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101 donations

This fundraiser ended on 05/31/12

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The family of Jillian Bukowski is raising money to help alleviate travel and medical costs.

Just before her first birthday in October 2011, Jillian Bukowski experienced symptoms similar to a stroke – the right side of her body went limp, but luckily restored itself after a few minutes. After being admitted to the hospital and going through multiple tests, she was sent home – only to have a similar incident occur a few days later. Months have passed and Jillian has continued to grow into a sweet little girl, full of energy and great spirit. Thanks to a daily dose of aspirin, Jillian has not experienced any further episodes, but after many months of tests, it was deemed necessary that she undergo surgery to bypass the malformation of the artery and resulting aneurysms.

This condition has never been seen in a child before, so Jillian’s parents have worked tirelessly with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to find someone to help. After much research and difficult conversations, it has been decided that Jillian travel to St. Louis at the end of April to have surgery. Dr. Saleem Abdulrauf, a highly specialized vascular neurosurgeon in St. Louis, has developed a new surgery in which he will use a scalp artery and an artery from her arm to perform the bypass and restore full blood flow to that area of the brain...an 8-10 hour surgery. To say that she’ll be one of a kind is just the beginning!

Jillian will be traveling with her parents Beth (Gerhard) and Keith to St. Louis for approximately 3 weeks in order to properly prepare for surgery, complete the surgery, and recover in the care of many experts in this area. Although medical insurance is doing their part covering expenses, 3 weeks is a long time to be away from your home and support system. Even though some travel expenses are partially covered by insurance, the list is still a bit overwhelming: flights, hotel, rental car, meals, gas, even entertainment. Yes, entertainment – Beth and Keith have tried so hard to keep Jillian’s life as normal as possible and hope to enjoy St. Louis once she is out of the hospital and recovering – visiting the local zoo and other sites St. Louis has to offer.

Many of you have asked how you can help in this process, and that's the reason for setting up this site. As you may know, Beth is also due with baby Bukowski #2 in early August - we all can only hope that this trip to St. Louis will provide the cure that Jillian needs so everyone can be healthy and happy to welcome a new baby into the family.

Jillian's full journey has been well documented by her Mom on CaringBridge: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jillianbukowski

Please visit the page and sign up for updates if you’d like to continue on Jillian’s journey with her family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support, prayers, generosity and many well wishes.

Love,
The Family of Jillian Bukowski
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