Jeffrey DeRego’s surgery and financial assistance

I’ve been in e-mail contact today with Jeffrey DeRego’s wife Cindy. She tells me that he had open heart surgery yesterday to bypass five blocked arteries. The surgery was successful and he’s expected to go home sometime next week.

If anyone cares to know for purposes of sending cards or flowers, etc., he’s at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. You’re also welcome to send cards via us (Jeffrey DeRego, c/o Escape Artists Inc., PO Box 1538, Stone Mountain GA 30086) and I’ll see that they get forwarded to him.

I asked if any financial assistance would be useful, and without getting into overly personal details, the answer is “yes.” The DeRegos aren’t in a good position right now in terms of employment, and while they’re applying for state assistance, surgery of this magnitude is still certain to have a very harsh impact. Escape Artists will be making a contribution, and with Cindy’s permission, I’m asking the Escape Pod listenership to help out.

I’ve set up a PayPal address just for this purpose under our corporate account. If you’d like to help Jeff out, please send your contributions via PayPal to derego@escapepod.org. (I hope to have a better link on the sidebar by tonight.) We’ll cover PayPal fees, so 100% of funds donated will go to defray Jeff’s and Cindy’s medical expenses. I’ll keep that PayPal address open through September.

Please follow your conscience on whether to help. Jeff’s given us some of our favorite EP stories, and I’m happy to do whatever I can for him. If you see fit to help him out too, I’m sure he and his wife would be very grateful. Thanks for your attention.

Comments (14)

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  1. Benjamin says:

    I’m an American, but I live in Sweden (that’s in Europe). I’d never even consider moving back to the US because of these issues.

    How is it possible to justify a system that subjects people to financial ruin because of health care costs???

    I’m not trying to be partisan here, but I hope people living in the US start to realize that having a working, state-run health care system doesn’t take away people’s freedoms – it increases them.

    Imagine not having to worry about health insurance every time a person wants to take a chance to get a better job or to start their own business or whatever.

    Since this is a Sci-fi blog, let me make a future prediction:

    If there ever will be universal health care in the US future generations will look back at our time in quite the same way we look back at the twenties and thirties.

    Just as we wonder how people could ever question an issue so obviously beneficial to all of society as the social programs that FDR put in place, future generations will wonder how we could have dragged our feet for so long and not demanded universal health care sooner.

    I will not donate to Mr DeRego’s health care costs because he is a great author and writes amazing (albeit dark) stories. I’ll donate because he’s a fellow human being and there but for the grace of God go all the rest of us.

  2. SFEley says:

    Thanks, Benjamin.

    You know, I started this comment with an intent to make a request that’s nearly automatic for me: “Please let’s not make this too political; this is about Jeffrey DeRego, not U.S. social structures.” And then I thought… Wait. This is about Jeffrey DeRego. These sorts of social issues are exactly what his stories are about. And if Jeff were available right now, he’d be in this arguing as passionately as anyone.

    So the better way to respect him, I think, would be to say — go ahead, debate the system. Jeff would be flattered to have that going on in his name. But if anyone takes this personal, if anyone insults the character or attitudes of any other commenter or anyone in general, I’m going to start deleting posts. Keep the criticisms intellectual and keep the personal stuff positive. Are we clear on that?

  3. D3veate says:

    So, Jeffrey DeRego is why I switched over to Clonepod a few weeks ago. Every few months I’ll find time to listen/read to dozens of stories in a week, but for long stretches, I don’t get around to too much fiction.

    I hadn’t realized that there was another DeRego story on EscapePod. However, now I’m hesitant to listen to it. DeRego will probably be fine, right? He’ll probably write more. Collect his stories together into a publishable volume. Maybe write a novel. Right?

    DeRego’s stories have become a treat that I eagerly look forward to, and I don’t want them to stop. However, I’m now asking myself the question… what if you do discover an author, and you follow their career. What if you’re sure that that author has tomes of literary gifts… and then for some reason never is able to give them?

  4. Zathras says:

    Haven’t used my paypal in years. Gonna send whatever is sitting on there.

    I am refrining from the political discussion.


  5. […] Jeffery R DeRego recently underwent open heart surgery to clear 5 blocked artieries.  Thankfully, the surgery went well and he will be home next week.  Steve Eley of escapepod, where so many of Mr DeRego’s stories have been aired, has set up a paypal account to donate money to Mr DeRego and his family during this very trying time for them.  You can paypal donations to derego@escapepod.org and send cards to Jeffery DeRego C/O Escape Artists INC, PO Box 1538, Stone Mountain, GA 30086.  We feel that it is best not to duplicate Steve Eley’s efforts.  To find out more about what Steve Eley is doing for Mr DeRego please follow this link. […]

  6. J. R. DeRego says:

    I live, and am humbled by your responses. I will say more when I am more well rested.

    Thanks Steve, EP friends, and readers/listeners all.

  7. Norm says:

    I donated and would like to wish Mr. DeRego all the best. As an aspiring writer I know dealing with rejection notices and trying to break into the business is hard enough without financial and medical worries.
    From what I’ve seen on the boards the response should be substantial. I hope all of the UD fans give something. Every bit helps I’m sure.

  8. greg says:

    Hey Steve

    I know that you are busy but I do not see the link that you mentioned. I would love to donate to the DeRego fund. Escapepod and J.R. DeRego keep me sane in the job that I have at the moment. I’n lucky to be able to continue the health care given be my last job. I may not have much money and may be having car and personal problems right now but reaching out and helping someone who entertains me would make me feel better in some way, I hope that he is doing alright and will send a card but it sounds like money may be more appreciated,,,,,I will look again soon .

    I really want share what little I can and if all of us do maybe their lives can be less stressful…

  9. Health care in Australia is complicated too but at least there is a safety net for all Australians, employed, self-employed or un-employed even though it seems to be collapsing under it’s own weight at times. I wish Jeffery all the best in his recovery. Union Dues rocks!

  10. ADerksen says:

    I did not listen to the podcast until today, and I seem to have missed your September deadline. Is that paypal link still active? I figure that as Mr. DeRego is definitely one of the reasons that I continue listening to this podcast with such enthusiasm, he is definitely worth a donation to keep him writing. Please let me know, and I’ll make a contribution!

  11. Dave says:

    I am sorry that, mister DeRaego and family in such a bind. There a site called Chipin.com It is a fund raising site the goes out myspace, facebook and other places. it can be link to paypal as well. It might be a good way to get others to help our and donate and learn more mister DeRaego as well.

  12. Mr.DeRaego and Escape Pod have become part of my nightly life. if I can’t sleep I either have a way for my mind to calm down to or something new and worth wild hear.

    I just wanted to say this hits home very hard. back in 93 my father was struck with 12 micro-strokes and 90% blockage, they did a eight-way by-pass but a lot of really bad things happened after that. which I can’t really go into. but lets just say he’s living on a mil worth of VA meds a year. and just hit by a heart attach and due to some of those problems I can’t talk about they can’t even open him up with out killing him.

    I do hope Mr. DeRaego hand his family get as much help as they can. The world would be a much worse place with out his imagination

    Mr. Eley you are welcome to email me anytime. I’d be able to tell you more about my father’s problems then.

  13. […] Many of my listeners are also fans of Jeffrey DeRego’s Union Dues series of short stories that appear on Escape Pod. Editor Steve Eley posted news about DeRego’s recent heart surgery, and is asking people to help out with his medical bills. […]

  14. T. Borregaard says:

    For those of us who don’t use paypal, could we send a check to the above address? In which case, who should we make it out to?