No (Change) -Updated 5/19/11

Update: I have been a bit frustrated that I haven’t been able to raise more money for Isaiah and his mom for his medical and care and living expenses. I know times are tough. I know I keep asking a lot of from you but please, please, please, go to and make whatever donation you can. Then again, when I am nice, like I was in the original blog below, there are fewer donations. However, when I am a “bully” and I “guilt-trip” like I was accused of after writing “Watching the Wreckage” I raise more. Or maybe it is just people donate more to us because they feel, either through the TV episodes or this blog or both, that they know us better, while I get that you don’t really know Isaiah and his mother, or Kelly and her daughter, Briana.

If that is the case, I am asking you to please trust me. The only difference between us and these other two families is that we got a Discovery Health Special. That’s it.


-Original Blog

I will update on Jani and our situation soon, but I can’t right now. I am not ready to share. Jani has been struggling lately and right now I guess I don’t have the courage to face those emotions. I am also trying to finish the book, which is my main focus because when I do I am going to set up a financial co-operative for families with mentally ill children. Every one contributes when they can and anybody can take when they need it.

In the meantime, I want to thank my readers who have contributed money to Team Isaiah but more is still needed. Click here for more information and to donate.

Another support group family, the Schaffers, are facing getting the electricity turned off. So are millions of other Americans, I know. But the Schaffer’s daughter, Briana, has what Jani has. She has schizophrenia. And the darkness will send her into a psychotic tailspin.

Please, if you can, call BGE (Maryland power company) at 1-800-685-2210 and make a “Gift of Energy” donation to account number #3093132590. Briana and the Schaffers need $557 by May 27th to keep the lights on.

This is what I do because I have to do it. Most of us with severely mentally ill kids once had pretty good careers, but eventually we had to make a choice: keeping our children alive or working. We chose the former, which means, yes, we have to beg. We do what we have to do.

I keep getting comments that ask me “What are you going to do? You can’t keep begging for money forever. Something has to change.”

But that’s just it. It won’t change. Ever.

It won’t change for us. It won’t change for Isaiah and his mother. It won’t change for Briana and her family. It won’t change for Pickles and her family. It won’t change for Alysha and her family. It won’t change for Maddox and his family.

It won’t ever change. These children have a severe mental illness.

This is our life now.

And it always will be.

I know I ask for a lot.

I have to. Until I can take care of these families myself, I have to.



PS: I must also thank everybody who contributed to us. Not thanking all of you (I don’t have the exact number but MANY, MANY, MANY people donated, from one dollar all the way $250) Many want to remain anonymous but I thank each and every one of you. I also want those who criticized me to know that the number of people who donated far outstripped the negative comments by a HUGE margin. We made rent and were able to pay our own outstanding electric bill and gas bills, as well as buy badly needed medication for our dog, Honey. Thank you again.

35 comments on “No (Change) -Updated 5/19/11

  1. may or may not be helpful but…
    I’m waiting….and waiting…for some folks to pay me from a project I worked on. When the money pops into the account I will contribute again, but I wanted to tell you something about the electricity donation… I contributed a small amount the other day via the phone number and account number that ya’ll have generously provided. I got a little worried when the digital operator said something to the effect of “your last donation in the amount of …whatever…was given using the card ending in …whatever…do you want to use that same card again”? : 0 ! I know the world is full of good people who wouldn’t do that but my goodness I hope no one feels compelled to choose “yes! use that same card again”! That could put some poor person in a big ass mess!

    Anyway, now that I have finished typing that I feel less than helpful. maybe it’s nothing, or, more likely maybe it’s just a risk we’ll all have to take. You don’t have to re-post this if it you don’t want to.

