Contact us

E-mail or call 828-243-6712

Want to help?
Mail contributions to Life o’ Mike, PO Box 1213, Asheville, NC 28802.


  1. Posted by Joe Brafford | June 20, 2009, 1:18 am

    I have read that 40% of the uninsured reside in families that make over $50K per year. $50K is a sizeable amount. Are these people uninsured by choice?

    Are all of the 46.6 million uninsured U.S. citizens? If not, how many are not?

  2. Posted by leslie | June 20, 2009, 7:11 pm

    I’m not certain that 40 percent make over $50,000 a year, but more than half are employed.
    The count as of January, by the way, is 53 million uninsured (a study by Families USA, released last month).
    As for how many are citizens, only US citizens were counted.

  3. Posted by Sharon Schuster | June 27, 2009, 6:31 pm

    You were dynamite at today’s Health Care Rally! While I wish you peace with your loving memories of Mike, I hope you hold on to your outrage and activism until we get universal health care or, as a beginning, a public option.


  4. Posted by Denise | September 13, 2009, 9:48 pm

    I wanted to thank you for sharing your story today. I wish everyone could hear it.

    I have written my congressmen and senators since returning home from DC today.

    I hope we can fill the Mall next time. My sons, husband and I have all pledged to get at least 10 people each for October!!

    My sister lives in Lake Lure. I will give her your information so hopefully she can hitch a ride in October!
    The numbers do not have to be so inflated to be a success. The number in attandance was in the 60,000′s which is still good. The 24th Annual Black Family reunion, also on the mall yesterday, has an expected attendance of 500,000. The Obama inauguration was over 1 million and filled the mall from the Capital to the Lincoln Memorial.

    “What we face is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.” – Ted Kennedy

    Thank you again and stay strong. We will be the silent majority no longer!

  5. Posted by Denise | September 13, 2009, 10:00 pm

    Sorry about the unrelated comment in the middle. I cut and pasted something to my brother earlier and I must have hit paste. I will not be offended if you delete the:

    “The numbers do not have to be so inflated to be a success. The number in attandance was in the 60,000’s which is still good. The 24th Annual Black Family reunion, also on the mall yesterday, has an expected attendance of 500,000. The Obama inauguration was over 1 million and filled the mall from the Capital to the Lincoln Memorial.

    Congratulations! It is amazing what corporate sponsored protests can do! Go Freedomworks, Fox News, and all the other DC lobbists.”

    My brother had attended the 9-12 rally and was saying that 2 million people were there.

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Visit our new web site

It's official! We are WNC Health Advocates.
Please visit our new web site, Visit WNC Health Advocates
The new name reflects what we do -- advocate for health care for everyone and help people access and navigate our current health care system.
While we still hold onto the memory and the generous spirit of Mike Danforth, we need people to be able to see our name and understand who we are.

Help Life o’ Mike

We need your help now more than ever. Your tax-deductible donation will help us get Patient Pals and Family Friends to more people in need of peer support. Please consider a gift in honor or in memory of a loved one.
Donate here or mail your donation to Life o' Mike, PO Box 1213, Asheville, NC 28802.

Patient Pals & Family Friends

Life o' Mike has a peer support program for people with one or more serious or chronic medical issues or disabilities.

We aim to reduce isolation and fear among people who have conditions, including psychiatric illness, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, mild dementia or other cognitive disorder or disability, thereby reducing depression and complications as people learn to improve self-management of their medical conditions.

Patient Pals help alleviate feelings of isolation and frustration. They can help people develop a list of questions to ask the doctor and then accompany the person to the doctor to make sure all the questions are answered, taking notes to be sure the person understands the doctor’s answers.

Our trained volunteers also accompany their “Pals” to art exhibits, movies and walks outdoors, meet for coffee, call to check in and more.

Our Pals have experienced weight loss, improvement in diabetes, HIV, psoriasis, depression and more, just because they have someone who cares about them. Some relationships develop into longer-term friendships; other Pals move on to more independent lives.

Family Friends are there to help caregivers and other family members grow into their new role.

We need volunteers, who are asked to donate a minimum of one hour a week. Training is free and includes information on active listening, ways to help and when to know more help is needed.

And of course, we need funding.

To learn more, call Leslie Boyd at 828-243-6712 or e-mail

Life o’ Mike honors Joe Eblen

Life o' Mike presented its first Michael T. Danforth Community Service Award to Joe Eblen at a luncheon on June 8, in the Friendship Hall of First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville.
Joe, seen here with Leslie Boyd, left, and his wife, Bobbie, has spent his life helping children and families, both as a coach and game official for more than 60 years, and as founder of Eblen Charities.

Start From Seed

Life o' Mike has a new program- Start from Seed (SFS).
SFS is a volunteer doula program aimed at providing non-medical, comprehensive support to low income, high-risk women and families of Buncombe County focusing on three areas:

1. We help new doulas with certification and training in return for their participation as a volunteer doula for SFS

2. We mentor volunteer doulas with their first few clients

3. Our volunteer doulas provide birth and postpartum doula services to low income, high risk moms, providing support and tools to empower them as a new parent.

A birth doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; a postpartum doula provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Start from Seed clients are referred to us from the Buncombe County Department of Health’s Nurse-Family Partnership Program, Western North Carolina Community Health Services, and Mission Hospital. The Program is intended and designed for growing clients’ inner strength and helping them gain empowerment to help them cope with the emotional, physical and mental challenges of childbirth, labor, and motherhood.

Our new moms and their infants have many needs. If you would like to help them get off to a good start, please visit our Start from Seed web site: Start from Seed, or call Program Director Chelsea Kouns at 804-814-9946.

Events in the community

Free birth and labor classes

Peaceful Beginning Doula Services holds free birth forums, Peaceful Birth, 6:30-8 p.m. the last Thursday of every month (except November) at Spa Materna, 640 Merrimon Ave., above The Hop, in Asheville.
All are welcome, expectant women and their partners are encouraged to attend anytime during their pregnancy. We also encourage doulas and other maternal/child professionals to attend and share in the discussions. The forums are "birth circle" style, focusing on normal birth which follows the Lamaze Six Care Practices for Healthy Birth. The forums are led by certified and experienced educators.

NAMI Family-to-Family Class

NAMI of Western Carolina holds 12-week classes for families and caregivers of individuals with a severe mental illness 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays at Charles George VA Medical Center, 1100 Tunnel Road in Asheville. The course covers major mental illnesses and self-care. Registration required. Info at 828-299-9596 or

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