Half of the joy of making is the satisfaction of working on and sharing a project; the other half is knowing you’re part of a community of makers. The strength of a community comes from its support, which can be giving help or feedback on a build, or lending a hand when someone needs it personally. 

Last weekend we received the note that one of our most active makers, Joey Hudy, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is in need of support. The GoFundMe page set up by his sister details the situation, but in short, Joey, age 20, was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Hong Kong at the start of this year (he’s been working at Seeed Studio in Shenzhen since June), then moved to a facility in Ohio, and has now been transferred to a long term facility in Tennessee. With the exorbitant costs of care, the family is asking for help. 

As the family is learning what schizophrenia means, they are encouraging others to learn more as well. This week on NPR’s Fresh Air program, a father talks about his struggle to help his sons who have schizophrenia. 

Everyone in the maker community has plenty of Joey stories. For me, I first crossed paths with him a little over five years ago when he was still only 14; he had just made the news with his marshmallow cannon demonstration alongside President Obama at the 2012 White House Science Fair. I wanted to find out who the precocious boy was, so I reached out and quickly got a response from his mom Julie, always wonderful and always supportive. I ran a Q&A with him on my website, then bumped into him in person a couple months later while I was reporting at Maker Faire Bay Area for Wired. I was a bit star struck. Since then, I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Joey, especially at the big Maker Faires. 

joey

Photo of Joe and his marshmallow cannon that I took at the 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire.

Joey is a bright star with a thoughtful and generous family. His energy has been a huge inspiration not just for other young minds, but for many adults like myself. I’m helping contribute to his recovery fund and hope many in the community will do so as well. Fingers crossed that Joey gets back to a healthy place soon.

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Listed below, a collection of many of the Make: articles Joey has featured in over the years. 

A word with Joey Hudy at Maker Faire Paris

Joey Hudy Launches Back to the White House

Joey Hudy: My Trip to Washington, D.C.

Joey Hudy to be a Guest of Honor at Tonight’s State of the Union Address

3D-Body Scanning With Joey Hudy

Joey Hudy: One of 10 “Smartest Kids on the Planet”

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Joey Hudy

Maker Camp: Extreme Marshmallow Cannons with Joey Hudy

Young Maker Profile: Joey Hudy

Joey Hudy Goes to Washington

Build the 3x3x3 LED Cube Arduino Shield

Meet Young Makers Panel Discussion on Make: Live Stage at World Maker Faire 2012

“Don’t Be Bored. Do Something”

White House Celebrates Young Makers Along with Science Fair