    On another note, of something else not really helpful but maybe interesting…I elected to go off my medicine about three months ago. I had taken a steady 3-pill cocktail of Wellbutrin, Lexapro, and Invega for the last seven years and I quit cold turkey about 10 weeks ago. Actually, I did it on accident when I got a little poor…thinking I would get the pills soon, and then realizing that I was doing ok without them..etc…foolish thinking. I was totally high! Wow Bipolar Barb back again….funnier and faster! I really missed having me around! Music was so awesome sounding and even the colors seemed brighter. But then I just sunk. The smallest thing had me paralyzed in fear and despair. The tears have been rolling for like a week non-stop. I can hardly work. My husband told me he’s not equipped to be married to this version of me! What a mess. Anyway, we’re lucky. We have some means and we’ll figure it out. I’m just sharing because I GET IT!! Thank you for what you do for your own family and for others who aren’t experiencing life as they could.
    ~barbara 8)

    Note from Michael: Thanks, Barbara. I will let people know to select NO when asked if they want to use the previously used credit card or bank account number.

  2. Things Will Get Better
    My name is Chris, I am 16 years old, and I have suffered from schizophrenia since I was a freshman in high school.
    I know you probably hear this a lot, but things WILL get better. When I was admitted to nyph westchester, my treatment team told my parents that i would most likely end up in a state hospital. I was so scared, i used every coping skill, vitamins and herbs to control med side effects(im on trilafon, zoloft, cogentin, and tenormin), and the support and love of my family, friends, and certain teachers to prove to the treatment team that they were wrong, that my diagnosis and prognosis were NOT a death sentence. I have since then recovered(though stress does give me brief reactive psychosis), i still take medication, and I am planning to major in psychology. The point of this comment is to show you that you are not alone, and your situation is certainly not hopeless. God bless and continue to believe that life, while not always fair, is meant to live for future generations’ happiness and well being. Jani is lucky to have parents like you and Susan.

    Note from Michael: Thank you very much, Chris. It is inspiring to hear from those who have survived mental illness into adulthood.

  3. Recent Negative Turtle Comments
    I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand the recent criticism directed against the Schofields concerning their turtles. It’s totally uncalled for. The turtles are part of Jani’s therapy which is, in turn, part of Jani’s general animal therapy. Being around and caring for animals helps keep Jani’s Calalinians at bay. If she didn’t have her real-life animals, Jani’s White Rabbits and Cheshire Cats , (always present in some form or another) , would quickly gang up on her and push her into another hospital stay. Nobody wants that.
    Personally I don’t have any problem with my donations being used for turtle maintenance, or any other kind of animal therapy. If it floats Jani’s boat, it’s OK by me.

  4. I fell in love with Jani’s Story
    Hi Michael,
    I found out about Jani’s story a while back. I have always been curious to how a person can develop schizophrenia but they were always adult cases and then one day I stumbled onto a youtube video of Jani. It took a hold of me of how such a bright, beautiful, young girl has lost herself in her own mind. I can’t imagine what you and your wife goes through each minute of the day to provide Jani everything that she needs in order for her to stay happy. Even though I only read what you write online I feel the pain you go through. I must say that I can feel the pain in your words. You truly are a wonderful father. I will also like donate what I can to help you and your family. This will be the first time I have ever done something like this to help another stranger and it will not be the last. You and your family have inspired me to continue to help others.

    Thank you,

  5. Hi Mr. Schofield,
    I tried to e-mail you but it said the e-mail was invalid.
    I watched Jani’s story on the OWN network today. I just wanted to say that your story has touched me deeply. The way you handle the situation and actually face it instead of fleeing is admirable. Many people do not know how to handle mental illness, and they see it almost as a taboo topic. I am a 21 year old girl and I have bipolar type II disorder. After many, many trial and errors with medication and therapy, I have been free from a hospital episode for almost 2 years now. Mental illness is so hard to deal with, not only for the one who has the illness, but everyone involved with that person. I am currently in college on my way to become a clinical psychologist and I work in a group home for the developmentally disabled, because helping people who have been dealing with the same kind of emotional pain/mental illness/distress as me is something I want to do for the rest of my life. Not comparing myself to others or inferring superiority, I just have a passion for the human mind. Jani’s story truly touched me, I am very sensitive to mental illness; your dedication to your daughter diagnosed with the most severe type of mental illness is truly amazing. I read your blog and I hope you feel that whatever the situation is that is going on right now with Jani you DO have the courage to face the emotions and handle it. I hope Jani is okay. She will be in my thoughts now. I am going to donate money when I get my next paycheck.
    Thank you for showing your courage, strength, and dedication.

