Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Helping One of Our Own

Polly Sundeen and Cole

Polly Sundeen has been a vital part of the community that makes up Irvine Valley College since it really was a little college in the orange groves, as Rebel Girl likes to say. Polly has worked here for over 25 years, since 1988, predating most of us on campus, including the president himself and the rebellious one as well. Currently a Senior Administrative Assistant, Polly has also served in leadership roles on the Classified Senate and CSEA.  Polly and her family need our help.

As some of us know, Polly's son Cole was diagnosed early on with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

As Polly writes on the family's YouCaring fundraising site:
Cole has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and lost ambulation nearly 5 years ago. Not having an accessible van has limited where he can go and what he can do with us. Each day he misses more of our everyday activities by having to stay home because we aren't able to lift him in and out of our truck to go places. Everything is affected - medical appointments, holidays with family, even his grandmother's funeral. 
Polly, lacking the funds for an accessible van, has had to make do with what she has, a considerable burden on her and her family and a factor which limits teenage Cole's ability to be fully engaged in life.

Transportation has become especially critical since, as of this week, Cole is one of 12 boys nationwide to be selected for a clinical trial at UCLA for an experimental drug. They leave at 4:45 in the morning to get there on time but they are so grateful for the opportunity. As Polly says, "This is the trial I never thought would happen for him and will give him improved quality of life...not a cure but as close as we probably will come in his lifetime."

Polly and Cole, learning to walk
The Sundeen family's campaign to raise funds has been embraced by the faculty, students and staff of  Beckman High School where 16-year-old Cole is a junior - as well as the Tustin Unified School District. That effort has result in raising over $20,000 dollars, a third of the $60,000 goal.

Surely we who have worked alongside Polly and the institution she has served faithfully for over a quarter of a century can, as the the campaign is titled, Help Cole Get There.

To donate to the campaign, follow this link: Help Cole Get There.

Every amount brings them closer to their goal. Rebel Girl knows that this college and this district has the resources to make a difference here.  Let's do it.

Cole, boy at the beach

Let's take them there.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that! I think this is a great opportunity for us to be the wonderful community that we are! I used your link and donated!

Anonymous said...

Lets make this van a reality! :)

Anonymous said...

I think this would be a great project for the college to take on. And certainly someone somewhere has connections that could help make this happen. Can you get the college paper to write it up so more people will know? I think people at Saddleback would help too.

Rebel Girl said...

Good idea, 5:41, but IVC doesn't have a newspaper. The Lariat no longer covers IVC due to lack of funding, I was told. I am trying to get other local news outlets interested as the Sundeen family could use all the help they can get. I do agree with you that it would be a great community project for the college and the district. By all means, talk it up.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we are a generous and wealthy community. I am sure that, working together, we can make a difference. Let's do that.

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