Cambrian: Opinion

Cambria's Moon family stays positive despite accident, diagnosis

Jan, Skyler and Earl Moon have been hit by a series of challenges, including an accident that left Earl Moon seriously injured and Skyler's diagnosis with colon cancer.
Jan, Skyler and Earl Moon have been hit by a series of challenges, including an accident that left Earl Moon seriously injured and Skyler's diagnosis with colon cancer.

Cue the birds and butterflies, Mendelssohn’s “Spring Song,” deer grazing … we won’t say “streams gurgling” as that would be too unbelievable.

You come home from a long day’s work, long but normal, and take on one last chore at home with a chainsaw. 

Before you realize it, you are flat on your back off the ladder with a bruised spine and fractured C1 vertebrae — command central. 

Wow, didn’t see that coming.

Step back in time 23 years ago. I was at Schooner’s at the west end of town, holding this little towheaded baby girl, cheeks ya just had to kiss, and the absolute sweetest disposition (which she never ever lost) … and me with a chin just primed for chewing on, which she did. I blame her for my soon-after-pregnancy as how could you not get all your mom hormones going with that little angel?  

Here and now, Earl and Jan Moon have been dear friends of mine for well over 25 years. I’ve watched their son, Westin, and daughter, Skyler, grow up. We all grow up together in this town, right? Parenting, life, camping, music, doing the best we can … all of it. 

The Moons are friends to so, so many. Earl has been “the water guy” for many years, working with State Parks, but also Ragged Point and Hearst properties. He is a man in the know, resourceful, observant, bright, wicked sense of humor. 

Skyler went on to become a star volleyball player at Coast Union High School. It was not only her tremendous skill on the court, I must point out, but her determination, positive attitude and hard work. These qualities would get her scholarships to college, where she is working on her master’s degree in occupational therapy, a career perfect for such a kind, caring and patient young lady.

So, you caught Act 1 in the first paragraph. Act 2 — two weeks after Earl’s accident, young Skyler was diagnosed with colon cancer. Out of the blue, this mostly vegetarian, extremely athletic, positive young lady with no family history — BAM! Did I mention their car died in between these events? Life was suddenly a giant Jenga game, with the universe pulling blocks out, waiting to see if they could teeter any further. 

Needless to say, Jan, who is a self-employed gardener and worked for Grow Nursery, has had to leave work to manage all these affairs. Living expenses, travel costs, fighting insurance companies and all the usual monetary pressures we all face lead to the formation of an account at Heritage Oaks bank as well as a GoFund Me site (www.gofundme. com/moonfamilymedical), which are both continuing to be of great help. But there is more.

Depending on how long insurance will continue paying (with such a specific and critical injury, specialized rehab is a must to achieve the best possible outcome!), Earl will be in Southern California for an undetermined length of time. Before he comes home, plans are in the works among so many friends — the house needs to be overhauled to create an accessible bathroom, the floors need to be redone and downstairs space reconfigured to accommodate his wheelchair. This will be materials costs, at the very least. 

Skyler, has undergone a successful surgery. She is now back in school and continuing in her studies. There is a big question about any further steps they may need to take — genetic testing, etc. — to prevent her from any further occurrences. We are all, naturally, praying she is done. She still has school expenses, and her recuperation has cost her work as well. 

Through this all, both Earl and Skyler have had stellar attitudes, making those around them feel more positive and hopeful. Jan — I love this woman — has been a stalwart, helping Earl every day with his therapy and all manner of personal care and trying to be there for her darling daughter as well … it’s a hard road.

But it is a mostly positive road! Earl has gained some movement in his arms, he is able to feel sensation in all his limbs, and bodily functions and continues to slowly move forward in his recovery. 

We just never know, do we, what the next moment holds in store? That’s why it is so important to make the most of this day, this hour, this second. We all feel better when we help — you can by partaking in our “Moon Family Medical Fundraiser,” a spaghetti feed being held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Veterans Memorial Building. Ten dollars will get you a plate of absolutely delicious spaghetti, garlic bread and salad (and good juju!). Handmade desserts will be available for a little extra. You may drive through or dine in.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the following locations: Exotic Nature, The Garden Shed, Grow Nursery, Indigo Moon and New Moon or at the door. 

In addition, Grow Nursery (behind the Garden Shed) is hosting a plants and pottery sale from 

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17. Benefit tables will be set up with 100 percent of proceeds going to their fund as well as 25 percent of all their sales will also be donate! 

Like I always say, doing good for others does good for your soul. Enjoy your day and make it even better.