    Note from Michael: Congratulations on your success against your illness and staying out of the hospital for two years now! Right now we are struggling. I am struggling. Jani’s hallucinations are so total and the hard part for me is she expects me to engage with them like they are real. I realize this is partially my fault because I used to do this as a way of keeping my connection with her but it is starting to wear me down. Every day she has a “friend” over for a sleep-over who doesn’t exist. It doesn’t help that we are short on real friends right now. There are so many kids that have what Jani has but they are spread all across the country.

  6. We love you Jani!
    I am sorry to hear that there is not much change for you guys. I sure hope that the therapies prove effective in giving sweet Jani some relief from her mind’s nasty tricks! Just wanted to drop a note of support! It is amazing to see parents in today’s society fighting so hard for their baby..everyday..forever. I would love to see some updated pictures of your blue eyed angel soon!
    Praying for Jani

    Note from Michael: Thanks, Carrie, but who I am really worried about right now is Isaiah and his family and the Briana and the Schaffers.

    As to your comment, there is a reason I put (Change) in parenthesis. It is meant to mean that yes there is indeed change. Jani is getting better and stronger all the time, but it is change in parenthesis, meaning that it is always under threat and always will be. Life will always be a struggle for Jani, as it is for Isaiah and Briana and Pickles and all the other mentally ill children we know. It was an answer to those who keep telling me “something has to change.” It is changing, but there is no quick fix. This is a lifetime battle we fight.

  7. friend
    Hi Micheal,
    Please tell you readers they are not paying for the turtle upkeep. That is what I am sending money for!!!! If there is any left, use it on cigarettes.
    People, all children need distractions. Animals are great ways to build empathy and expand thinking. Would you really want to to just watch TV everyday.
    As for the cigarettes, Micheal needs distractions. If they help keep him centered quit getting on his case.

  8. In love with Jani’s Journey
    I’m trying to post a comment again as it failed yesterday to do. I want to let you know that I stumbled upon Jani’s story not to long ago due to a huge curiousity about how a person can become affected with schizophrenia. In most of the cases I read about it was teens and adults. Never a case like Jani. I actually found the video on youtube by the LA Times. I quickly came to admire her and after reading most of your blogs, I admire you as a father. I agree with you 100% that those of us who don’t have a child who suffers from a severe mental illness know what you go through(I’m 25 and have no kids yet). We can only imagine on the outside what it must take for a father to struggle every single minute of the day just to keep his daughter alive and happy. For all the money that I spend on useless crap I would like to give to a family who needs it. This will be the first time I do something like this and I promise it will not be the last. You have help me understand what it is to help others who are in need even if it’s not a large contribution, that family would cherish it forever. I want to keep Jani alive and happy as well.


    Note from Michael: Hi, Mary. Actually child onset schizophrenia has been around forever. There were children with what we would today call schizophrenia in state hospital wards decades ago before they all closed or they were the “odd” children, the “strange,” the “eccentric.” I am still not saying it is an everyday occurrence but until our story became public we didn’t realize how common. There are two hundred families in our private online support group we set up and more and more keep contacting us either here or at The reason these children seem so “invisible” is because there is no services to help them.

  9. I would donae $10, but I think I’ll go buy a pack of smokes instead.

    Note from Michael: Good for you. They’ll help you relax.

    Apparently you didn’t bother to read that I am not asking for money for me and my six grand a day smoking habit. I am asking for Isaiah and Briana. But you don’t care, do you, so why should I bother? So, please, even if you don’t smoke, get a pack and start. It might hurt your lungs but it might do wonders for your humanity.

