What I mean by that is that it seems like about once a month we hear about a comic creator trying to raise funds and there's usually some tragedy wrapped around it. Bill Mantlo's been battling the after-effects of a head trauma, Tom Ziuko suffered kidney failure, Jim Amash's cat was run over, Roger Slifer's in a coma... there are any number of examples one can point to. It's due in part to the miserable way freelancers have to navigate health insurance, not to mention the skyrocketing costs of medical expenses generally. It's a large part of why The Hero Initiative was created.
By and large, these people aren't asking for hand-outs. They're aren't bemoaning whatever predicaments they're in. They aren't sitting idle, waiting for a hero to rescue them. In fact, most of these people were doing reasonably well until they got hit with unexpected medical costs. And, in response, they're basically trying to work harder. They're pushing commissions or book sales, or selling off portions of their collection. On top of whatever gigs they've already got.
Sadly, there's only so much I can personally do to help these people. I've only got so much money myself, of course, and I only have so much time to devote to promoting their causes. That doesn't make any one instance any less worthy than another, by any means. It just means I have to pick and choose which efforts that I can have the most impact on.
But, back to the Kesels. Their story still boils down to medical expenses. But there's not a tinge of negativity in anything they're saying or doing. It is absolutely, entirely, 100% upbeat and positive and brimming with hope and anticipation. Without prompting, he even notes, "You know, I give away some of my childhood, but get a whole new childhood in return right here."
And I just love that there's a cause here that doesn't involve a tragedy. I wish there were more of those stories.