Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.
Financial-aid recipient: Shelly Bordas is a Denver actor and teacher who has appeared in dozens of plays all around Colorado, including memorable turns in Theatre Group’s “Cell Block Sirens of 1953,” “Bat Boy, the Musical” and, more recently, “Debbie Does Dallas.” She also has performed at the Arvada Center, the Avenue Theater, Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge and many others. Shelly has been writing, teaching and directing youth theater for more than 16 years. She founded her own school, Acting Up, giving teenagers professional acting instruction. Many have gone on to work in New York. She has been teaching kids at the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton for 10 years. She has also been an instructor for Denver Public Schools, Gunnison High School, Stage Eleven and the Cherry Creek School District. She was named the 2013 CultureWest Theatre Person of the Year for the courage and inspiration she demonstrated in her attempt to come back from her cancer battle to appear in Town Hall’s “9 to 5: The Musical.”
Her story: Shelly was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in November 2009, while she was pregnant with her son, Nathan. After five years of chemo, radiation and dozens of surgeries, Shelly has now entered the home hospice stage of her disease. She and her family have decided that she will undergo no more radiation or chemotherapy. Shelly’s needs now are both financial and practical. Doctors want Shelly to have a 24-hour in-home companion. Shelly’s expenses are running about $5,000 a month, including sporadic ElderLink Home Care service, which costs about $200 a day. Right now, the amazing “Team Shelley” — primarily Chris Whyde, Steve Burge, Steve Tangedal, Barbara Bordas and other friends and family — are taking 12-hour shifts, which is extending the ElderLink service. But as things are now, Team Shelly is going to run out of money to pay for that service after Oct. 24.
How we will help: The Denver Actors Fund board of directors has approved the largest gift in its history — $2,000 to extend Shelly’s ElderLink service a little longer. It is now assembling volunteer Action Teams to help Team Shelly in various other ways.
How you can help: Shelly feels more safe when there is someone with her at night. We hope to expand the circle of friends and family who are willing and able to take on 12-hour shifts with Shelly (daytime or overnight) — because every shift Team Shelly takes on will save the family about $100, and therefore extend the ElderLink service. Both friends and strangers are welcome to join Team Shelly. Individuals or tandems. The primary needs are any evening shift from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., or daytimes Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. To sign up, please call Shelly’s mother, Barbara Bordas, directly: Home: 303-694-2884. Cell: 303-667-8777. Email: BarbaraBordas@aol.com. Note: This is not medical care. It is offering companionship and help with the wheelchair, water, light errands, etc. Hardly anything happens at night, Shelly says, save for occasional bad dreams. You are essentially a security blanket.
Other ways to help: If you are already a friend of Shelly’s, then playdates or sleepovers with her 5-year-old son, Nathan, are appreciated. Contact Barbara Bordas directly.
A message from Barbara Bordas: “I can’t put into words what this help means to me. It gives me a sense of relief and calmess knowing Shelly has friends who are willing to help her during this time.”
To help us help Team Shelly more: If you would like to donate to the Denver Actors Fund, see below. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help Shelly Bordas and her family, mail checks in her name to Denver Actors Fund, 4594 Osceola St., Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, and in your note, direct your gift to Shelly.
ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:
The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers offers good neighborly assistance including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at www.DenverActorsFund.Org
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