Zero Powers asked:
>Do you know how much more is needed? Is anyone running a tally? There
>might be some generous benefactor on the list who is willing and able to
>"top it off."
Robert Ettinger has stated he will not be running a public tally. This is because it could cause some people to hold off in the hopes others will donate.
I think there would be a certain appeal to letting people know how much has been donated and how much still needs to be. I suppose my understanding of human psychology would support this view! lol I sincerely hope people will not hold back because of the way Mr. Ettinger has decided to do things.
He will announce when the needed sum has been reached. Then he will give a pro rata sum back to each donor based on how much "over" the donations went.
I will repost below two emails by Robert Ettinger regarding the fundraising project. Just in case some of you missed them.
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 09:35:29 EDT
Subject: Saving James Swayze
SAVING JAMES SWAYZE
Most Cryonet readers are probably familiar with the James Swayze
situation. James is almost completely paralyzed, and under federally
subsidized care. That care has a price. All his earnings have been taken
away, and whatever he might somehow manage to earn will also be taken
away. His health is precarious, but his determination and his
intelligence are not. He learned about cryonics, and the possibility
that through cryonics he might yet overcome his unfortunate situation.
He wants to try. The only problem is that he can't afford it.
CI, and I personally, would very much like to see Mr. Swayze get his
chance. The difficulty is that no cryonics organization can simply
provide suspensions free of charge. Suspensions are expensive, and that
expense is ongoing, as daily care and maintenance and supplies are needed
to safeguard patients. Cryonics organizations cannot get into the habit of
taking financial losses, even for charitable purposes. We saw that
happen many years ago with the Chatsworth situation. There, charity
patients were accepted. But with no money to fund their care, or pay
company bills, the company failed, and those patients and all the
patients were lost.
CI has determined that that will never happen to our patients, and so it
is CI policy that funding, in every case, has to be adequate and certain.
Nonetheless, I and a number of others at CI have been trying to come up
with some way to give James his chance.
My own ideas have gone through several phases. At one point I thought CI
might reasonably give James a price break, or even fund his
suspension in exchange for his active help in public relations. But as
I learned more about his situation, it became clear that this might not
be fair either to CI or to him. From our point of view, the potential
value of his PR help is really uncertain -- it could be considerable, or
it could be negligible, and there is a legal question as to whether he
can earn anything at all without government regulations interfering. From
his point of view, the demands on his time might be counter-productive.
His health varies from bad to very bad, and forcing someone in poor
health to work for what might be a very long time is neither wise nor
fair. He ought to use his time as he sees fit, perhaps to work on his
inventions, perhaps just to extract a bit of enjoyment from life.
Rudi Hoffman did a lot of work on life insurance possibilities, providing
some interesting potential for future problem cases, but leaving gaps in
James' case, about which I won't go into in detail here.
So I think now that it just comes down to individuals coming together
voluntarily to donate the cost of a CI suspension for him. To make that
possible, I've made a personal decision.
Just under $10,000 has been pledged so far. The total required --
suspension fee, membership fee, and local and transportation costs -- we
figure $33,000. That leaves us $23,000 short, assuming all the previous
pledgers make good.
I now make the following commitment. If we can get another $10,000 in
donations, paid to CI along with payments for the previous pledges (total $20,000),
then I will personally make up the difference (i.e., fund up to $13,000 additional).
I don't want to be misunderstood. I hope we can get a total donation sum of
$33,000. But if we achieve at least $20,000, and we seem to be nearly
halfway there already, then I will make up the difference.
Now, a few particulars. Every plan can be argued and nitpicked back and
forth, but I want to avoid argument and get cracking, so the following is
not just an idea or a suggestion but the plan:
1. We want donations, not pledges -- cash, not promises. Please send your
donations as soon as possible, payable to Cryonics Institute. (On the
memo line of the check, usually at the lower left -- not on the payee
line -- you may write "James Swayze Fund.") Mail it to Cryonics
Institute, 24355 Sorrentino Court, Clinton Township, Michigan 48035. You
will of course receive an acknowledgement. Donors' names and amounts will
be kept confidential if requested -- though we'd prefer to thank you
publicly and make your generosity public at some point. Setting an example
for others could inspire others to help.
2. We do not plan to announce the status of the fund until the goal of
$20,000 is conclusively passed. Otherwise, obviously, some potential
donors might hold off, hoping their own contributions will not be needed.
Please, don't hold off for any reason -- James' health is much more
problematical than that of most people, and it would be ghastly if he
were to miss his chance by a hair.
3. Donations are not refundable, except as follows. If donations should
happen to exceed $33,000, the overage will be refunded pro rata (the same
percentage of each donation will go back to each donor). If James should
die before the necessary amount is reached and he is not suspended by CI, all
donations will be refunded.
I hope that all $33,000 can be raised. But at the moment raising even
$10,000 (beyond the current pledges) could secure a cryonic suspension, and
the possiblity of a new life, for James Swayze. $10,000 dollars seems like a
lot of money, I know. But there are said to be approaching a thousand people
in the world who are signed-up members of cryonics organizations. Some are
comfortably off, some of them are quite wealthy, and all of them are able to meet the costs of membership and insurance.
If each one sends in what he can afford without hardship, James Swayze would be able to realize the hope all of us have -- a chance of a new and healthy life in an amazing future. We've all seen a lot of disagreement among cryonicists on this list. Let's put it behind us, and pull together this once, to help a friend--a man of
extraordinary spirit, who needs to have his extraordinarily bad luck mitigated.
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 20:27:21 EDT
Subject: Swayze addendum
In my post concerning Saving James Swayze, I forgot to add the following:
If enough money is not raised over a reasonable period, any donations made
will be returned to those making the donations.
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