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Monday, May 05, 2008

sharing our strength

once again, i've just received an email message with a friend's name on the subject line.

and once again, the news wasn't good.

it's from anthony and rebecca benenati of city yoga, and this time, i'm sharing it with all of you because there's a chance you may also know the wonderful person they're talking about...

date: May 5th, 2008
subject: Our Beloved Camilla

To the City Yoga community;

We regret to inform you all that our dear friend and colleague Camilla Bergstrom was in an accident yesterday at the Sunset Horse Stables in Hollywood.

Camilla was in the process of buying a horse and was spending some time with it on Sunday when tragedy struck. The horse spooked and her hand got caught in the rope. She has lost parts of 3 fingers of her left hand. The nature of the accident was so severe it does not allow the reattachment of those fingers. Sadly, they are gone.

She is "ok", which is to say stable. She is in the hospital and will probably be home tomorrow. Thankfully, there were no other injuries, though she will be very sore from the trauma. She went into surgery late last night and is recovering today.

Rebecca is with her now and she has some of her Swedish friends corresponding with her family in Sweden. Unfortunately, her family is not able to come over to be with her.

Some of us have known Camilla for a long time and others have just come to know her but we all have come to love her tough Swedish shell which encases one of the most compassionate, beautiful souls. In talking with her in her moments of clarity she has spoken of gratitude. Gratitude for the smallest things. Camilla has gone through a lot and she is the first to say that she is grateful for every challenge because it has taught her about herself and made her stronger.

She will need all of our strength and support in the coming weeks and months and I know we will all be grateful to give all we can. At the moment, please just hold her in your hearts and send her love. We will be sending out more information. It will include more specific things we can do to help.

One of the first things she will need is money. Fortunately, she has insurance but as is the case with most Americans, it is only disaster insurance. That means high deductibles and items not covered, not to mention her inability to work for a while. We are planning a fundraiser for her with in the coming days but you may start by sending money instead of flowers to:

Camilla Bergstrom
c/o City Yoga
7904 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 214
West Hollywood, CA 90046

ANY amount you can give will be extraordinary if we act as a community.
Please DO NOT call her cell phone. She will need time to get settled and in touch with her family since the time difference is so great and I'm sure she will be exhausted.

Thank you all in advance for your love and support of our dear friend.

In her service,
Rebecca and Anthony

update --

the first responses from the anusara community are already pouring in...

this is from marc holzman of guerilla yoga:

This Sunday, May 11 the proceeds for the Guerilla class will go to Camilla to assist her during this traumatic time. Camilla has been teaching at City Yoga for years, and I know that many of us have passed through her classes at one point or another. So whether you know Camilla or not, come on out this Sunday so that her heart will heal with our support.

Sunday, May 11th 9:15am
Hollywood Dance Center, 817 N Highland Ave, Hollywood
All classes by donation

another update --

city yoga just posted the details of their fundraiser:

We are holding a special evening of yoga and chanting to benefit our beloved teacher, friend and fellow yogi, Camilla Bergstrom. As with individuals, the true nature of communities are tested when tragedy strikes and this community has shown its strength and beauty by rallying behind our friend. It is an honor to witness and be a part of it.

Sunday, May 18th 7:00pm
City Yoga, Los Angeles
$25 donation and City Yoga will match all monies raised on this night

Come practice with Anthony Benenati and chant with Dave Stringer to raise money to help support Camilla with all her expenses. At a time like this the last thing anyone should worry about is how they are going to pay their rent or the medical bills that are starting to roll in.

There will be light food and drink compliments of Jonathan Darr and Love Catering.
There will be gift auctions too! Great stuff like massages, treatments, swag from Lululemon and more. If you are unable to attend but still want to donate you may do so directly.

There is only room for 60 so please sign up soon by calling 323.654.2125

Thank you in advance. ANY amount you can give will be extraordinary if we act as a community. Your donation will make a huge difference in Camilla's life.