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This fundraiser ended on 05/16/12

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Help Friends and Family of Katherine to raise money to fund a corrective procedure for a painful misaligned bite and its complications.

This is to end painful medical complications such as crumbling back teeth and ear problems akin to infection, from a condition Katherine has with her jaw and bite.

Katherine Russ, beloved partner, daughter, yoga teacher, artist & multi-talented comedic family entertainer (sometimes known as Leeloona), was told when she was 17 that she needs corrective maxillofacial (jaw) surgery due to an open bite (only the back four molars touch).

The concept scared her when she realized it involves cutting and removing bone from the maxilla (upper jaw), then holding it back together with plates and screws, so she tried to see if there was an alternative.

She feels she was fearful and apathetic to not move forward to investing in this because she was discouraged of the great task to rally funding to get the help she needs.

Katherine needs funding to get her painful open bite fixed, be it having surgery to cut and re-position bone, having screws put into her mandible area and attached to springs, some other kind of medieval torture, etc... 

Ultimately it's a 3-step process:

Step 1: get set up with a doctor.
Step 2: get braces(?..again.)
Step 3: get her skull cut up, bionic/cybernetic attachment, lasers, aliens, bears with chainsaw arms, etc..

More back story....

in Aurora, CO as a senior in high school Katherine started to realize the magnitude of her problem when she woke up the morning after the Columbine shooting with pieces of one of her molars in her mouth.

By age 20, she began to experience pain that ranged from dull to radiating in her jaw from the impact of the back teeth only touching.

Now, 13 years later, Katherine has still not found relief from her condition and has been trying to manage pain however she can without it being a detriment to her health, such as low cost naturopathic clinic care and community acupuncture for temporary relief. Her income is very low to intermittent at best, being that she teaches yoga part time, aside from occasional performance gigs twisting balloons, magic tricks, face painting or working as a mascot.

The fact that she needs surgery is becoming more apparent every day since her right ear has been hurting her for the past 2 years, due to the Eustachian tubes (channels through which the ears drain down the throat) becoming flattened and her ear drum becoming "sucked in". She wakes up every morning in agony and is now in constant pain.

The prospect of surgery still scares her, but she knows it just needs to happen. Her Father's side of the family history includes maxillofacial soft tissue anomalies, (including tumor growth), so she is very frightened that there could possibly be a tumor hiding somewhere in her sinus like what happened with her Father or worse.

Eating is often embarrassing for her and difficult as well, since she cannot cut food with her front teeth and it slips through, practically falling out of her mouth. It is also difficult for her to completely chew her food before swallowing it which is affecting her digestion.

Aside from the chronic pain and eating problems, the psychological and emotional effects of Katherine's condition are beginning to take a heavy toll on her, as she is often deeply sad and disheartened with the world around her. She is starting to have humiliating problems expressing her thoughts clearly, remembering simple words/names, etc.. This is also greatly affecting her over all self-esteem.

Is it possible that through the love and concern of strangers and friends alike, that Katherine can be freed from her painful condition?

Your kindness will not only be greatly appreciated, you can know that Katherine will do whatever she can to repay you all, including keeping you updated on her progress with pictures and writings. She will open a fresh blog of her experience, as she knows this type of thing helps others who can relate to her condition. She is already very grateful for those who have put videos up on Youtube, documenting their experiences with corrective jaw surgery.

Katherine feels strongly that this could also be like a second chance at life once this great obstacle is overcome and she will do whatever she can to reward those involved in helping to save her.

Thank you for your contributions!
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