A friend and ally of the Oneida Traditionals has set up a blog to help raise funds for Danielle and her daughter Clarisse, who, as you may already know, was in a terrible car accident nearing the end of August.
Clarisse continues to recover as we speak; but the hospital bill and numerous other costs has seriously set things back for the Schenandoahs.. To help out, please head over to danielleschenandoah.blogspot.com or send an email to email@example.com
Traditional Oneida Danielle Schenandoah and her family needs your help!
The Oneida Nation, like many other Native nations have been and are continuing to go through a transformation. The issue of casinos in our communities has sometimes placed our people at odds. Many traditionalists do not support casinos for economic development… this sometimes results in political conflict that has led to devastating consequences in their lives.
A very dear friend of mine, Danielle Schenandoah is a traditional Oneida woman and mother. She has been vocal against the casino being placed in her territory and for which she has paid heavily. Danielle has been ostracized and punished for speaking out against having a casino in her territory. Danielle is one of several traditional Oneida who were disenrolled. Since then this single mother and her 3 children have had their home bulldozed with the blessing of the United States government, and have had a constant struggle for years to remain together. They receive no insurance, [correction: Clarisse is receiving limited insurance coverage from the automobile accident] assistance, or other help from the Oneida nation. (see www.oneidasfordemocracy.org for the full struggle of the Oneida traditionals.)
One night at the end of August 2007, Danielle’s 14-year-old daughter Clarisse was in a serious car accident. The seat belt she was wearing most likely saved her life, but it did not save her from serious injuries. She suffered extensive injuries including a shattered pelvis, punctured lung, ruptured spleen, broken foot, split pallet, and broken facial bones and jaw. Within hours of being rushed to Syracuse University hospital, she underwent surgery to stop any internal bleeding. A couple of days later she went through a 12 hour surgery to begin to rebuild her shattered pelvis with new hip joints and plates and screws to bind bone back together. She faces further surgery to repair the bones in her face. She also requires extensive dental work since many teeth were damaged. As well, she requires plastic surgery down the road.
This accident has been a serious setback to the Schenandoah’s progress. Things had started to improve for the family last October when Danielle was able to buy a used trailer and rent land on the Onondaga Reservation. She found a job and enrolled her children in school where they excelled. They did not have much, but they were finally together in their own home. Then came the accident.
Clarisse has been sent home. She requires total care, being unable to bathe herself, and do the necessary things each day. She uses a walker to avoid pneumonia from inactivity, despite the pain. Since there is no medical insurance or financial resources, Danielle must now stay home to care for Clarisse. As a result, she is no longer able to work. With no income, they are now in danger of losing everything they fought so hard to get… their home, and most importantly, their life together. She has already been threatened to lose her children and if not for the generosity of some family (who are in the same situation with being disenrolled) they would have been removed from her home.
This is why this blog has been started. This single mother and her 3 children need your help to stay together and to cover the growing medical bills. Currently their car is in disrepair and it is getting harder to get Clarisse to the doctors for her many follow up visits and physical therapy appointments. They also have other mounting bills, they are a couple months behind on their land rent, their phone has been shut off, and getting food and clothing for growing children, is a constant worry.
As a close friend and sister of Danielle, I am appealing to those people out there who live the good mind. Please, if you are at all able, consider donating. ALL money will go directly to this family.
If you want to get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org