Dear friends & family,
I'm writing you this letter on behalf of our friend Jimmy Spencer Jr.
In June of 2014, Jimmy tested positive for an extremely high level of long-term lead poisoning. Since then he has been undergoing extensive treatments.
Out of respect for Jimmy, we have kept this mostly private for many months, but as treatment continued into 2015 we decided it was necessary to share the news with the many people who consider themselves friends, colleagues, and supporters of both Spencer and Love Without Agenda.
As it turns out, Jimmy had been very sick for 5-6 years with lead poisoning from the exposure to lead dust in our house's window frames. Particularly his bedroom window, in combination with the fan he constantly used on his window sill--created what he affectionately calls his 'lead incubator'.
Jimmy's Lead Poisoning Symptoms after 6 years of exposure
Since his diagnosis I've ruthlessly removed any potential exposures!
I've witnessed his undiagnosed health struggles firsthand for the past 6 years:
I've watched him visit so many doctors with no relief, quietly struggling for so many years with crushing fatigue, terrible brain fog, system-wide inflammation, and worsening digestion issues. Sadly, his poisoning symptoms have left him more vulnerable to the already stressful life of co-founding a growing charity. It's not uncommon for him to return from traveling and be completely spent, needing to sleep the better part of several days to recuperate. It's been both heartbreaking and inspiring to see him persevere, and I am so glad he finally has a clear diagnosis!
Helping him get healthy, letting him have the time to recover, and ensuring our community house is lead-free has been my focus for the past 9 months. I've worked to get the house lead free, am excited that his doctors project a full recover by this summer, and am hopeful as I see him growing more clear, energetic, and excited to back to work! If we've accomplished this much with lead poisoning, imagine what we will be able to do when he is healthy!
We have so many opportunities in 2015, that Jimmy and I are excited about. We'll be submitting our Glocal project to Y Combinator, a world leading tech accelerator in San Fransisco, and Jimmy will continue to be involved with STOP THE TRAFFIK, and Oasis USA as they expand in the USA.
I don't want lead poisoning debt to derail these incredible opportunities!
As excited as I am for our future, I'm equally worried about the financial toll this has taken on Jimmy.
His treatments have drained all his savings and left him with a medical debt of $18,000. Jimmy is Love Without Agenda's sole fundraiser, and his poisoning kept him from fundraising for the charity in 2014. Sadly, that includes his living expenses stipend.
Right now his lead poisoning has burdened him with $18,000 in medical debt and no money for his most basic annual living expenses.
See an explanation of Jimmy's financial details here.
I believe in our work, and our community's generosity, So I've stepped forward to financially buoy his credit by paying the first $7,000 of medical expenses on my personal credit cards. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary stop-gap measure, and he will need to pay it off.
We need your help today with 2 goals:
Single donors to pay his $18,000 in medical debt .
Monthly donors to replace $1320 of his basic living income.
For years we've watched Jimmy sacrificially help so many people. Now, it's time for us to help him! Jimmy is working hard to physically recover from lead poisoning, now let's make it possible for him to recover financially!
Thank you for helping Spencer 'get the lead out!'
Lisa O'Brien-Wentzel | CoFounder Love Without Agenda