$15,031 of $50,000
112 donations

This fundraiser ended on 08/15/12

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We're raising money to join Sean Bixler in the fight against his epilepsy. Will you join us?

Sean Bixler is 9. Sometimes he seems like 90. He can’t remember everyday things like the words for a bed, a picture or a brush. He forgets that his parents are Heather and David. He loses his balance and gets confused.

Two years ago his biggest challenge was deciding what to name the super heroes in his drawings. He read above his grade level and could tell you everything you wanted to know about his favorite dinosaur, the Pachycephylosaurus.

Then the seizures started. The old Sean faded and new the Sean aged. Now he can have seven grand mal seizures in a day. On bad days he cannot draw a circle, recognize letters or read the simplest book. Somebody has to be nearby to keep him from bumping his head in a fall.

After the seizures come hours of sleep, or a trance state his parents call “the zone.” When Sean is in the zone he cannot communicate. That’s embarrassing, so he gets agitated. His school has called ambulances and now, on Sean-alert, the school asks him to eat lunch in the principal’s office with a friend.

Sean’s parents have taken him to doctors in three states, most recently for an expensive five-day stay at the Cleveland Clinic. There, doctors confirmed their suspicions: Sean is epileptic. The doctors say the problems are caused by a “constant electrical storm in his brain.” They’ve prescribed a new medicine and a complicated, expensive diet widely used to treat children with epilepsy.

Heather and David are freelance musicians who used to live in New York City. With a grown son, a college-aged son, a 13-year-old daughter and Sean’s expenses, the city got too expensive. So recently, they moved.

David, now a music professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, has insurance through his job. But it does not cover all of Sean’s medical bills or any of the other extra expenses. Their out of pocket costs are now well over $50,000. Heather has had to cut back on her performances to care for Sean. Even so, they sometimes must hire qualified sitters to keep an eye on Sean. They have to pay for travel and hotel rooms when Sean goes to the hospital. The special diet has doubled the family food bill.

With enough money and time, Heather, David and the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic think that medicine and diet can make Sean normal again.

Then he’ll be able to enjoy his childhood before it slips away.
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