Time to help Jeff and Susan | AspenTimes.com

Time to help Jeff and Susan

Rev. Gregg Anderson of the Aspen Chapel often says that the “real” Aspen emerges to help people facing hardships or tragedy. He’s right, and now is time to rally to the aid of Jeff Reese and Susan Grove.

The couple were severely injured in May when their vehicle was struck by a drunken driver. They were less than 2 miles from their Basalt residence when they were hit head-on. Both spent several weeks in comas and suffered both brain injuries and broken bones. Both still struggle with painful physical rehabilitation, memory loss and other ailments. It likely will take years for the two to fully regain their physical abilities.

The good news is they are recovering, albeit slowly. They live in a duplex in Aspen, where they receive a healthy dose of help from family and friends.

The tough part of their predicament is they need help paying medical bills, which have already topped $1.3 million, and daily living expenses. Before the accident, Reese and Grove were gainfully employed, but their injuries have left them temporarily unable to work; that means no money to pay for rent, groceries and other mundane, daily costs.

Aspenites can help by donating to the Jeff Reese and Susan Grove fund at Alpine Banks in the Roaring Fork Valley. Online donations are being accepted at http://jeffandsusan.chipin.com/jeff-and-susan. They also can attend a benefit screening of the film “Ski Everest” on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to Reese and Grove.

Local ski mountaineer Mike Marolt has organized the fundraiser for his friends. The film, which Marolt calls a theatrical documentary, was created by Marolt and Les Guthman, the “Spielberg of adventure documentaries.”

Reese and Grove aren’t complainers and don’t like to ask others for help. But clearly, through no fault of their own, they find themselves in an untenable position. They deserve help from the “real” Aspen.

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