We Get To Carry Each Other

I am going to ask you for money again…


…but not for us.


It’s for them….


That’s Maddox holding his baby brother, Lennox. Maddox is 7. He is diagnosed schizo-affective.


Something about that I don’t publicize is that I help other families when I can. When I could, I set up an online account and bought groceries for this family, even though they lived 1000 miles away from me.


Right now, their mother, Bridget, has until next Monday, the 14th, to pay a $1100 electric bill. They live in New Jersey (and the state refuses to help so don’t bother offering suggestions-they have seven days until they lose their heat). That is what matters-seven days and they lose their heat. In New Jersey. Bridget has a wooden stove but Maddox is drawn to fire and will try to play with it, so she has no choice but to run the floor vents. I don’t live on the East Coast but I have heard heating oil costs are exorbitant.




Save money and run the wood stove, and risk Maddox burning himself to death.




Get the heat shut off in seven days.




Beg. I will do that.


I have donated 30$ dollars to her paypal account: That is all I can do. I get paid again next Tuesday and I will make up the difference, but by then it will be too late.


So this is what I am asking from you. I want every reader of this blog to donate $10 to the account above. I get more than 110 readers so this shouldn’t take long.


Please. Don’t risk this child’s life by having Bridget turn on the wood stove to keep them warm. We can do this. We are human. This is our duty. Like Bono said in “One,” we get to carry each other.


I would rather you do this than donate to us. If it comes down to a choice, donate to Maddox and Lennox.


Ten dollars each. If we can’t do this for each other, then we aren’t human. This is what it means to be human. It means to carry each other. Bono didn’t mean that line as the task is a a burden. He meant that it is an honor. This is our duty as humans.


Because we all need to be carried sometimes….


Note: We made it! Bridget will be able to pay the heating bill and keep herself and her boys warm! Thank you to all of you who donated! You have my deepest, deepest thanks.


Michael 3/13/11






19 comments on “We Get To Carry Each Other

  1. “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
    – Carl Jung

    As you know, my mom and I are not doing well financially ourselves; but I, we know what it is like to love in their situation. We are New Yorkers. You are correct, the hearing coats through the East Coast are horrendous and, in our personal situation, my mother was told she “made too much” to receive assistance and to cut back on her hours (right, to cut back on even one hour of any one of her five jobs would mean starvation). At the moment, however, we’re doing OK. Maybe not 10-spare-dollars OK; but I can give something.

    Also, you may be interested that on the 19th on this month, the Jewish holiday Purim is occurring. Though known mainly for its festive noise-making and (in the past) drunkenness, it is also a holiday where it is commanded that gifts of food be given to friends and help be given to those in need.


  2. This reminds me of my favorite quote from the series “Firefly”.

    “When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl – when you can’t do that… You find someone to carry you”

  3. CPS Abuse
    Note from Michael: This is from Bridget, the mother of Maddox and Lennox.

    I was blessed with my second son, Lennox, on January 21st. My first son, Maddox was thrilled with his brother. Despite being worried about how he would handle his brother I realized my fears were groundless. He became a doting and protective big brother overnight. He has never threatened to hurt his little brother or ever done anything to cause alarm.

    When Lennox was born, breastfeeding was going well. By two weeks old he wasn’t gaining weight so I talked to the nurse practitioner about what to do with him and she said he needed formula. I asked if I could give him my pumped breastmilk and she said no. Maddox was bouncing around and my friend took him out. This is how he expresses anxiety. Note that he was not violent at any point.

    When we got home CPS was waiting for us. The NP claimed I did not feed Lennox, not that there were breastfeeding difficulties. The other concern was Maddox’s mental illness and violence, despite the complete lack of any violence at all. Lennox is seeing a feeding therapist because I took him to several other medical professionals who saw that he had a legitimate feeding problem.

