Friday, September 20, 2013

A Marine Family In Need.

Through my work on my page with Damsel I was adopting a family every month to raise funds for. The family always had a member who was critically ill or in need so I was always on the look out for people to help.

I have several friends who are military or are military spouses so I hear their stories often. Recently one really touched me. They were the total epitome of warrior strong to me as well as having a marriage I could relate to.

So I would like to introduce you to the Shocken family.

 Before disaster struck they were a normal USMC family. Dustin was deployed to Afghanistan. Amalia was a very active personal trainer raising their beautiful daughter in Twenty-Nine Palms.

Then the unthinkable happened. Amalia suffered a rare form of massive stroke. 2 out of 3 major brain vessels were completely blocked and the third was close. She required major surgery to remove blockages, take a piece of her skull to help cope with the massive swelling and save her life. She was in a come and they did not expect her to make it. I knew of this from that first moment pretty much as Amalia and I share a very dear friend and this friend stepped up to help since Dustin was gone. She took their daughter, she went to the hospital to talk to doctors, she did everything that she could do.

With the prognosis being so grim Dustin was sent home. In true Amalia and Dustin fashion she proved the docs wrong. She began to recover. She woke up. She tried to move. She spoke. She still has massive swelling and is almost totally paralyzed on her left side yet she is fighting to walk. She still is missing a chunk of her skull. She still needs help to do everything. She requires major rehab therapy.

So Dustin put her in an intensive rehab program for as long as he could. And then Tricare ran out. They would pay no more. So despite needing more care she was brought home and Dustin became her full time home nurse. He does everything. He changes her bags, he helps her do therapy. He should be doing the job and trusting his country to have his back and help him when needed but instead he is converting their home to a treatment center for her.

They need help. Help to get Amalia well. So the friends and family of Twenty-Nine are doing multiple fundraising things for them. There are shirts and a 5k. There is a straight donation page. So please guys. Share this for me. Donate for me. Help me help them.

  •  Visit or buy a shirt at Donations to the Schocken Family and/or Miles for Amalia 5K can be made via PayPal to or sent to Jacklyn Miller, 7 Acacia Court, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, checks payable to Jacklyn Miller. All funds sent outside of PayPal will be deposited into the PayPal account that has been set-up for the family/event.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to it.

Recently I've been most involved in managing my Damsel business and everything associated with it as well as online fibromyalgia support groups. First I stepped back from Damsel after Facebook blocked things and the politics of it caused more stress than it was worth.

Now I've also stepped back from my support groups. A number of years ago I stepped out of my shell and made friends with a couple of girls. We were all different but seemed bonded. Then petty issues and catty junk came up and it was constant drama. I despise drama and have learned that it actually makes me ill. I love women who are simple, no nonsense, no pretense, no fake crap. Real. So I concentrated on the handful of incredible women in my life, like Gracie and Mags. Until my diagnosis.  Then I wanted to talk to others like me, who understood fibromyalgia.  So I opened up again. I went from group to group until I found one that seemed to fit beautifully.  Real women facing a similar journey who were blunt, who seemed to not judge, who accepted.

Then it started to change. I noticed little things. New chat groups being made to exclude some. Posts seeming to dig at others. Then intried to mediate an issue. I was accused of bullying and called horrible things. It made me realize I miss my hermit life and all of you guys. :) Like minded hermits. So thanks for being awesome.