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This fundraiser ended on 01/16/11

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To help provide the essential items Andrew needs, such as foods for his special diet. To enhance Andrew's quality of life, letting him enjoy special activites and events outside of the medical world

My son Andrew was born on June 7, 2007, 3 1/2 weeks before his due date but only a day before a scheduled C-section. He was placed in the NICU with what was initially called "extreme irritibility". During his 10 day stay in the NICU, he battled pulmonary hypertension, low blood sugars (which was expected as I had Gestational Diabetes), infections and intolerance to feeds (he vomited and had diarrhea). He screamed all of the time. I now believe the initial formula, which was milk based, started the chain of events that led to his diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

At age 3 months, Andrew started having rashes, diagnosed as Eczema. At age 10 months, Andrew started having trouble swallowing & choking whenever he ate or drank. From age 12-16 months Andrew battled one "cold" after another. It would take him 3 weeks to bounce back from one and get sick with another a week later. This lead to a diagnosis of Dysphagia and Asthma. He was sent to a Pulmonologist at Akron Children's Hospital (we had none in our area at the time) who ordered a swallow study. The swallow study showed possible aspiration. We came home from Akron with an order for a nebulizer, albuterol, flovent and thickener for his drinks. We still thicken his drinks to a nectar consistency.

Andrew has done very well--Asthma wise. He takes his Flovent like a champ, twice a day, every day. Oddly enough, this is a medicine used to help manage symptoms of Eosinopilic Esophagitis, however at the time we didn't know that as Andrew hadn't been disgnosed with it yet.

At age 18 months, Andrew's dr and I decided enough was enough and she referred Andrew to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. Shortly after we saw the Ped GI, Andrew had his first endoscopy and biopsies. The diagnosis of Eosinophilic Esophagitis was made. Andrew was referred to an allergist.

Now you're probably wondering what the heck Eosinophilic Esophagitis is. Well, in a nutshell it's a new form of food allergy. Eosinophils are white blood cells our bodies produce to attck foreign objects such as parasites. They invade the area, attack and kill the foreign object, which is then safely excreted from the body. In Andrew's case, however, his eosinophilis think that certain food proteins are foreign objects and have set out to destroy them. This has caused Andrew's esophagus to become inflamed, rigid and ringed (hence the reason he has Dysphagia--trouble swallowing). Unfortunately there are no tests available to accurately determine what foods are causing him trouble so we must rely on traditional allergy testing and work on food elimination trials. We are currently eliminating apples, oranges, eggs and dairy products.

Thanks to the help of Andrew's dr and early intervention services, Andrew was seen by a Developmental Psychologist, who diagnosed him as having PDD-NOS. PDD-NOS, at least in Andrew, is a mild form of Austim. He fits partially in several categories on the Autism spectrum, but not completely. He is able to have a meaningful conversation some of the time, can make eye contact and loves playing with other kids. He has multiple sensory issues--he doesn't tolerate certain sounds, smells, tastes or textures. He frequently seeks out deep sensory input, such as banging his head on the wall or jumping off of the furniture. He needs a safe, positive way to achieve this. My hope is that through fundraising we can enroll him in a tumbling or kid's gym class.

Our goals for this fundraiser are:

To make sure we are able to provide Andrew with the special foods he needs to nourish his body. 

To make sure we able to provide diapers, wipes and rash cream for Andrew's endless bouts of diarrhea

To help provide Andrew with the sensory input he needs in a safe, controlled environment.

To help provide Andrew with little treats after painful tests or long days at the hospital or dr.

To help with transportation costs when we have to travel for medical treatment.

To help with medical equipment and/or treatments not funded by insurance. 

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