Laura Martin on how Hero helped her through eye surgery
Back in August 2017, I was having a lot of trouble concentrating on my coloring work. By that I mean I was having watery double-vision that made it harder and harder to look at a monitor. A corneal specialist diagnosed me with Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy, which meant that my corneas had developed wrinkles, and if not fixed soon, I would need corneal transplants. I went in for PTK (laser) surgery at the beginning of December, which was covered by insurance. At that point, because of my decreased income, we were already barely squeaking by on bills, and we had nothing saved up for Christmas. The mortgage and quarterly income taxes were coming up fast…and unless I could heal up and be able to work within a few days, we were going to fall into a much deeper financial hole.
It quickly became apparent that my recovery from eye surgery would take a whole lot longer than a few days. There was no way I could dive back into work at 150% capacity, and be paid in time to cover ANYTHING in December, and maybe not even January. We couldn’t turn to family and had no available credit. I finally thought, “What about Hero Initiative?”
I sheepishly emailed Jim McLauchlin and asked him if this was even something that Hero Initiative covers. I mean, I’m an (almost) fully functioning, highly employable talent in the comics industry; I’m not retired, I have insurance, I will be back to work eventually. But we were in need NOW.
Jim didn’t hesitate. He ran it by the board, and within a few days I had the money to get us caught up, and enough to cover the bills (and Christmas, and taxes) so that I could recuperate properly.
I literally cried with relief and joy. I, and my comics cohorts, are truly blessed that we have Hero Initiative to help us get out of the financial pit that opens up so easily for freelancers. I’ve been a regular donor for many years, with no real intention of ever using it, but when I needed a hand, Hero was right there with no judgements. Whenever I can help them out, I do, and I always will.