Friends, if you can, please donate a few dollars to the medical fund for Tomohiko Tsurumi, a Eugenean (and the partner of my dear friend) who was recently in a serious bicycle accident.

Here’s some backstory:

I have known my friend Liliana since middle school, although we did not run in the same circles (she is and always has been infinitely cooler than yours truly) until high school. I didn’t know her well then, either–all I knew, really, was that she was a) jaw-droppingly beautiful, b) in possession of inexplicably well-behaved butt-length wavy brown hair, c) the best student in all my classes, and d) 15 going on 30, one of the most confident, interesting, articulate and ABSOLUTELY NO BULLSHIT young people I have ever known. She basically could have taught every class in my high school.

Liliana has done things her own fierce, passionate and real way for her entire adult life–she had a son by the time she finished college, which she did with distinction while raising a boy and working multiple jobs, often through the night. We became Facebook friends back in about 2007, and I immediately remembered what a singularly amazing person she is, and basically Facebook fangirled her until we became friends again. To this day I remain one of hundreds of impassioned Liliana fan-ladeez.

It is hard for me to describe her in a way that does her justice: She is a scholar, a writer, a poet, and a to-the-bone-working Spanish professor; she is a devoted parent of one of the most precocious teens in all of Eugene (a city famous for its precious teens); she is a passionate and involved member of the dozens of communities in which she identifies, whether that be her Costa Rican in-laws, the Bolivian (I think?!?!? Correct me if I’m wrong, mi amor) family of her son’s godfather, or her nuclear family, which includes her mother, brothers, and father (who is himself battling a serious illness right now)–and, amidst all this, she is also the devoted partner of a guy I’ve never met but who looks extraordinarily interesting, kind and real: Tomo.

On the 6th of this month (May 2014), Tomo was bicycling to work and he was hit by a car that turned suddenly into him. He was wearing a helmet, which saved his life, but he sustained multiple serious traumatic injuries to his facial area, and spent just under a week in the ICU. He is now out of the hospital, and expected to make a full recovery, but this recovery will take years, many surgeries, and untold amounts of money.

The auto insurance of the driver will (I hope) eventually be held responsible for Tomo’s medical costs (the child of a lawyer in me also hopes that he will get a substantial pain & suffering settlement, but that’s just me!). But as the family member of someone who was in a serious accident, I can tell you that going through the bureaucracy to get an auto insurance settlement takes months, if not years–and if you don’t want to get screwed, you need a lawyer (so, also, a lot of $ in legal fees).

All of that is down the road, then (as it were)–for now, Tomo’s nearest and dearest could really use your help. If you’ve got $1, $5 or $10 to donate to this fund, please do so. As a friend to Liliana, and an advocate for safe bicycling everywhere, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I remind you:

To motorists, bicyclists are annoying. To bicyclists, motorists are deadly. Please, share the road.

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2 thoughts on “Please Help Tomo’s Recovery

  1. Wow, Rebecca. I will be printing and framing this, right next to my Love Mail from Serena Markstrom Nugent (ok, I’ll admit, I paid her to write it – no joke), to read when I’m having a bout of self-loathing (usually weather contingent: it’s sunny now; I’ll need it come November). Thank you. So much.

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