Friday, August 27, 2010

Brian's New Internet Presence!

Whenever you're around Brian, his presence tends to be the center of attention, and it is never undeserved. Therefore it's fitting that Brian have even more of a presence on the internet. Starting today, you can get to this page simply by typing "iheartbrian" into your web browser address bar! Brian now has the following domains:

This will make it easier to find Brian online, especially by search engines like Google & Yahoo. More presence means more traffic and hopefully more donations for Brian to help him regain his vision! Brian and his family are planning on going to Qingdao, China for his stem cell therapy in January, 2011. He needs as much support as you can muster! Remember, even if you can't donate, you can always forward this page to others and get the word out! And now you can do it using any of the new web addresses above!

Speaking of donations, a huge thank you to Brian's latest donors! 
Renee P, Barrington, IL, USA - $50.00
Jackie S, Limerick, Ireland - $20.00
Sheila K, Madisonville, LA, USA - $50.00
Maureen O, Greenlawn, NY, USA - $200.00

Many heartfelt thanks for your generosity! 
Keep spreading the word!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Brian Hogan Jr. - Update - "On The Road Again" August 17, 2010

Friends and Family,
I just realized I need to update everyone on "the kid"!  Ok, I tell a lie, I realized it last week, but last week was crazy, so I put it off until now. 
Brian had a little seizure last Sunday, August 8th.  He was running a fever, and his temperature spiked really quickly, causing him to have a "febrile" seizure.  That just means it was temperature related.  With a brain injury, it's important to avoid fever, so we'll know the next time!  Poor Jonathan was driving Brian at the time, and he got a really bad scare, but they're both doing well now!
Brian spent a couple of hours in the Emergency Room, but was released once they figured out he had a mild chest infection.  From what I hear, he was quiet the "pepper" in there, so I'm sure they were only too happy to release him!  Shane was brave enough to call me and tell me what happened.  You know when the conversation starts with a full disclosure - "everything is fine now, but Brian spent the last couple of hours in the ER", that your day is completely turned upside down.  I always say to my family; "I'm just a day way, if I have to come home".  Look, if you're not within 10 minutes of where you want to be in an emergency situation, you're just too far away. 
Several weeks ago, Brian went to Dun Laoghaire (a little outside Dublin), to be evaluated for intense rehabilitation.  The facility is where Brian would have gone, had his attack occurred in Ireland.  They were really pleased with his rehab in Limerick, so basically turned him down as an in-patient.  It was neither good, nor bad news, just a little disappointing.  Then, Friday, my parents received a letter from Dun Laoghaire, telling them that "Brian was accepted to their in-patient rehabilitation facility", and that they should have him there by Monday (yesterday).  Talk about roller coasters of emotion!
If there's one thing that Brian is, it's determined.  Hard work never scared Brian.  He could turn his hand at anything, and if something needed to get done, Brian would always figure out a way to do it.  So, this opportunity is a fantastic one.  He will be kept busy from one end of the day to the next with all types of therapies.  We're thrilled, but a little apprehensive at the same time.  Right now, Brian is only 20 minutes from family, at any given moment.  Dun Laoghaire is 2 hours away.  Fortunately, we have friends who don't live too far from where he'll be, so he'll be kept busy.  From everything we hear, he'll be in bed early, and asleep early, due to all the workouts!  Maybe he'll stop calling me at 6, 7, 8am (that's 12, 1, 2am US time) for a "chat".  When the phone rings in the middle of the night, it's enough to scare 10lbs off your body.  And you can't pretend to be anything less than thrilled.  One night, he had me singing "Wild Thing" at 2am.  I hope the neighbors didn't hear it!
By now, most of you know that we've pretty much settled on China for Brian's Stem Cell Treatment.  We've researched all the options, and the facility in China is where we're heading.  The facility comes highly recommended by a several people.  The facility has been written about in the well respected Medical Journals, so we're confident this is the right place for him to go. Of course, there are no guarantees, but we're going to try everything we can.  You can keep an "eye" on Brian through his blog at for additional updates too.  Please feel free to pass this update to anyone and everyone.  Awareness is key, and every contribution, no matter how small, is fantastic.

