For Sara, My Friend

by Nate St. Pierre on October 16, 2012

I knew Sara Santiago for a long time before I knew she was sick. In fact, she never even told me that she was. All she did was support me in my fledgling philanthropy projects, make me laugh when I was in a bad mood, lift up my heart when I was feeling defeated, and constantly give of her time, money, and energy to help those who couldn’t help themselves in the Milwaukee community.

Oh, and on the side she’s the founder and president of a local company, speaks to groups nationwide, is the youngest member ever to be elected to the Advisory Board of the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is a mother to two young girls. Yeah, she’s amazing.

I’m not even going to list out everything that she has done for others – it would be far too long and boring to read, and your eyes would glaze over and you would entirely miss the point, which is simply this: Sara has an incredible heart for others, and gives of her whole self, even in her pain, with no thought of reward. She is a beautiful person, inside and out . . . someone I greatly respect and admire.

Today she needs our help, and we’re going to give it to her, whether she likes it or not.

Sara has had a few different neurological conditions for a while, which she’s always managed to deal with on her own, or with limited help from family and friends. Lately, however, things have been getting worse, and due to increasing epileptic episodes and continued weakness, incapacitating pain, and mobility challenges, Sara was advised to get a service dog to help keep her safe in the near future.

Service dogs are highly trained and expensive, and are usually paid for by fundraising efforts from the recipient family. Sara has been approved to receive a dog, and we in the Milwaukee community want to fundraise the $12,000 necessary to bring a service dog home to her. The fact that Sara’s account already has close to $9,000 in it after the first day is a testament to the woman that she is, and the love that her friends have for her, both here in Milwaukee, and also throughout the rest of the country.

Would you please join me today in getting her the rest of the $3,000 she needs to stay safe and healthy? Let’s finish this thing off for her right now, so she doesn’t have to worry about anything. She deserves it.

You can donate directly to Sara’s Sidekick fund here on indiegogo, and also read more details about her situation and why we’re doing this.

Thank you!

—– UPDATE —–
In the 3 hours that this post has been up, $7,000 has come in (I’m sure a lot of it from Sara’s company, who donated during this time). Wow. Sometimes the internet is so very awesome. Many thanks and much love to everyone on the ItStartsWith.Us, Love Bomb, Love Drop, and NateStPierre teams who helped as well – I saw so many of you pitching in! Remember that you can still donate as well, and any extra money will go towards the training of more dogs for other people.

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