In the briefest way possible:
I met Si (short for Sian) just over a month ago, on April 7th. All I knew was that he's a cancer patient who needed a place for a few weeks. I had an extra room since my ex moved out the week before and had been using the smaller room on the ground floor of our beautiful townhouse as a music studio.
I intended to rent out the big room since I couldn't afford $1200 on my own, and planned to pay $700 for the smaller and split utilities etc. He said he couldn't pay more than $600 so I said yes since it was supposed to be temporary. This was all before I met him and was just put in touch with him through a very dear friend who's known him for several years and raved about his cooking skills and his general excellent personality.
I promise this is all relevant. So I met Si and instantly fell in love with this 56 year old Malaysian man who sincerely believes he was the first Asian gay man. Hilarious and animated, and full of isms that are only peculiarly funny coming from the brain of an eloquent but non native English speaker, he drew a lot of attention away from the fact that he weighed 85 pounds and could only 'eat' through a tube in his belly. Away from the fact that he has a tumour in his throat and the other fact that oesophageal cancer survival rates are not that high. He's filled my house with flowers that he picks from random gardens (he carries scissors with him and leaves quarters in return) and decorated with blankets and orchids. His absolute favourite are tiny white orchids and before he got so weak, he would go on missions to find the perfect little pots for the flora. He'd buy his favourite chocolates and feed them to everyone and eat a tiny bit and then spit it out (he's not allowed to eat or drink anything). He stubbornly bought and carried groceries in two trips to cook dinner for his friends to welcome them to his new home.
To skip to the present, I've been taking care of him as much as I can. He has friends but not really anyone to do the day to day stuff and quite frankly nag him into following up with the healthcare and insurance system. Two weeks ago he had trouble breathing and I took him to the hospital and he had an emergency tracheotomy. So, just as I was beginning to get an idea for making a short docu with my DSLR- to try to capture the humour and strength of someone facing a difficult and short mortality- just like that, in one day, he lost his voice.
That week stay at VGH took a lot out of him and he's very weak now.
I'm struggling with rent because I decided that obviously it would be foolish to move him now where he's comfortable and happy and has someone to be his part time nurse. I told him I'd make it work since I was getting a second job anyway. The second job started later than I thought and it's not as many shifts as I'd thought. He's very adamant about not wanting any charity, but I'm not so picky. I've been dealing with major depression and just started working after two months of dealing with my break up and being a miserable whiny person. It's been good to take care of someone else, it helps me and it helps him and somehow he's my main priority because he has very little time left.
So by helping me cover my rent, you'd be helping him stay at this place which is clean, has a bathroom right next to his room, is literally two blocks away from the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital and four away from BC Cancer Agency.
Anything you do helps.