  10. I bet if you got the right coverage for your book, it’d be able to help change things around – Facebook groups, a youtube video, something. Brainstorming for now, but definitely going to do my best to get the word out for you.

    Otherwise, just wondering – is there any chance that the schizophrenia could get better as Jani grows? But then the problem is that even if so, that doesn’t really help right now.

    Also, I remember hearing about some kind of organization that encourages kids to try therapeutic art, and then actually helps them out by selling it. No idea if you’ve looked into it or not, but if Bodhi or Jani likes art, that might be something to try out – just thinking out loud here.

    (Also, no idea if my donation got through, but my goal is to get a PP account so next time I won’t have to snail-mail it!)


    Note from Michael: Yes, there is a lot of hope that it will get better as Jani gets older. It already is. Even on this blog I get a lot of comments from adolescents and young adults struggling with schizophrenia who remember it began for them in childhood and now, although a struggle (it is always a struggle), they are going to college, etc. There is a LOT of hope. But again, I have seen Jani come SO FAR from where she was two years ago. She has a life back. She is getting better all the time. There will always be a step back every so often but she is getting better, both because of the medication and because of her own awareness, intelligence, and maturity.

    Also, my book won’t be out until spring of next year. We are still in the editing stage. Random House plans to release it sometime spring of 2012. So in about nine months Random House will be taking over this website. I will still have a blog and everything that is here now but Random House web designers will be redesigning the page.

  11. The economy is bad for us all
    I have seen Jani’s story twice now on the Oprah channel. My heart goes out to her family and the other families.

    As far everyone who looks at the site NEED to donate i feel is wrong, with this economy so many have no jobs, no homes, nothing to eat. It’s bad for us all right now.

    I’m a single mom living on disability due to a work related injury. My daughter has a learning disability. I try to help others as much as i can, but can only do so much as i HAVE to take care of home 1st.

    If i can give i will if i can’t i wont.


  12. Amazing… all this nonsense about Michael’s smoking. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. Here he is asking for help for a different family and their children and that is what you choose to focus on? I wonder how many of you who criticize Michael so relentlessly have ever given a dollar to the guy standing on the corner holding a sign. Did you ask him if he smokes? Or if he drinks? Or if he is really homeless or just taking advantage of people?

    Would you prefer that Michael come on here and lie and say he doesn’t smoke, that he and Susan never fight in front of Jani, that he’s made every single right decision from the moment she was born until today?

    I respect him because he’s honest. Could he be lying? Sure – but what would be the point? If he was going to lie, why not make himself appear to walk on water to pander to all of you armchair parents to secure more donations?

    God help all of you if you ever need help in your lives. I am far, far, far from being a bleeding heart but I believe this guy is being honest.

    “It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.” Joseph Addison

  13. Cash Donations
    I do not have a credit card so I cannot donate via paypal, but do you have an address that I could send money? Or, if that sounds too sketchy (which it kinda does but I can’t imagine that anyone who would read your blog would still think they could/should steal from you), do you have some kind of address? I really really really want to donate but it would have to be in cash.

    (I don’t know if you can see my email but if not could you post an email that works cuz I’m a college student and am uncomfortable with having my email where people can find it)

    Note from Michael: I can see your email but no one else can. Other readers cannot and no one else has access to the administrator section of this blog other than me.

    The address I give out for snail mail is my work address:

    Michael Schofield
    California State University, Northridge
    Department of English
    18111 Nordhoff St.
    Northridge, CA 91330.

  14. Michael- You are warrior. A warrior for your family, a warrior for childhood mental illness, and a warrior for the other families in your situation who are also in need. I commend you on your nobleness and I hope that my donation to Isaiah’s family helps get them through this. Together, we all can move mountains.

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Sarah, for donating to Isaiah and his mom. I am in your debt.

  15. your son
    I worry about your son and what all this time and focus being placed on Jani is causing him. I’m sure you’ve thought of this. If I could help, I would like to help him.

