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This fundraiser ended on 08/25/11

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This is to help raise money so I can one day be able to walk without pain.

When I was 5 years old I remember my first sprained ankle. I was just playing on the playground with the other kids when all of a sudden my ankle turned inwards, popped and I landed on the ground. The pain was terrible and within hours it was huge and swollen and excruciating. Over the next 2 days it turned black and purple and I couldn't walk or play with the other kids. Over the next month it began healing and eventually went back to normal.

Until a few months later.

Since then I have suffered nearly 100 sprains, worsening over time and becoming more and more frequent.The ligaments have been torn so many times they can no longer heal enough to support my ankle. I have been to physical therapy and while it help my left ankle it did nothing to help the right. I'm 26 years old now, and a college student, who is about to be placed on disability because my ankle makes it impossible to work any job where walking and standing for more than a few minutes at a time is required, which at my age and education level is most jobs I was lucky though, I was able to find a part time job that lets me telecommute so that I can avoid the acts of standing and walking in an attempt to prevent more injuries and at least make enough money to survive.

The sprains can come at anytime and I can't prepare for them. The worst time, I was carrying groceries into the house a few years ago and when walking up the steps and into the house I suddenly found myself on the ground. My doctor who had already treated me for dozens of sprains looked it over and determined it was a severe sprain, splinted me up and sent me home. I was unable to afford follow up visits and at the time I had no insurance and no money to pay for x-rays out of pocket. After 6 months of excruciating pain it finally healed but was never right again and I had more and more severe sprains. When I finally obtained insurance again two years later I again visited a doctor about a severe sprain. Upon the x-ray he was shocked to see a deformed joint from the badly healed shattered ankle. Because of my constant pain from the number of sprains over the years, I was unable to tell the difference between the sprain and the break.

Again I am lying in bed today, immobilized from my second sprain in the last 3 months, and the third in the last 6 months. Two days ago, I stepped out of my car to help my boyfriend get something from the trunk and ended up back in my doctors office with another severe sprain. This time though I have torn through several of the ligaments in the ankle and he has told me I need to have an Ankle Ligament Reconstruction surgery to repair the damage and hopefully make it so I can live a normal life. Although I have student health insurance it does not cover surgery, and the costs for this surgery, makes it impossible for someone like me to afford. I don't have anyone I can turn to who has that kind of money to help me so I'm asking for help from my friends to get this out to anyone they can. If you can donate anything, $1, $5, even $10 to help me be able to afford this surgery so that I can live a life where I can go outside, where I can walk to class and have a normal job and life I would appreciate it. If you can't, please pass this along to anyone you know and maybe one day I will be able to walk without pain again.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

-Rachel
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