Help my Friend

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Richard Philbrick has been a friend of ours for many years. He’s a very interesting guy. He’s worked in journalism and publishing. He’s written books. He’s been a boat captain, sometimes delivering boats for people across the Atlantic. He’s lived in France and on a boat in New Orleans. I’m sure I don’t know the half of the adventures and interesting experiences he’s had!

We met here in Panama when he was selling his motorcycle. It sounded like a good idea but he was smart enough to know it wasn’t practical at his age. We were smart enough not to buy it at our age. But we’re been friends ever since. He lived in a town down the road, probably the only gringo there. He spoke Spanish, made friends, and was welcomed into the life of the town by the locals. He lived a low key life, took the bus around, adopted and cared for an injured dog, and wrote books and a blog.

Richard has always been super nice to me, supporting me in whatever crazy ideas I have come up with. I remember when I went biking through Costa Rica, when we passed his town he was in the street waiting for us because he wanted to cheer us on. He reads my blog and comments, and shares helpful ideas. He applauded my endeavor to learn to play bass. It’s really nice to have a friend like that in your corner.

Richard is getting older, like all of us (he recently turned 80!) but he didn’t let that squash his dreams. He loved living on a small boat in the past and wanted to do that again, so he ended up on the gulf coast of Florida living in a sailboat. He’s working on a book for others who live in boats, helping them find quiet spots to anchor their boats and enjoy the area. He met someone with some land in northeast Florida who offered to let him anchor there, so that’s his home base right now. He’s made some road trips, and I’ve heard dreams of making some boat trips to explore the rivers and waterways of the southeast. He spent his birthday in Chicago with a special lady friend.

BUT, it is not all rainbows and unicorns. Richard has heart trouble and has suffered with COPD as long as I’ve known him. It’s gotten to the point where it’s seriously impacting his ability to do any activity, not a good thing for a guy with lots of dreams and more living to do. It’s painfully obvious he needs supplemental oxygen and a portable concentrator. But those machines are really expensive and Richard lives on his social security. Medicare won’t help unless you are on oxygen 24/7 😡 and Richard doesn’t “qualify” because he can keep his oxygen levels up to acceptable numbers when he is sitting still doing nothing. It’s only when he’s doing something, like walking 20 feet, that his levels start dropping into the 80’s (normal is 97 or above) and he starts struggling to breathe.

So… if you have a few dollars to send his way, it would be a great help. If enough of us give even a little, it will make a difference. Lets get this good guy back on his feet again!

Thank you! A big thank you to all of you wonderful people out there.

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