    Note from Michael: Bodhi gets lots of love and affection. He is also autistic so he has his own issues we must attend to. We fight for him just as hard as we fight for Jani.

  16. Fundraising
    Hi Michael,
    As a long time reader of Jani’s story, a donor, and a professional fundraiser, I want to tell you: don’t get discouraged with the “asking for money” part. Typically it takes between 3 and 6 “asks” to a targeted donor in order to get one donation. A cold-ask (ie: just sending your request out into the world) will take even more exposure before a donor decides to even part with a single dollar.

    I would also encourage you and the families you work with to set up specific requests on One benefit of this is that the donor’s contributions are tax-deductible (Modest Needs is a registered 501(c)(3) which gives grants to families who meet their criteria).

    Finally, as a donor, it was a little disconcerting to never receive any acknowledgment of my gift. I understand that you don’t have time to respond to each and every one personally, but it might not hurt to set up an autoresponder tied to a specific email address you use for your Paypal account that sends folks who send you money a little note of thanks. Just a suggestion.

    Much love to Jani from New England

    Note from Michael: Thank you. I didn’t even know I could set up an autoresponder on Paypal. I will absolutely look into it. Thank you for letting me know and thank you for your donation and for giving me some insight into the world of donations.

    Updated note from Michael: I checked with Paypal and they do not allow customization of the acknowledgment of payment page that you see after you make a donation. The only way to create a personal “thank you” is to create a new webpage and redirect to it, neither of which I know how to do. In other words, it would have to redirect to a page on I will work on getting someone to help me do that.

  17. Re: Donations
    I donated. I also posted a link to this site on Facebook and urged my friends/family/people-who-randomly-friended-me to donate as well. I’m going to try to remember to donate again in the future.

    As far as the “everyone who reads should donate” issue: yes. If you read this site, and you have even a few spare bucks, I DO feel that it’s your moral imperative to donate… otherwise, whether you admit it or not, you’re basically viewing the Schofield’s story for your own amusement. You’re using it as misery porn, which is a big seller these days – see also “Hoarders”, “Intervention”, “My Strange Addiction”, etc. The thing is, the Schofields aren’t a TV show. They’re a real family. They’re facing a real issue which is about a million times bigger and harder than those that most people face. And while it’s clearly a brutal process, they’re doing it with grace and integrity.

    As far as the smoking issue: jesus christ, people. True charity never – and I mean NEVER EVER – comes with caveats. If it does, it’s not charity – it’s attempting to buy control of someone else’s actions with your money. ANY. DAMNED. THING. which buys Michael or Susan a little bit of peace, normality or comfort is a-okay in my book. Other parents whine about their infrequent “date nights”. Pretty small potatoes compared to the 24/7/365 emotional and physical drain of coping with a child with a severe mental illness.

    Michael and Susan, I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that time and modern medicine will help bring your family as much peace and happiness as possible.

    – Julia

    Note from Michael: Wow. You would make a great advocate for mentally ill kids and their families. Ever thought about it? You got the guts to say it like it has to be said, which is what this advocacy work needs.

  18. have you heard of Dr. Michael Golberg in Tarzana. He helps autistic children throught the use of anit-virals, funglas, small doses of anti-depressants and diet. he believes that autism is a biophysical disaese caused by a viral/fungal infection that jas entered the brain. he ahas a long history of recovering children. perhaps you should look into him for a consultation for Bhodi…don’t know his views on Jani’s illness…but he is a powerhouse of a man, doing great work for the children..and he is in your neck of the woods. look him up online…lots of info. he also has a new book out. best of luck to you and your family.

