:23 AM:

Debbie, we've gotten several donations from friends of friends so far.

Thanks for donating, everybody!

#71 ::: jackie sheeler ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 09:33 AM:

done. i wish him luck and healing.

#72 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 12:53 AM:

Folks, you've been wonderful. You've given (after PayPal fees), a bit more than $14K. We really appreciate this; the money will help a lot.

#73 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:33 PM:

Xopher's hairstyle? Xopher, for some reason I've always pictured you as being bald. Maybe a picture I saw? I did a google image search and it appears that you do indeed have hair; also a beard, a little hat, and a very fancy suit.

Apologies for having such a wrong mental image of you; thank goodness I've now corrected it!

#74 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 01:35 PM:

Oopsie, that comment belongs on the other Scraps thread.

#75 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2008, 03:02 PM:

Marilee, oh my gosh. That is more than I'd dared to hope we could put together. I hope this takes away at least some money-related worry.

#76 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 05:38 PM:

Wow, that's amazing! I hope it's of use.

#77 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 14, 2008, 12:19 AM:

We're edging toward $15K!

#78 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 17, 2008, 09:16 PM:

A friend of Velma and Soren's is putting prints of her photographs on sale to raise money for Soren.

Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
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