    They have closed the case. In the letter stating the case was closed it says “Contact Maddox’s psychiatrist per Dr. Scott if Maddox threatens Lennox.” It goes on to state that the case will be reopened if that occurs.

    Maddox is terrified of strangers, more so of those that want to force their way into his safe space (our home.) The idea that we have to worry about this is stressful. A stress that Maddox does not handle well. It would make sense if Lennox was in any danger, but he simply isn’t. Maddox is more patient with his brother than neurotypical children I have seen.

    It seems they are looking for a reason to reopen a case that is groundless in the first place.

  4. I get a little help from my friends
    Hi Michael,

    I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I just donated what we could to Bridget and her family. I hope that your readers are as inspired by your post as we were.

    I know that you and your family run into a lot of negativity, but I wanted to also share how you’ve changed my life. I was just getting into becoming an early childhood educator and after learning about Jani have become committed to learning about special needs in early childhood. I know that I won’t have my education in time to help Maddox or Jani, but I hope that I will be a positive voice for change for future family’s and children.

    In addition to having first hand experience with parents of children with special needs, I had written a comment awhile back (late November) with some ideas that could help financially and I’d still love to speak with you about those, if you’re interested. Even if not, please feel free to contact me via e-mail if you would like, I would love to learn how I can help children like Jani in the future.

    Thank you for sharing Bridget’s story with us – and I hope you still keep blogging (when you have time.)

    Warmly with hope,
    Tiffany S.

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Tiffany. I don’t recall your comment from November so I apologize that I missed it. I will email you when I can.

  5. Hi

    Is it possible to report the link to the paypal account? I am slightly rubbish at technology but would love to donate!

    Michael and Susan, I would just like to say how great I think you both are for everything you do for your children. I live in England and heard about Jani’s story through the Oprah show appearance you made and have been following your story ever since. Keep up the good work and strength, you are great parents

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Ellie. You have to go to and set up an account to send money if you don’t have one. If it would make it easier on you can donate into my paypal account (because it takes credit cards) and I promise I will forward the full amount to Bridget.

  6. $10 to your account
    Hi Michael,
    Please forward the $10 I sent to your account to Maddox and his family. Thanks,

    Note from Michael: I will as soon as it clears. The payment is pending until March 14th. Thank you.

  7. i just got my paypal account confirmed and everything, sent $20, hopefully it comes in time and not too late for the utilities bill

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Robyn!

  8. I am sitting here in South Mississippi thinking how cold my feet are. Then I think how cold it must be in New Jersey. Then I think how I would worry about whether or not to turn a little heat on because I would worry about the heating bill. I can’t imagine having to choose whether my child is warm or safe. I think my cold feet will be fine. I sent in $20.

    Note from Michael: Thank you.

  9. Donation sent to your account
    Thank you for posting this and have since joined your foundation. I have sent $35 to help the family. It was sent to your account since I could not get the link to work for me. Please forward to our friends in need thank you.

    Note from Michael: Thank you, I did.

  10. The Whispering Child
    Hey guys!
    Things are tighter than tight here, but knowing what it’s like to face choices like do we get food, or do we get meds for Pickles, or meds for me, or….this 10 bucks isn’t going be the defining difference for Pickles and I this particular week, but it might be for Bridget, Maddox and Lennox. We are in this together and we do have to carry each other when one of us stumbles.

  11. Can we get some update on Jani, please?

    Note from Michael: Sorry. Soon. I just don’t yet feel up to writing a new blog.

  12. donation
    Take care of yourselves and your children. Your are amazing people.

    Note from Michael: Thank you, Diana.

  13. Hello
    I am facinated by Januarys story, and by the angel herself. She is so enchanting and charming…….I look at her and my heart smiles. Your lives seem so scary….you must be such strong people. You are wonderful parents! Blessing to you and to Bodhi and to January, and the journey you will travel.

    Note from Michael: Thank you. It was scary once but it really isn’t anymore. We have all learned to live with it. We just take one day at a time.