    regards, lisa

  19. i donated!
    Dear michael, susan & january, I just donated $20 and wish it cld be more… I am so happy to give to your family and I hope many more people will. Thank you for being so open and honest with the rest of us… I had no idea that this cld happen to such a young child. By educating us I hope it teaches people to be less judgemental and prevents assumptions based on “looks”… my son doesn’t look like he has systemic juvenille rheumatoid arthritis… luckily… but he does and it affects his attendance at school for the methotrexate injections to suppress his immune response to stop the destruction of his synovial membranes his own body was attacking… side effect is he doesn’t heal or recover from illness as quickly as most other kids… the arguement the school has is mostly because they can’t see the arthritis…luckily it hasn’t deformed his joints because we have been luckier than some other kids! My point is people don’t understand that eyes can be wrong. January is a beautiful girl that has an illness. My son is 12 and was diagnosed at 4. I know your family has a lot to deal with but your love for your children is evident. Please keep up the good work and you are all in my thoughts. Good luck and let the silly comments roll off… enjoy the kids and all the wonderful moments that you have together. >kerry 😉

    Note from Michael: So your school district is denying accommodations even for a physical illness? Feel free to email me at

  20. I wish I could do more
    I have always had an illness. I was not diagnosed with anything until the age of 12 and that diagnosis has changed and been added to more times than I can remember. I really believe that most people have some form of mental illness, some are just more obvious than others. I gave what I could to you and to Isaiah but I wish I could give more. I cannot work and my husband is out of work. We are lucky enough to have family members who have a place for us to live rent free so I am passing on a little $ I can spare. I am so glad that you have animals for Jani, I know that I could not survive without my dogs. Jani is so incredibly lucky to have you and Susan as parents. Please don’t ever give up on her or yourselves.

    Note from Michael: Can’t give up on her or Bodhi or any of the other children. Just can’t do it. This is who I am now.

  21. T.V.
    I met Jani on T.V. the other night. I’m glad I found your blog and I’ve donated a small amount of money. Please use it to better Jani’s day.

  22. Michael,

    As a mental health nurse, I advocate daily for people who have no one else. As a mother, I advocate for my children, and aim to lay a foundation of safety, peace and warmth from which they can experience the world and become themselves. Jani’s story is important for us to hear – she is one of our canaries in the mine, predicting the impending doom of healthcare in the US, and the need for immediate and rapid change to better serve the most vulnerable members of our society.

    Mental health clinicians are virtually hog-tied by bureaucracy, insurance companies, and unrealistic patient loads with dismal resources. Please know some of us think about your children, parents, spouses, and siblings long after we clock out. Some of us carry these stories, these people, inside of us like a secret every day, and long for change, or hope, or healing.

    I appreciate your willingness to put yourself out there to the world, even when it portrays you as an asshole. Which your blog does, with regularity. The complex dimension you express is enlightening, albeit difficult to read at times. I’m glad you have the need and talent to write (and advocate) for your little girl. The base, scripted urge carved into our cells that keeps us alive takes many forms. Yours is an interesting and important survival story. I hope Jani is able to thrive due to your work for her.

    Note from Michael: Thank you. You are the nicest person to ever tell me I am an asshole 🙂 But you are right. We are trying to bring attention to how the system is failing and unfortunately the politicians don’t want to listen. So some times in order to be heard I have to get in people’s faces.

  23. Guess i shouldn’t be reading the messages here.
    It seems that i should HAVE to donate (according to Julia) to read updates about Jani, my prayers for her and her family are NOT enough.

    Again there are times i don’t even have $1.00 to give as i only get 1 SSDI check and i need to pay for rent/food and things for me and MY dd. There are some months i have a bit extra and would love and have given, yes i’m that person that if i have an extra $ i will keep it in my car and give it to anyone who needs/asks for it, but i guess that’s not enough?

    Everytime i read someone’s blog i’m supposed to donate because i have read their blog??

    Michael just wanted to say i will keep your family in my prayers. I wont post nor read your blogs anymore.


  24. I donated $10 to your paypal account. If you would please forward to team Isiash I couldn’t get there website to work. Thank you so much Michael.

    Note from Michael: Will do. Thank you.

