Hello everyone! Thank you for stopping by. Welcome to my first blog post. This post will probably be a bit lengthy so that I may explain everything. First of all I would like to say THANK GOODNESS we finally have a web presence. Secondly, I would like to thank my friend Susan Stevenson for help us to get the page up and running! It looks so much cleaner and nicer. Our official launch date is scheduled for December 1st, 2012 Make sure you come back and check it out. This site has been a long time in the making. It developed from my heart to my head to a reality. I am so eternally grateful to everyone that has helped us get this far! Okay, enough with the gushing let’s get down to who we are, what we do and what we have in store when we grow up.
Dragonfly Wings Inc., is an Alaskan Nonprofit started by Erika Sudz, Brad Sudz and Bill Munson. Erika is a breast cancer survivor and together with her husband, Brad, they wanted to give back to the community that has been so good to them. Dragonfly Wings Inc., is on a mission to assist cancer patients, all patients don’t let the pink on the page fool you, with the healing process. The aim is to assist patients with paying for the cost of their care and also assisting with the cost of travel with their care. Stress from finances is not beneficial to the healing process. It is essential, in the battle against this rotten disease, to work from within to heal. Healing is not just about the physical, it is about the emotional and spiritual healing as well. Art, specifically photography, has always been Erika’s passion. Without her photography she is 100% certain she wouldn’t be as far along in the healing process as she is. The goal is to pass this along to other cancer patients through the healing arts, such as yoga, massage, acupuncture, Reiki. Through the use of Art, as in photography, painting, sculpting, music, sewing, basically anyway you can think of to express what inspires you.
I would like to explain the terrible reality of the financial cost of cancer here in Alaska. Alaska, all though a very large state, basically consists of 3 cities. Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks. Those are the options available to cancer patients. All though insurance will cover the cost of care as if every doctor was in-network, the doctors refuse to be considered in-network. So, what does that mean? Most of you probably understand, like I did, that if you went to an in-network doctor your care would be covered at x%. Well, if a doctor is in-network that means that they have accepted to reduce the cost of their care according to what insurance declares a reasonable fee. Now, if a doctor is out of network, they are stating they will NOT work for a reduced fee. Most of the surgeons here in town, and the pathologists and radiologists, are not considered in-network for ANY provider, by choice. So, if insurance says they will pay 30k for a mastectomy and the doctor charges 40k the patient is still responsible for that 10k. Unbelievable right? So, lets say you want to go to Seattle for your care. Great, some insurance will pay travel expenses. Aetna will pay for 2 flights and 5 nights stay in a hotel. If your spouse goes with you that counts and one of those flights. If you go to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance House and stay there for your care it will run you $95.00 a night plus parking. Heaven forbid your care go beyond that 5 days that is covered. Then it is all on you. Most patients receiving chemo/radiation treatments know, 5 days isn’t going to cut it. Alaska airlines will also provide up to 4 flights a year for medical treatments, maybe, if you are accepted. Again, if your spouse goes that counts as 2. See the dilemma? Your damned if you do or your damned if you don’t. Most of the state is small villages full of wonderful people. If they need care they have to boat or fly to Anchorage, Juneau or Fairbanks. We’ve had people say “well there are organizations out there to help” Nope, there isn’t. If you are below the poverty level then yes. You can get Medicaid. What about the working man that makes a decent salary but, lives paycheck to paycheck? They do not qualify for any assistance. Believe me we know. That is where we come in. We might not be able to pay an entire bill, but, we would like to pay some of it.
As of October 23rd we were incorporated as an Alaskan Nonprofit. We have filled out the paperwork, form 1023, for our 501 (c) 3. Our attorney has sent it off to the IRS. According to the IRS guidelines from Oct 23, 2012 and for up to 27 months beyond that, fingers crossed it doesn’t take that long, they will honor tax receipts. As long as the corporation is just that Incorporated and listed as a nonprofit in the state they reside in. So donate away, we will be able to write you tax receipts.
We are also completing a dry cabin on our property. It is the vision that the cabin will be used as a studio. It will be made available to local artists that would like to teach classes to cancer patients. More to come on that.
So how can you help? You can donate art supplies. You can donate money. You can donate items for resale. You can donate your time. You can tell every single person you come into contact with about us. You can volunteer to assist with the studio completion. Skies the limit really, it’s all up to you.
Starting December 1st we will feature a Patient’s story. We will have a featured artist every month as well. This artist will have created 4 pieces to be one of a kind just for us. Those pieces will be auctioned off on Ebay with the proceeds going into the fund for helping patients. We will also feature a healing artist. Someone that has donated their services such as Yoga, massage, acupuncture, reiki healing.
It is with our sincerest gratitude that we say THANK YOU for stopping by. It is our sincerest hope that you will come back often. You will have our undying gratitude if you tell EVERYONE you can think of about our cause. We need artists, patients stories, healing artists, art supplies and so on and so on.
Peace be with all of you!