Thursday, July 5, 2012

Meet Jake. He Needs Our Help.

That's Jake Sisson in the hat. Pete Ohs, his brother-in-law, is in the white shirt.

I met Jake's sister Andrea outside of the Cincinnati Ballet one day as we walked to our cars. We had taken the same class. I took one look at her and thought, "She is worth knowing. There is something up with this one." And so we began talking. Within minutes, I began to sense why I wanted to meet her. She is a filmmaker. She has lived in Iceland. And she had returned home to spend time with her brother Jake. 

Jake has been institutionalized more often than not over the last many years and vastly medicated for alternating diagnoses of bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. He has been on medication since he was eight years old. And he hates it.

Granted, you hear this a lot from people who prefer the manic mind. But Pete and Andrea really, really, really listen to Jake and they heard him calling out for a different lifestyle, one with more dignity and more light and love and nature and less medication. This is the path Pete and Andrea are now on with Jake. They are trying to find the best way to give Jake the fullest life possible. One without four white walls and mind-deadening drugs. 

This is Andrea. Jake's sister.

And this is Jake, back when I met him, earlier this year.

I offered to spend some time with Jake to see if some body/energy/hang out sort of time might be good for him. He was recovering from three broken limbs in a nursing home. So I sat on his bed and he told me stories about gods and goddesses and devilish buddhas. I asked him to see if he could get his hands to do the same things. We tried to see if we could feel the energy coming out of our palms. Simple stuff.

I never know exactly what I am going to do with Jake except to be present to him and to try to respect his world and invite him into mine, respectfully.

Today, I went to visit Jake again. When I asked him to try get his hands to do the same things (make fists, open up, turn over, etc.) he said they won't do the same thing but they will rhyme. So we watched him do that for a bit, make his hands rhyme.

I will be going out each week to see Jake. Andrea and Pete, under the guidance of the Windhorse facility in Boulder, CO, are working to create a team of people to do shifts with Jake while they work to find the best long-term community for him to find a life of dignity and purpose.

So if you are a healer or a human or a friend or a teacher or a person with some time and want to be considered to help Jake, please contact me at and I will forward your info to  Andrea and Pete. This is not a small commitment, even if the duties while visiting Jake may be as simple as listening to him and/or tossing a ball back and forth or playing a game or going for a walk.

We will also be raising funds soon. So I will tell you more about that later. And I will also tell you more about Andrea and Pete's film project. Here is a taste of the beautiful films they make.

How many times have you known of a person in need and waited for the system or someone else to take care of them? I do it every day. I am not only taken with Jake but I am especially moved by Andrea and Pete, a young and talented husband and wife team who are in high demand to take part in their 20s as activists and artists. Instead, they are moved to take care of Jake.

Which is why I will help them. Which is why I hope you will help them. Email me for more info and we will find a way for you to help this family.

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