Important Update: Since we posted this at noon 2/5/13, we have raised $24,124.15, from 262 people. That’s 31.5 days of care. Thank you all so much! Other fundraisers (at the Eagles [$6,788] and Elberta United Methodist on March 16; Frankfort United Methodist on March 9 [$3,262.50]; and the bake sale at Trinity Lutheran on February 24 [$5,518.66]) have raised in excess of $15,500. We’re now turning the Alert bank account back over to our own fundraising. But you can still donate to Issy’s cause with the button below—the button now leads directly to the official Team Issy fundraising account. If you’d rather not use PayPal, you can make a check payable to Team Issy and mail it to PO Box 145, Elberta, MI 49628.
The Stapleton family live on Steele Street here in Elberta. Matt Stapleton serves as principal of Frankfort–Elberta High School, coaches football and basketball, and is a beloved presence at Village of Elberta council meetings. Kelli Stapleton runs a not-very-lucrative but totally genius podcast/publishing empire called Birth Stories on Demand, and for years has run a nonprofit, free dance program for kids called the Betsie Valley Dance School (now called Get Up and Dance, and Kelli is still helping out). She’s also a member of the Elberta Planning Commission. The Stapletons have three kids: McEwen, Issy, and Ainsley. This page is dedicated to Issy.
Issy is 13 and has a form of autism that subjects her, and her family, to violent outbursts. Issy is a beautiful person whose illness sends her out of control. For the past few years, Issy has been big enough to cause serious injury to her petite mother and others. Kelli has been to the hospital several times and the family often have to call the sheriff’s department to deal with Issy. For years, the Stapletons have been trying to get treatment for Issy, but their insurance will cover little to none of the costs, which are enormous.
Recently, Issy got into an in-patient treatment program downstate at the Great Lakes Center for Autism in Portage. The insurance company would only pay for 30 days of treatment. She is supposed to come home soon. Perhaps it’s needless to say that the 30 days were not enough. Kelli says Issy is in a crucial part of her treatment program right now, and pulling her out now may nullify the progress she’s made so far. It might even make things worse.
From Kelli’s Facebook page: “For all of you who asked. Treatment for Issy is $765 a day. She comes home next week unless we can get a miracle. We are hoping for just 8-12 weeks of more treatment. She is doing well however, with behavior treatment… it gets worse before it gets better. She has injured 3 of their workers last week. I’m not going to lie, I’m worried about her coming home in the middle of the “extinction burst”. We are appealing to the insurance company so a miracle can still happen ♥. If not, I may have to streak the general offices of BCBS. Trust me, no one wants to see that…..”
Read more of Kelli’s own words and see photos depicting the family’s problem here.
We can go on and on about how ridiculous this amount of money is, and how criminal it is that the Stapletons’ insurance won’t cover it, and that there seems to be no recourse, and little understanding, within our health care system to help this family, our neighbors.
Or we can pitch in, a little bit at a time, and perhaps force the State of Michigan and the nation to wake up to the injustices and greed that allow hardworking, good-hearted people to be abandoned in moments of crisis.—Emily Votruba, acting managing editor, The Elberta Alert