On Behalf of Sharon Shavers Gayle
Organized by: Nicole Johnson
We were friends of Sharon Shavers Gayle (Vassar College, 1980) who passed away last December after a third battle with breast cancer. Sharon’s husband of 25 years, Oral, is blind and severely disabled. He is currently in rehabilitation following a stroke and ongoing seizures, unable to care for their children. We want to help support Sharon's 15 years old twins, Rachael and Nicholas and we are asking for your help. Rachel and Nicholas are currently in 10th grade and are living with Sharon’s close friends Austin and Denise Patrick. Austin and Denise were designated by Sharon as guardians for the children before she passed away and they have a temporary emergency order of custody from Hudson County. Austin works in advertising in NY. Denise is an author of children's books who teaches in NJ . She worked with Sharon at Golden Books and is a noted children’s author and teacher (see: http://www.deniselewispatrick.com/) . Austin and Denise have 3 older children of their own. Their eldest was married this month. They have had a continued relationship with Nicholas and Rachael since they were born. Rachael is now enrolled in Montclair HS and Nicholas is in 10th grade, on scholarship, at St. Peter’s Prep High School in Jersey City. Nicholas now has to commute every day to and from school at a cost of $150 per month but we all agree that continuing in the same school with friends is important for him. Denise and Austin are spending their own money to support Rachael and Nicholas with their expenses including transportation to school, books and clothing. We need to help Denise and Austin help Sharon's kids. We, as a group, would like to help with these expenses until some benefits, including accrued Social Security and Disability benefits can be lined up.