$3,901 of $20,000
40 donations

This fundraiser ended on 11/15/11

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This fundraiser is to assist Karen Thames and her family with the out of pocket expenses related to her diagnosis of Cushing's Disease.


Karen can not be summed up in words. To say the least, she is a beautiful, engaging, intelligent, compassionate, Clinical Psychologist whose life's work is part of her God-given purpose in life. She is also a classically trained vocalist who has been singing for many years. She has been married for more than 9 years to her supportive and wonderful husband Craig. Karen and Craig have two gorgeous daughters; Courtney, age 8, and Madison, 10 months.

In the last year, Karen was formally diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. This was only after several years of health issues, inaccurate diagnoses and perseverance to have her voice heard by professionals in the medical community to not write off her experience and knowledge that something within her body was off.

If you are like me, you may not have been, or currently be, familiar with what Cushing's Disease is. The Cushing's Support and Research Foundation website offers helpful information about the syndrome and their website can be viewed at

Karen has been the model of perseverance and commitment to her faith since the beginning of this journey. At the end of June 2011, Karen went through a very complicated procedure, called Inferior Petrosal Sinus Sampling (IPSS), an invasive test that allows doctors to often determine the origin of the problem, many times associated with a tumor on the pituitary gland. Just two days after going through this test, which in and of itself can hold many inherent risks, Karen began experiencing blackouts and symptoms that required her immediate hospitalization. After six days in the hospital, numerous tests yielding no information about the root cause of these blackouts, doctors following numerous (seemingly unfounded) theories to explain these episodes, Karen was told that there was no medical explanation for her episodes and was discharged home. Upon her arrival home, she was greeted with the results from her IPSS procedure indicating that Karen DID in fact have a tumor on the left side of her pituitary gland!

Despite her desire to get back to work to help others, she is not able to work consistently due to the frequency of these ongoing debilitating blackouts and symptoms, likely related to the tumor and Cushing's Disease.

Karen and her husband are wisely seeking consultation with a Cushing's Disease specialist in Seattle to help stabilize her symptoms until she can get the necessary surgery. As the specialist is in Seattle, and the family is in the Chicago area, many out of pocket expenses that would be a challenge for anyone of us to face, are being thrown their way. Their insurance states that they will not cover the necessary $90,000 surgery to remove the tumor until January 2012!

Karen's husband has been the most supportive, loving and devoted man to Karen and their two beautiful girls throughout this time, barely leaving her side the entire six days she spent in the hospital, and to say that this battle has drained their family would not be fair to say. To the contrary, their positivity, faith in God and persistence has served to make them some of the most inspirational people I have had the opportunity and privilege to meet in life. With this being said, Karen and Craig, are not asking for anything other than perhaps your prayers and thoughts, a gift in and of itself. As a friend of this amazing family though, I feel that I would like to give even more than my prayers and thoughts, and would like to throw a small drop in the bucket to help them manage the mounting medical bills and out of pocket expenses that they face with the intention of showing my true and genuine heartfelt thanks for them always being there for me. If you would also like to contribute anything, I have set up this fundraising page that you can make a donation through. We can't change this disease, but we can affect the way they fight it! Thank you all for your donations, support and knowing the beauty of the Thames family, I know they would thank you for your love, friendship, support and prayers.
God Bless you.
A Friend,
Lorinda Suthers-Salbego

If you have any questions or would like to speak to me about this fundraising or prefer to write a check, please feel free to email me at
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