Thursday, December 09, 2010

Dean Young Is in Need of a Heart Transplant - Message from Tony Hoagland

To make a donation to NFT in honor of Dean Young, click the link below. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Texas Heart Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Dean Young" on the memo line.

A letter from Tony Hoagland:

Dear Friends,

If you are reading this, you are probably a friend of Dean Young and/or a friend of poetry. And you may have heard that our friend is in a precarious position. Dean needs a heart transplant now. He also needs your assistance now.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, Dean has lived with a degenerative heart condition--congestive heart failure due to idiopathic hypotropic cardiomyopathy. After periods of more-or-less remission, in which his heart was stabilized and improved with the help of medications, the function of his heart has worsened. Now, radically.

For the last two years he has had periods in which he cannot walk a block without resting. Medications which once worked have lost their efficacy. He is in and out of the hospital, unable to breathe without discomfort, etc. Currently, Dean's heart is pumping at an estimated 8% of normal volume.

In the past, doctors have been impressed with his ability to function in this condition. But now things are getting quickly worse. Dean has been placed on the transplant list at Seton Medical Center Austin, and has just been upgraded to a very critical category. He's got to get a heart soon, or go to intermediate drastic measures like a mechanical external pump.

Whatever the scenario, the financial expenses, both direct and collateral, will be massive. Yes, he has sound health insurance, but even so, he will have enormous bills not covered by insurance--which is where you can help, with your financial support.

If you know Dean, you know that his non-anatomical heart, though hardly normal, is not malfunctioning, but great in scope, affectionate and loyal. And you know that his poetry is what the Elizabethans would have called "one of the ornaments of our era"--hilarious, heartbreaking, courageous, brilliant and already a part of the American canon.

His 10-plus books, his long career of passionate and brilliant teaching, most recently as William Livingston Chair of Poetry at the University of Texas at Austin; his instruction and mentorship of hundreds of younger poets; his many friendships; his high, reckless and uncompromised vision of what art is: all these are reasons for us to gather together now in his defense and support.

Joe Di Prisco, one of Dean's oldest friends, is chairing a fundraising campaign conducted through the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT). NFT is a nonprofit organization that has been assisting transplant patients with advocacy and fundraising support since 1983.

On behalf of Dean, myself, and the principle of all our friendships in art, I ask you to give all you can. Thanks, my friends.


Tony Hoagland


At 12/09/2010 3:25 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Let's pitch in.

I'd suggest that all literary publications reserve space in upcoming issues to include the appeal letter or a short description of the support efforts and directions for contact.

At 12/09/2010 3:53 PM, Anonymous Austin Smith said...

Good idea, Kent. And writing programs can help, as well, by encouraging their students and faculty to donate (at readings by passing a donation bucket around, in the English department offices by posting fliers, etc.). And AWP will be a great opportunity, too, though it seems this is quite an emergency and AWP is pretty far off...

At 12/09/2010 4:47 PM, Anonymous Austin Smith said...

Just to follow up my last post, anyone reading this who is affiliated with an academic department should forward the link to their department secretary, who can then forward it to everyone else.

At 12/09/2010 5:14 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Funny you should say that, Kent, as we printed it up to go out with our next issue.

At 12/09/2010 5:22 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Good, John.

Sous les Paves, going out to several hundreds in about ten days will have something, too.

Austin's suggestion about sending the link to English Departments for circulation amongst faculty is an excellent one.

At 12/09/2010 5:44 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Actually, following Austin's idea, have just made the request with folks at Brown, Harvard, and Penn that the Hoagland email be shared as an English Department circular with all faculty members.

If the request gets circulated amongst lots of English Dept. folks at various schools, I would imagine some good amount of contributions would come in. If you're a grad student or faculty, please ask your Department office to do so.

At 12/11/2010 6:46 AM, Blogger Rebeccal said...

Honor Dean Young by registering as an organ donor !

At 12/11/2010 6:48 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Oh, absolutely. We should all be organ donors.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home