  25. Hi Micheal. I am making a donation for both you and team Isaiah and the Schaffers on your page as the team Isaiah’s pay pal seems not to be working. Can you please pass it on. I hope to make donations to you and team Isaiah and the Schaffers everytime I get paid. It is such a small amount and I wish it could be more but I hope it helps.

    Note from Michael: I think there was a problem with the paypal at Team Isaiah and now it only takes credit cards. However, I forwarded half off your donation to Sierra’s (Isaiah’s mom) Paypal.

  26. my son
    my son is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and hes been hospitlized many times. but now he is with a team called early intervention psychosis. which is helping him a lot. he sees a social worker ever few days at the moment. theyre teaching him how to not listen to the voices and question and test his delutions.. hes on the medication clozipine.. which help a bit.. he will have to take the medication for the rest of his life.. and it doesnt remove all symptoms.. which i find sad since he my son i dont want him to have this horrible disease.. and be afraid.. i feel that this team might be able to help jani.. do they have it in the usa?

    Note from Michael: Not specifically for kids with psychosis. What country are you from?

  27. Julia, most of your post was brilliantly written, and your arguments are great. This part, however, I’m not so sure about:

    “As far as the “everyone who reads should donate” issue: yes. If you read this site, and you have even a few spare bucks, I DO feel that it’s your moral imperative to donate… otherwise, whether you admit it or not, you’re basically viewing the Schofield’s story for your own amusement”.

    1. I am mentally ill and I have an ill child. (Hardly amusing, reading Jani’s struggles is truly heartbreaking).
    2. I don’t donate to Jani, nor anyone else who approaches me. Why? I have found someone with a different illness who I am currently donating to weekly. I read her blog as well.
    3. The only person I am obligated to help is MY OWN CHILD. I chose to donate to this other person, because it is my choice.

    I admire your stance, and I think you have potential, but you are FAR too aggressive.

  28. off topic
    Sorry, I know this is off topic, but I keep thinking, surely Oprah could have sorted this all out? I can’t believe she chose not to. I’m so disappointed in her for that.

  29. Dear Michael,

    I must admit, in my mind there is a difference between your family and the Schaffers because although we are donating money to you (made my first donation just now), you are giving back to us by allowing us to share in your journey not only in your Discovery Special but also by following up with this blog and an upcoming book. Of course in an ideal world, that wouldn’t matter and we would be helping the people we don’t ‘know’ just as much as the people we do. I think your idea to ultimately establish a non-profit or co-op that could distribute to many families is a great one.

    Best wishes,

    Note from Michael: I understand that, I do. I am just trying to parlay whatever attention we have gotten from the media into help for everybody who hasn’t had the same level of media attention.

    But you also remind me I am really, really stalling on writing a new blog about Jani (and Bodhi). I don’t know why but I am. Nothing end of the world has happened. Both kids are still with us. But the last few months have been rough. I know I have gotten carried away with trying to help others. There are going to be blogs like that but I know I need to get back to my family as well. I intended to write a new blog tonight (not “The Cause” but a personal blog) and just couldn’t do it.

  30. my little girl, fighting phycosis
    i am a single mother of 5 kids. their father raped the 2 older kids, leaving 1 with sever disorders. she has kiklled nomurous animals and made attempts on 9 ppls lives. we have been to ten institutions in the past 3 yrs. we need help, my doctor had mintioned getting in contact with you. i havent given up, i dont want the state to either8)

    Note from Michael: If you have facebook, come to That is best way to find us and to share your story and see if we can find some help for you. We also have a private support group at that is only open to members. Email Susan at if you want to talk.

  31. Donations
    Why not donate five dollars to yourself instead of wasting it on cigarettes?

    You keep saying that cigarettes only cost five dollars…..but then you ask for one dollar donations….so you donate that 5 dollars to yourself (on something that is an actual need and not a want)and it’s like 5 one dollar donations!

    That’s the only thing that stops me from the fact that you continue to waste money on cigarettes, even if they only cost 5 dollars a pack, it can be used somewhere else that is a need and not a want.