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A Marginalia Friend Needs Your Help!

September 10, 2012

Hey Marginaliens,

Our good pal Katie Byrum is trying to raise money for her dad’s (and dad’s partner’s) cancer treatments. I’ve never met Alan or Eilish, but Katie’s always been huge for us and now it’s our turn to help her out. Below is her letter and some links so you can read Alan and Eilish’s story and [hopefully!] donate money.

Dear friends,

Please excuse the mass email, but I hope you’ll take a minute to read this, and help out if you’re in any small way able.

As some of you know, my father Alan Byrum has been battling melanoma since March 2011. While there has been good news along the way, we’ve gotten upsetting news recently, as the cancer moved from his foot to his groin and lymph nodes. His most current PET scans revealed that the cancer is now Stage Four.

As if that weren’t enough, his partner Eilish Nagle was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and is undergoing a grueling treatment at the same time. Though I can’t think of two people better equipped to support each other through such a frightening time, the challenges have become such that we’re reaching out to you folks for help.

One of their biggest burdens through all this is financial, since my dad’s drug treatment plan is ridiculously expensive and his insurance won’t cover it. Between the two of them, medical costs have been overwhelming and enormously stressful at a time when they both need to focus their energy on healing.

My dad’s sisters, their husbands, and I have created a fundraising effort for him and Eilish to help relieve some of the financial burdens. Sorry if I sound like Ira Glass, but any amount will help, even five or ten bucks. If enough of you donate small amounts and spread the word to others, we could raise enough money to cover the cost of treatment for these two people who have brought so much love, wisdom, and kindness into the world. Even if you can’t contribute financially, send a kind thought or two their way.

To donate and to read more about what’s been happening with my dad and Eilish, visit the site here:

And if you’re willing, it would be a huge help if you pass this email on to your own contact list, or post it on social media sites that you follow. Our goal is to have many people read their story.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully donating what you can. For those of you who have spent time with my dad, you know how amazing he is—please help us keep him around!

With love and gratitude,



Mental Marginalia has been around for a year now and we’ve been fortunate to gain such a loyal group of supporters. Katie’s been there with us from the beginning, so show some love!

See you all on the 25th…
– Mark & Alex

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