A Special Request

Letty Stone and me a few weeks ago

My friends and family, 

I have raised money before for various projects, but this is very personal and very urgent. I’m sending this to everyone and posting it at this blog which has a weekly readership of roughly 1200 people. If you are not in a position to donate, perhaps you can forward this to someone who can. 

In a nutshell, my dearest friend of 33 years ran marathons, worked out daily at 5:30 am, and is as fit as one can be. One day she called me and we laughed about how old we will be when her six month old granddaughter graduates high school. A few days later she went to the gym to workout but was slurring her words. They brought her to the hospital thinking it a stroke. It was a tumor. The operation determined it a very aggressive one, and it will win the battle. The chemo is to try and slow it down and make Letty more comfortable, but the prognosis is very poor and the battle will be unmercifully swift.

When I put this campaign online I had hoped to reach $5000 to assist with the ridiculous amount of expenses she faces. In the long run, insurance, grant programs for cancer patients, etc, will all be beneficial to her and her husband, Billy. But right now the expenses are unbearable, and this is to help with that inconceivable transition from what was to the horror that awaits. It is a tough time when life itself should mean more and have more significance than ever. This is to assist them now–right now—with the unbearable transition they are trying to negotiate to an entirely new existence. 

Every small amount helps, and what means more to her is that people want to help her, including–or perhaps especially–people she never met. Last night I told her where the campaign was at, and she was beside herself. She is grateful, and while Letty is horrible at accepting compliments or help of any kind, she humbly said thank you. I’ll be sending her the names of those who did not wish to be kept anonymous, but the truth is, I know what is needed and I’m trying to get this to another $1200. Make no mistakes, Letty is filled with gratitude just for the idea that we want to help. But it would change how they can move forward. That is not a small thing.

I know this woman!:

Letty and I worked together, and I’ve known her since–and I can confirm the day–August 16th, 1989,  and we have saved each other emotionally for three decades–long walks, late night conversations, lunches, dinners, breakfasts, long car rides talking forever about humanities, literature, philosophy, Europe, food, and nature–you can imagine the tears but more so the laughter. Not a day went by in those decades we weren’t laughing. She was born in Italy, raised by parents of Spanish and Italian origin, went to high school in Algiers, is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, taught French and Humanities for nearly four decades, is a humanities scholar, runs marathons, raised two beautiful children, laughs all the time, will help anyone who needs help, and loves long walks. She dresses to the nines and after some years of prodding, I got her to stop wearing high heels everywhere. She and her husband, Billy, battled health issues of his some years ago, and they survived. This is a different battle against an undefeatable enemy.

In 2005 she went with me to Russia for nine days. A few weeks ago when her daughter got married, she sent me a picture of her holding her son’s daughter, Sophia. What these donations will do is to relieve the immediate unbearable financial stress so the time is easier. It doesn’t take much when combined it adds up so fast.  

It takes some time to understand you cannot save someone, but you can bring them peace by showing how much you care. In the end that is all that matters.  

So thank you everyone, and if you can still donate, please follow one of the methods below. She returned to a week of “comfort chemo” as she calls it, yesterday and says she will not be up to much pretty quickly. This will certainly lift her spirits, which right now is literally life-saving.

You have made a difference in her life. That phrase is used often, but in this case, it is absolutely true. 



the links: 

Venmo: @robert-kunzinger

Zelle: kunzingerb@gmail.com

If you mail a check, make it to “Letty Stone” c/o Bob Kunzinger, PO BOx 70 Deltaville, VA 23043

Or Paypal the donation page:


Letty and Sophia

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