Tanner is the nephew of Catherine Connors, known since 2005 as Her Bad Mother. He has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy -- a death sentence for him, and a tragedy unfolding in slow motion that his family must bear.
Catherine first told us about Tanner more than four years ago. Since then, as his story has evolved, she has shared it with us. As her audience has grown, more people have learned about Tanner. His story has become part of our own.
And now, Tanner and his mother -- a single, working mom -- need us more than ever.
Catherine summarizes it here:
"My sister is a single working mom, and as Tanner grows bigger while his muscles continue to deteriorate, she is less and less able to do simple things like lift him in and out of bed and monitor him throughout the night and although she has some caregiving assistance, she is, soon, going to need that assistance around the clock, and her home is simply not equipped for that. And if it remains unequipped for that, Tanner will have to leave home, to be cared for somewhere where all of his physical needs can be met. Somewhere without his mom. And I just can’t let that happen."
Nor can the rest of us let that happen.
This morning, before the BlogHer10 conference officially began, hundreds of bloggers wearing tutus gathered in Central Park to run on Tanner's behalf. Why tutus? Well, for one thing, tutus are pretty good at attracting attention. So are bloggers. Bloggers wearing tutus? Unstoppable.
And attention is what Tanner's plight needs. He can't get better, but he can continue living at home with his mother -- if we are able to raise enough money to create a livable space in his mother's basement where a government-funded aide can reside and help care for Tanner. This way he may die at home with his mother beside him.
Get all the details on how to help Tanner at Catherine's site. And if you see her -- tall, beautiful platinum blonde, probably wearing a tutu and accompanied by a sweet-faced young boy -- hug her. She gives good hugs.
Catherine is a dear friend of mine, in spite of what we did to her at BlogHer07, and it's an honor to tell Tanner's story here at The Stir on her behalf.
Image via herbadmother.com