Letter from our executive director: Public media saved my life

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On Sunday, Aug. 11, after a long and lovely bicycle ride on a park trail, I was struck by an SUV that had brake failure. The Chevy Tahoe careened across a few lanes and slammed into me, knocking me unconscious and fr­­acturing my pelvis and hips.

I spent 11 days in the hospital in intensive care, then nearly a month in a rehab and nursing facility. I am so very lucky to be alive. And I am thrilled to report that I am walkin­­­g ­— and working — again. Neither at my normal pace, but both with joy in my step.

I am so grateful to all of my friends and colleagues in public media who cheered me on, via Facebook and emails, flowers, cards and care packages. I truly felt supported by our community.

And I am thankful for public media itself. During this time of healing, I listened to hours upon hours of my local public radio stations WAMU and WETA. I binged on Tiny Desk Concerts during my physical therapy. I watched Family Pictures USA, POV and Downton Abbey. And, of course, I read Current.

That’s why I say that public media saved my life. It kept me company and connected me to the work I am so passionate about. It was the only thing that felt normal. Of course, doctors and nurses literally saved my life, and the love of my family gave me reason to fight back. But public media was with me all the way through — in so many meaningful and memorable ways.

It has been hard to be away from Current for nearly three months. And, it hasn’t been easy for my colleagues at Current, either. They bravely stepped up to take on some of my work. Other projects had to be postponed or dropped altogether. But one show that must go on is NewsMatch, our end-of-year fundraising campaign. For everyone who asked what they can do to help me through my recovery, this is it.

From now until Dec. 31, every dollar donated to Current will be doubled by foundations that want to help nonprofit news organizations thrive. You will help make this year’s NewsMatch easier for me and for Current by donating early — and as generously as possible.

We welcome contributions from companies, but only gifts from individuals (up to $1,000) will qualify for the NewsMatch. Thanks to an extra match from the Wyncote Foundation, if we are able to raise $20,000 from readers and leaders, that will grow to $50,000 for Current. Please help me and the Current team reach that goal.

Friends, I missed seeing you at PRPD, ONA, Public Radio Super Regional and the APT Fall Marketplace. I regretfully missed the Local That Works awards contest finale. But I truly look forward to reconnecting in early 2020 at the NETA conference and APTS Public Media Summit in D.C.

Thanks again for your generous and caring support.

One thought on “Letter from our executive director: Public media saved my life

  1. Julie, so glad you’re recovering and recuperating on an upward and onward trajectory. I will definitely make a contribution to the magazine* and wish you the best along the way. *(I can afford it now that I’m working WGBH)

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