The former Miami City Ballet dancer devastated by a ruptured brain aneurysm in December has seen an outpouring of financial and emotional support since a Miami Herald article about his plight was published three weeks ago.
The help will enable Isanusi Garcia Rodriguez, 36, to pay for therapy he needs to recuperate, and, he hopes, dance again. More than $9,000 in donations have been made at the online fundraising page established by Rodriguez’s girlfriend, MCB dancer Christie Sciturro.
Rodriguez had reached his insurance policy’s limit for therapy, and Sciturro could only afford to pay for limited sessions out of her salary. The donations will pay for speech therapy and physical training necessary for his continued recovery.
“This means is we can pay for everything until the end of December,” Sciturro says. “The first year of therapy is the most crucial, and now he’ll be able to finish like he’s supposed to.” In January, Rodriguez’s insurance will again cover therapy.
Sciturro says they have been overwhelmed by the response.
“He was shocked when he saw how many people donated, and at first he said, ‘No, no, no I can’t accept it,” Sciturro says. “And I said, ‘Too late, they’ve already donated.’ ”
While there were few large gifts, most were under $100, with a number from dancers and staff at MCB as well as from friends from Rodriguez’s native Cuba, where he began dancing at the National Ballet Company of Cuba.
“They emailed me saying, ‘Thank you for taking care of Isa. … They all wanted to help’ ” Sciturro says. “Now he feels like he has a fighting chance.”
Rodriguez says the messages and support have given him new hope. “At first it made me cry, I was like whoa, my friends, what is this?” he said. “But [my speech therapist] told me, ‘You have to accept it … people want you to really be well again.’
“I hope everything will be good. I think I’ll dance again some day.”
The fundraising page is at http://www.gofundme.com/3hyf2g.