Lance Hill Needs Your Help
Lance Hill has lived those lessons. During Katrina he and his wife Eileen refused to evacuate New Orleans. Instead Lance slapped a press corps sticker on his car’s windshield, donned a “relief worker’s” get-up, then ran a gauntlet of state policemen to deliver water and baby formula to New Orleanians stranded in the Convention Center.
And I haven’t even mentioned his critically acclaimed book on the Black self-defense group, the Deacons for Defense, among other publications.
It’s a remarkable legacy of social justice activism and scholarship stretching back more than thirty years.
Like many social justice activists, however, the cause rather than his bank account came first with Lance. When the Southern Institute following Katrina saw a sharp drop in its revenue, Lance slashed his salary to help the Institute regain its footing. As a result, his retirement funds are limited, his monthly social security payment minimal. Today his situation has become dire because of failing health.
In the fall of 2014 Lance underwent back surgery. For thirteen hours he was under general anesthesia. He’s never recovered. In fact, his condition has worsened to the point he is no longer able to work and draw a salary. Lance is suffering from bouts of dementia that require the services of a neuro-psychiatrist. But his Medicare provider doesn’t cover those services. He requires new medications for delaying memory loss and for depression and anxiety attacks. But those drugs are extremely expensive due to high co-pays. Even with a walker, Lance has trouble walking and has fallen a number of times. He is a big man, weighs 275 pounds. His wife Eileen, who has suffered strokes and is hampered by spinal stenosis, weighs only 125 pounds. More than once she’s had to call 9-1-1 merely to get him lifted off the ground and carried to a hospital.
Our goal is to raise enough money to defray the cost of some of Lance’s uninsured medical care, to help pay for his costly co-pays, and to finance part-time home healthcare. The alternative is to institutionalize him in a nursing home, which no one wants to do.
The social justice community has always taken care of its own. One of our dedicated warriors now needs our help. I’m setting a goal of $30,000 for this campaign, although I’m hoping we shoot past that target. The sum will not answer all of Lance and Eileen’s needs going forward. But the financial and health benefits will be real, tangible, and immediate. Most of all, they will provide them the spiritual sustenance of knowing that friends still care and are on their side.
Lawrence N. Powell
Meanwhile, you might enjoy this terrific article about Lance penned by Allen Johnson and published in New Orleans’ alternative newspaper:http://www.bestofneworleans.com/gambit/the-education-of-lance-hill/Content?oid=1243021