Here's a link to the website for Dun Laoghaire:
I'm not sure of all the visiting times, but I know that during the week, they start at 6pm, and go to 9pm.  Brian gets tired in the evenings, so if he falls asleep on you, don't be offended!  It'll be your chance to "escape", and visit again!  The weekends are more open, but I'm not too sure of the times.  I couldn't find them on the website, but you can call the facility if you'd like to know for sure. 
If you'd like to send Brian a card or letter, you can send it to the following address:
National Rehabilitation Hospital,
Rochestown Avenue,
DĂșn Laoghaire,
Co. Dublin,
Brian would absolutely love to hear from you.  "Fan mail" has slowed down, but now that he's away from home, this is your chance to send him a little encouragement!  Thanks in advance!
We're not done with our fundraising, of course.  We would love to hear your ideas, if you've had success with fundraising in the past.  If you have any ideas, shoot them my way. 
Thanks to every single one of you for your love and support.  The first year was tough, and we're hoping it was the toughest, but we don't know what's around the corner for "the kid"!
I promise I will send another update soon. 
Much love to all our friends & family, old and new!
Hogan Family xx

Friday, August 13, 2010

China Bound

Well, after much deliberation, Brian & his family have decided on a treatment center for his stem cell therapy! It's Beike Biotech in Quindao, China. He's planning to go there in January, 2011 for a six-week stay for his therapy, which will involve six to eight injections of stem cells. 
Why Beike? Despite many warnings of stem cell scams in China, this facility comes with a good reputation, well respected in the medical community. There is also the testimony of fellow Irish Valerie Dolan, who also suffered from optic nerve atrophy and had good results from Beike. No one expects everything to be perfect after his therapy; after all, Brian does have other issues involving his brain trauma, namely his difficulty moving his left side. But we have high hopes that some restoration of his sight will help motivate him to continue progressing with the rest of his therapy. 
Brian spends at least an hour a day on the cycle trainer at Beech Lodge. He is able to travel around a bit in the car and of course has a wonderful singalong with the radio. And of course, the stories. He keeps everyone in stitches with his many hilarious stories and jokes! 
As you can imagine, travel to China from Ireland won't be cheap. Neither will the treatment, at $30,000. But now that we have a definite goal, your donations mean more now than ever! Please, if you can make a donation, do so - no matter how small or large! Even if you can't donate, forward this page to anyone you can. Spread the word!
Speaking of donations, many thanks to Brian's latest donors:

Julie F., Staffordshire, UK - $50.00
Katrina W., Cardiff, UK - $15.00
Martina A., Ballingarry, Ireland - $20.00
Christine E., Sheffield, UK - $5.00
Amy F. Staffordshire, UK - $40.00

Many thanks to each of you that have contributed to the restoration of Brian's sight! Keep spreading the word! 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Decision time!

It's been a little while since updating. We've been busy researching various stem cell treatment centers for Brian. We're probably going to try to get Brian his treatment and worry about paying for it later. This means that your donations will be more important than ever! It's like jumping into a pool without knowing if there's water in it! 

We've just about narrowed it down to three places - China, USA or Dominican Republic. All will be a difficult trip for Brian, and all will cost a minimum of $30,000 just for the therapy, not including transportation and accommodations. 

So far this website has raised about $2000.00 for Brian. You can help him right now by making a donation, however large or small! I spoke with Brian the other day and he was "flying high" with the news that his treatment would not be as expensive as we first thought and that results may conceivably be noticed within a few days of treatment! Given that this talented, brilliant young man has had his life turned inside out by being confined to a wheelchair and completely unable to see, you can imagine how any good news is a beacon of hope! You can make that beacon shine brighter by donating! Even if you cannot donate, you can spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon or any way you can think of. Use the links on the right-hand side of the page to let others know that they can help help too!

Thanks to all who have already given so generously! Let's keep up the good work!