Help Me Help Jamie

My good friend Jamie Baker is in a pickle. Help me help him out.

Jamie Baker is one of my best friends. He's the most upbeat, approachable dude you'll ever meet. He's also an amazing cartoonist and animator. If you watched saturday morning cartoons in the 80s you probably saw his work. More recently, he's been storyboarding your favorite movies at Pixar. He was even the voice of a crab in Finding Nemo!

I had already been buddies with Jamie for about 5 years through Comic-con etc. and when I moved to San Francisco a couple years ago, guess who I found living a block up my street? Yep, John Waters. No, it was Jamie! Awesome! Finally I have a neighbor-friend! With both of us working from home, we're itching for a break and some sunlight (or the San Francisco equivalent) so we'd meet up to drink coffee, compare notes on our projects and make dumb jokes.

OK here's the pickle. The day after Christmas 2012, Jamie had a major stroke. Jamie's life partner, Julia has the details on his condition and financial situation -

Jamie Baker had a large hemorrhagic stroke on the left side of his brain in the thalamus region on December 26th, 2012. The damage of the bleed has caused paralysis and loss of sensation on the right side of his body, including his leg, arm and hand, face and mouth. Jamie's prognosis is very good, although the recovery is expected to be slow over the course of the next few years.

Jamie was in intensive care for six days at UCSF, from December 26 to January 1st before being transferred to an acute rehabilitation center. As events unfolded, I learned that he was not covered on our insurance policy until January 1st. The bill for six uninsured days came to $189,000. Fortunately, we were able to get the bill reduced to $137,000 and are working on reducing it further with the help of an advocacy group and a lawyer.

In addition to the massive hospital bill, Jamie was denied state disability due to a form that was filed incorrectly. We have filed for an appeal and are waiting for a hearing date. He has filed for Social Security benefits as well. We have learned that getting approval for Social Security takes about a year, leaving Jamie with virtually no income and only savings to live on, money that he needs for recovery efforts. Jamie has this massive bill and will not be able to work during his recovery, making it necessary to ask for help.  

You can also donate directly and read more about Jamie's story here: YouCaring.com

Alamo Fair & Rodeo, acrylic on wood panel

Alamo Fair & Rodeo, acrylic on wood panel

I want to help! So I am putting up for auction a very special piece, Alamo Fair & Rodeo. This is something I originally painted as a tribute to my all time favorite film, Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It was part of of Gallery 1988's Crazy 4 Cult show, 2008. It's been hanging in my home since. Jamie and I love talking movies. I love Pee Wee! He loves Pee Wee! Whether you are close to Jamie or you're a fan of Pee Wee's Big Adventure, I encourage you to bid on this piece. 100% of the sale will go toward Jamie's recovery fundraiser.

See the Ebay auction here- Alamo Fair & Rodeo