In this Newsletter our good friend Dave Hinchberger catalogs the first portion of my extensive Stephen King collection, which we are offering for sale.
As one of the leading experts on King's work, with four significant books about King and years of research under my belt (including no less than seven research trips to Maine from Australia) you might be wondering why I, of all people, would be selling my rare and valuable King materials.
And you'd be right to wonder. Packaging up this material for shipment to Dave was an emotional experience. Many of these magazines, newspapers, books and DVDs come with great memories of how I collected them over many years, some bargains, some not! But all treasures and sources for my King books and articles; and of course hours and hours of the type of reading pleasure Stephen King provides.
Unfortunately, I was recently diagnosed with ALS or Motor Neurone Disease (known in North America as Lou Gehrig's Disease). This is a particularly nasty disease - in simple terms it results in the death of the nerve cells running to muscles, which effectively kills the muscles or renders them inoperative. Each patient declines in a different manner, but over a period of time all are crippled by the disease, being left unable to speak, type or indeed move at all. Communication is restricted to blinking and eye movement. It is invariably (a nice way of saying 100%) fatal and despite decades of research there is no treatment (other than of the symptoms) or cure.
So, you can imagine the diagnosis is devastating for my family and friends. We are fortunate in Australia to have a reasonably effective form of socialised medicine but I still face many large costs around home care, modifications to my home, medical equipment and so on, as well as a decrease in income when I can no longer work. The most important piece of equipment I wish to fund is an Eye-Gaze device that allows disabled people to communicate via eye movements recorded while looking at a computer screen. This is amazing and wonderful new technology but costs around $25,000. I hope to purchase one and have it donated to Motor Neurone Disease Victoria for continued use after I pass on.
So, the funds raised my selling this collection will be applied to my medical and care needs.
But in many ways there is another reason for selling the collection this way that is just as important. As much as I valued these individual publications, screenplays and so on I know there will be other King fans and readers who feel the same way. I hope they will each be sold to a reader or fan who values them, will protect them and one day pass them on to other King fans as the decades pass.
So, Constant Readers, I hope you enjoy perusing this catalog and any of the items you may purchase. To learn more about ALS/Motor Neurone Disease please visit http://www.alsa.org/ . They and similar organisations in your home country if you're not American, accept donations to help in research to eliminate this dreadful disease, or to assist in the care for sufferers.