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This fundraiser ended on 04/16/12

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The money raised from this effort will be used to pay for medical costs/deductible not covered by insurance.

I was diagnosed with chronic, severe osteoarthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) in 2003, at the age of 33. My disease has not responded to or benefitted from steroid and joint lubrication therapies. Since my diagnosis, I have undergone 8 arthroscopic knee surgeries to remove diseased cartilage, bone chips, large floating and attached tissue bodies and repair of a torn ACL (I have attached pictures for the curious). In 2007, I had a high tibial osteotomy on my left knee in which my tibia was cut and a cadaveric bone graft inserted along with a plate and large screws. The goal of the surgery was to redistribute weight bearing to the lateral side of the knee because of complete bone-on-bone arthritis on the medial side and to delay joint replacement. This surgery was only able to delay total knee replacement until May, 2011. By this point, I was no longer able to walk long distances or stand in place for longer than a few minutes without experiencing severe pain and having to sit down. It is extremely difficult for me to use the stairs or walk on uneven surfaces or inclines. The pain wakes and keeps me up at night and affects my work during the day because I have to take medicine to keep the pain under control.

After consulting with my orthopedic surgeon, I had surgery to remove the plate and screws June 1, 2011. Numerous bone chips were removed at this time, suggesting that the bone itself was being eroded due to the arthritis just from normal weight bearing. The surgeon advised me that my only option was total knee replacement. He stated that the arthritis and DJD was so severe, he didn't know how I had even been able to continue walking in that condition. In November, I finally had to have a knee replacement on my left knee because the pain became unbearable and it had greatly affected my ability to function on a daily basis. The doctor also advised me that I would need to have the other knee replaced soon as well due to the stage of DJD and OA present. The DJD and OA have also started affecting my other joints (hips and shoulders) and lower back. Therefore, it is likely I will also eventually require treatment for them in the future.

Although I have insurance through my work, it has a very high deductible which I am unable to cover financially. Although I have been able to raise a small amount of money to cover some of these medical expenses, I have a large amount of expenses remaining from the plate removal and first TKR and will need to raise enough money to cover the costs of a second knee replacement soon.

I would be grateful with any assistance to help defray some of the current medical costs as well as help with the replacement of my other knee. The cost of the TKR surgical procedure was over $70,000 USD. Unfortunately, DJD and OA have no cure and many of the treatments can have severe side effects. Total joint replacement is often the only option people suffering from this condition have at walking and functioning on a daily basis, which many take for granted.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or would like to contribute to the medical expenses using alternative means at smaier1@cox.net.

I respecfully thank you for your consideration.

Jacen
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