I am feeling so very overwhelmed, happy, and so very thankful. Gofundme donators have now raised the entire $8000 needed for a new and 100% successful cross-linking surgery on my eyes to halt the progression of my Keratoconus !!! I would love to thank my family and friends and the many authors, editors, publishers, artists and readers/fans of the sf/fantasy field for amazingly generous donations made to the surprise fundraiser my boss, Shahid Mahmud (who deserves the most thanks!), created to help me raise the money. Not in my wildest dreams would I have believed I could have had this surgery within the next five years, because it’s not a cheep procedure, and now I can have the procedure done within months—as soon as I can organise it with the surgeon!
(Here is a link to the fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/lezlirobyn.)
I am most moved by the huge swell of support from the sf and fantasy field. While I know my family would donate if they have the means, because I am their loved one, so many other people donated and shared the link (282 times since last check!) just out of the kindness of their heart, or because I was part of the sf/fantasy community. In particular, Robert J. Sawyer‘s sharing of my fundraiser meant a lot of his fans and friends donated, and Marianne Plumridge‘s regular re-sharing kept it in the forefront of people’s minds. Then George R. R. Martin wrote a blog in support of the fundraiser, which meant numerous of his fans and one of the showrunners of the hit Game of Thrones TV show, David Benioff, donated a significant amount towards the total I need. Then File 770 added it to their blog reel here (item 4) and here (item 2), Joe Lansdale shared the email GRRM forwarded him about it online, and SF Site also posted about it, which was reblogged at Parallel State. So many artists, publishers and authors, from Joe Haldeman in the US and Juliet Marillier in Australia, were sharing it on their FB pages…then agent Eleanor Woods and her son, Justin, mailed a generous check after they heard about it via email. (And this is only a fraction of the 162 donators, and does not include the luminaries of the field who wanted their donations to stay anonymous.)
I have so many people to thank. I am especially thankful to the readers who donated—the people who, like me, might not have too much to spare, but still donated anyway. Even one of the first fans of my writing, a voracious reader, donated and left such a lovely message on my fundraiser (I’m looking at you, Jo Van Ekeren) that it moved me to tears.
In fact, I have been brought to tears several times over the amazing outpouring of generosity of the donations and the lovely messages written by those who have shared the fundraiser all over the web. And, let me tell you, it’s quite the bittersweet experience for me when I cry. My tears fill in the thinned parts of my corneas that the Keratoconus has eroded over the years, creating a more even, rounded, surface. So even if it was sadness that had caused my tears, for that split second my vision sharpens I experience a moment of wonder and surprise as I see how beautiful and vibrant the world really is, until gravity or the blink of an eye causes the tears to fall to my cheeks.
So, I thank you for the tears; I thank you for your generosity. I have always maintained that the sf/fantasy community operates a lot like a family. It might be a sometimes dysfunctional and controversial family at times, but it is a field notorious for paying it forward to the younger generation. Well, you guys have paid it forward this month to give me sight, in a field I like to think is full of vision for the future, and I can’t show my appreciation enough. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.
Here are what some lovely people said about the fundraiser:
My Aussie friend Lezli Robyn is a talented young writer and editor. She’s a Campbell Award nominee, one of Mike Resnick’s “writer babies” and sometime collaborator with Mike, and the assistant and right-hand-woman to Shahid Mahmud, owner and publisher of Arc Manor Press, the parent company behind GALAXY’S EDGE and a growing line of SF and fantasy classics. Many of you will have met her at the Kansas City worldcon or various regional conventions, manning the Arc Manor table in the huckster’s room, always with a smile on her face.
But now her eyes are failing her, and she needs help if she’s not to lose her sight.
Shahid, her boss and one of the good guys in his own right, has stepped forward to prevent that and established a Go Fund Me to get Lezli the procedure she needs to save her sight. You can find it at https://www.gofundme.com/LezliRobyn All the details are there.
Go. Read. Give.
It’s a terrific cause for a terrific person.—George R. R. Martin
Many of my friends will know Lezli Robyn as a lovely person and a highly original writer. I’m sharing this in hopes that some of you will donate to the campaign to fund her very important eye surgery. Every dollar helps!—Juliet Marillier
And in response to the inpouring of donations:
Wow! GAME OF THRONES showrunner David Benioff just donated $500—meaning the fundraiser for Lezli Robyn‘s eye procedure is now three-quarters of the way to its $8,000 goal after just three days! Lezli is legally blind and needs this procedure. Many thanks to all my friends who have already donated!—Robert J. Sawyer
And lastly, to echo my friend’s sentiments, I’ll leave you with this lovely comment:
I know that SF and Fantasy fandom/professional creative industry has its ups and downs, feuds, indifference, effortless nerdy geekdom, sometimes strained, sometimes so much fun…but I do love it when we come together to support one of our own, heedless of personal peccadilloes. Thank you one and all, on behalf of my friend.—Marianne Plumridge