Friday, November 15, 2013

A Special, Personal Request to My Online Friends

My wife's family has created an online donation site for people who want to help them get her parents back from the Dominican Republic, where they were serving their fourth mission (his fifth) when he had a severe stroke. Given his condition, it will cost about $48,000 to arrange a special flight to get them back home.
My father-in-law is a temple sealer.  He served his first mission as a young man in France, and, after his retirement from the BYU Continuing Education Department, he and my mother-in-law served together in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Chicago - before returning to the Dominican Republic for their current mission. 

If anyone is able to help Michelle's family raise the money they need for her parents to return home (and/or share this request with others), any amount would be appreciated.
If the flight costs end up being covered somehow or donations exceed the target amount any extra donations will be used to provide care costs once Dad returns home. 
 The site is:
Bring Ron Malan Home


Papa D said...

I want to add that the LDS Church has been wonderful and have given tremendous assistance to my mother-in-law. Elder Cornish (Area Presidency and doctor) has spent countless hours helping navigate the Dominican Republic hospital system and insisting on excellent care. The Senior Missionary Department is aware of and talking about Dad's situation. Dad's and Mom's Bishop is looking at the possibility of providing some assistance. I could continue, but I think all of this makes my point.

I just want to say that upfront, in case anyone is tempted to criticize the Church in any way. We couldn't have asked for better attention and help so far.

John Burton said...

Don't mean to be rude, but several of my friends are reluctant to donate, thinking that it might be some kind of scam. They feel suspicious that the church would not simply pay for the return home. What can I tell them?

Papa D said...

John, I understand that concern in today's world, so about the only thing you can tell them is that you know me (I comment as "Ray" in the Bloggernacle.) and that it isn't a scam. You can direct them to this blog, to see for themselves what I write, and you can have them check my Facebook postings (under "Curtis Ray DeGraw", with a picture of me proposing to my wife behind the Provo Temple) and see the family and friends who know us and have shared the donation link.

The Missionary Department is looking at what they can contribute, as is my father-in-law's Bishop, but there is no guarantee how much they can provide. My brother- and sisters-in-law have to leave the Dominican Republic this week and next, so we all have moved forward with the fundraising in hopes of knowing how much we will have to cover before they return home.

All I can say is, "Check us out and make the decision with which you feel comfortable." At the very least, direct people to my blog, so they can see who I am. If they still aren't comfortable, I understand. Really, I do.

Mama D said...

Ray, I apologize in advance as this comment might seem too harsh. You are much more understanding than I am. Chalk my reaction up to the emotional rawness of the past 12 days...

John, your friends have the right to think this might be a scam. As one of the daughters of the man in question, I have the right to fight the tendency to be offended that they believe that without researching it. I find it sad that your friends don't trust you enough to believe you wouldn't share something that is a scam. I don't know you, but you know my husband (at least online) and that is good enough for me to believe in your own good intentions.

However, you might invite your friends to actually click on the link and the Questions tab to get their own answers. You could also ask them to click on the Share a note tab and take a good look at the picture. Those are my mom's hands on my dad's shoulder and chest. You can see the tubes in his chest, mouth, and nose. The ring you see clearly is my dad's wedding ring and you can catch a glimpse of her wedding ring. My brother called it "two rings for now." This picture shows my mom expressing what she fully expected to be her final mortal farewells to her beloved eternal sweetheart of 50 years.

Your friends don't have to contribute nor believe in our family's living hell, but I can tell you: I wouldn't wish this nightmare on my worst enemies - or even on the cynical friends of friends who doubt the sincerity or validity of our heartbreak.

Anonymous said...


Please provide your mailing address.

The site you're using requires too much information. I'll mail you a small donation.