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Micaela's Health Challenge

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This fundraiser ended on 10/31/13

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My Story

By Micaela Bensko

Dear Friends,

There is a sense of pride that feels lost when asking for help. Before you know it, something turns your world upside down, and you try to handle it with a stoic grasp. But are then left humbled by the weakness in your arms.

I was a photographer. I am a wife, and mother of four, who has become disabled when the corner of the electric tailgate on our car collided into my head. Over the past year and a half, my condition has declined to a point I am 90% disabled. I am now in a wheelchair, or an electric scooter, unable to drive and need home-help full time.

I have always been an optimistic person, always embracing life and friendships, and every day was spent making each day as full and wonderful as possible. I do not want this to stop! It is my hope that through your help, a portion of this burden placed up my family might be lifted.

I have lost the use of my left leg, my right leg is in decline, and my arms are gradually losing mobility. There is an irony in my disability. My mother founded Rebuilding Americas Warriors, providing free reconstructive surgery to our troops returning from war. These troops have become my family. But I never thought the years of observing the power of the human condition through their challenges, would at the same time prepare me for the greatest challenge of my life.

On 10/28/2011, The corner of the electric tailgate collided with my skull just a few millimeters from my left temple. I was knocked to the ground and completely stunned. Our oldest daughter heard me yell, and noticed here was a large amount of blood. My skull throbbed. My neck had been jarred terribly, similar to a "stinger" experienced by football players. She drove me to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with a concussion, and the doctor placed a staple in my head.

After a year of multiple surgeries, my nervous system is, in my doctors words, a hornets nest . I have severe hyper-reflexivity in all four limbs. My nervous system is completely traumatized and is continuing to decline almost two years after the accident My routine has become unmanageable on my own. I am unable to walk. With all of my efforts to overcome my condition, I have been unable to conquer the debilitating affects of my accident.

My life prior to this collision was full speed ahead. I never stopped and was fully committed to our children'
s activities, my clients, and our wounded warriors; I was fortunate to speak with our troops to classrooms throughout Los Angeles. After the collision, I had to cancel all engagements and photography jobs for 2012. I am now completely disabled.

The most devastating affect of my condition, has been the loss of time with my husband. His job is one that requires him to be out of state on-location. This past year has been excruciatingly difficult on our family. I am unable to travel or bring our children to see him. When he is able to come home, our life is confined to the house, and his care-taking of my personal needs. We have been together fourteen years and I have never loved him more. I am only forty three, with the love of my life, and I am not able to be the wife I want to be. I say this not for pity, but to share my realization of how very fragile life can be.

I volunteered in our children's classrooms, took pictures of the students every year, did the headshots for their school plays, spoke to their classrooms with our wounded. Now, I am simply left wondering how life has come to this.

My next surgeries are an Electro Spine Stimulator Implant as the trial was a success, as well as cauterization of the pain nerves in my spine. I have also applied to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

This is why our friends have encouraged me to reach out, to you, our community, for help. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you have a moment to kindly share these efforts on your social networks, or email if you can, if for nothing else to remind loved ones, that no matter what happens to you in life, life does go on. But it doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Life is most beautiful when it is raw.When strangers tend to your wounds, and guide you to blessings you never knew were possible. I have seen only the best of humanity since my life took its turn. Thank you for being a part of this gift that has been the greatest challenge of my life.

With enduring gratitude,

Micaela Bensko

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