For more than two decades Szos St. Germain has been living with a debilitating illness that until recently was not properly diagnosed.
The Cowichan Bay resident has recently learned that what he’s been dealing with for the last 23 years is toxic mould illness, a disease that’s left him bedridden and believing he can’t hang on much longer.
The good news, though, according to his supporters, is it’s a serious but treatable illness and his treatment began on Jan. 9 in Calgary.
The problem, however, is he and his family, devoted wife of 17 years, Jenny, and their nine-year-old daughter, have to come up with $50,000 out of pocket in the short term, and even more in the longer term to pay for treatments.
“We must travel to Calgary likely every month for a while — the first year?— for ongoing care and treatment with a mold specialist,” Jenny said.
Sasha Singer-Wilson, a family friend who lives in Vancouver, has set up a GoFundMe account (https://www.gofundme.com/help-szos-st-germain) in the hope of helping the family cope.
With no income through jobs currently, as Jenny has been caring for both St. Germain and their child full-time, the family needs help.
“This is an urgent appeal for help. Szos is in profound pain and is just hanging on. His health crisis is spiraling our family into a financial crisis. His illness is treatable; it’s just incredibly expensive and ALL out of pocket,” Jenny wrote on her Facebook page.
In healthier times, St. Germain was a life coach, according to the GoFundMe page, “and has helped hundreds of people — whether or not they could afford it,” said the page.
Raised by a Tibetan Buddhist mother, Szos embodies the grace of a “modern monk”, living from the heart with acceptance and love. As a result, he has drawn in an eclectic range of clients and has coached across all demographics and walks of life — from actors and playwrights and survivors of abuse, to professors, transgender activists, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Jenny explained.
She’s hoping that his good karma helps.
“May he be blessed to know that all the love and support and healing he has given the world comes back to him in a time of crisis. Now is that time. Please donate and/or share, if you are able,” Jenny said. “We are so humbled and grateful to see “it takes a village” in full effect! I just can’t stop bawling my eyes out from all the love and support!”
So far just over $15,000 of a $100,000 fundraising goal has been raised in about 15 days.