What is the Hero Initiative?
The Hero Initiative creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit more than 50 creators and their families with over $950,000 worth of much-needed aid, fueled by your contributions! It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.
In the last years of his life, the Hero Initiative was able to contribute more than $60,000 towards the medical and living needs of this comics titan.
If there was not a Hero Initiative, I probably would have gone under. Hero picked up the slack and made sure I didn’t drown. They kept me going, paid the rent. That, to me, is a miracle. They saved me, and my family.
Before his untimely passing, Josh, barely thirty, had been battling inoperable spinal-cord cancer for some time. Thanks to your donations, the Hero Initiative was able to assist Josh with expenses. Moreover, we were able to commit time and resources to securing freelance comics projects for Josh that helped him not only provide for wife and young son but also allowed Josh a chance to be active and confident in the face of his affliction. Of his experience,.. Josh stated:
Hero Initiative has changed my life.
Ralph Reese was once a dynamo of the drawing board. Today, he is on Social Security Disability due to herniated discs, torn shoulder muscles and back and neck problems, unable to stand or walk without pain. Caught in the infamous “coverage gap” between Social Security and Medicaid, Reese asked the Hero Initiative to help him afford prescribed medications he would otherwise be unable to afford.
Steve Gerber, beloved by fans and fellow industry professionals alike, was still a vital creative force when he began his fight with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that made his efforts to work sometimes difficult, sometimes impossible. Up until his death in 2008, the Hero Initiative was able to provide medical and living expenses for Gerber thanks to generous donations from his fans and peers.
Like almost all of his contemporaries, Russ spent most of his career without access to affordable insurance or medical treatment. Now, at age 89 and on a fixed income, Heath thanks the Hero Initiative for helping to provide free and discounted medical services for his recent knee replacement and associated expenses.
The Hero Initiative considers itself fortunate to be able to help Tom Ziuko, hospitalized in 2011 for acute kidney failure and colon surgery. Without your donations, his expenses would be insurmountable.
Like so many other freelancers out there, I live paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford health insurance. Without an organization like the Hero Initiative to lend me support in this time of dire need, I truly don’t know where I would be today.
Chris Wozniak didn’t just lose his home to the 2011 tornado that destroyed Tuscaloosa, Alabama; he lost his studio, as well, leaving him with the unbelievable task of having to rebuild not only his personal life but his career. Because of your donations, the Hero Initiative was able to help Wozniak with relocation and rebuilding expenses.
Over the last decade, inker Chris Ivy’s life crumbled around him. After years of attempting unsuccessfully to move into other careers, Ivy eventually ended up homeless, living out of his SUV. Once he reached out to the Hero Initiative, we were able to negotiate with Ivy’s creditors, help him move from a shelter into his own apartment, and find paying work at IDW Publishing. Sadly, Ivy’s story isn’t unique; only with the help of donations are we able to give similar assistance to those in need.
I don’t have enough words to express the gratitude to Hero Initiative for their help in giving me the chance to start feeling like a normal person again after ten years.