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This fundraiser ended on 05/05/10

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Debbie is a 38 year old single mom of 4 who is battling a disease without medical insurance. First diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 4 years ago, doctors now believe it may be MS (Multiple Sclerosis), but Debbie can't afford the medical care needed

Debbie is in need of help in order to seek a proper diagnosis and necessary treatment.  Her health and physical ability has been greatly deteriorating, and as a single mom of 4, she is concerned if this doesn't get diagnosed, and start treatment soon, this is going to progress to the point that she is unable to do much at all.  Currently her walking and arm function are affected, as well as balance, vision, and memory.  For the first time in the 4 years since this started, she is really scared.  She goes to bed every night with the fear she is going to wake up and her legs, or eyes, are no longer going to work, and as a single mom of 4, this scares her to death.

Four years ago, Debbie was an active woman, able to do just about anything.  She began getting pain and heaviness in her left arm, which over the course of a few weeks spread to her right arm, and eventually, she had difficulity with everyday function in her arms.  Within 6 months, her legs were also affected, and she began to need forearm crutches to walk any distance.  Doctors then believed it was Rheumatoid Arthritis, as she has a family history of this, so she began treatment for that, including a low dose chemotherapy drug. However, she continued to develop symptoms that didn't fit, including pins and needles in her feet 24/7 and a tight, crushing sensation in her chest which sent her to the ER numerous times, thinking it was a heart attack.  Tests were run by a cardiologist, but they could not find anything wrong with her heart. She also had back issues which required a major surgery 2 years ago.

Well, while pregnant with her daughter, she went into remission of sorts, and for the first time in years, felt very close to her old self.  She had a beautiful baby girl, but within about 3 months, symptoms began returning.  And brought along some new ones to join the party...She now experiences tingling spots in her legs, and have had this feeling take over her entire body from the waist down.  She has had vertigo and vision issues, as well as problems remembering things and losing words.  She is  now back on the crutches to walk any distance, and her arms are so heavy and even putting her hair into a ponytail has become almost impossible.

After her daughter was born, she lost her medical insurance, and is currently uninsured.  She does not qualify for any aid when it comes to medical insurance, even though she has tried (even getting in touch with a local congressman for help).  She has been seen by a doctor at a free clinic in the next town over, but they are unable to do anymore, other then treating symptoms with medication, as they have referred her to a neuro-specialist, as they believe it is MS or some other neurological and autoimmune disorder.  However, without insurance, no doctor will see her, and the tests she needs (MRI of the head and spine, lumbar puncture, and evoked potentials) can't be done either.  She is surrently applying for disability through an attorney, but this could take as long as 3 years to get approved.

And this is where we are asking for help...please help us raise the money to get these tests done and find out for sure what this disease is that is taking her body away, one day at a time.  In her  mind, she knows something is wrong, and has dealt with it, so she doesn't care anymore what 'name' they want to give it.  If it is RA, or MS, or some other monster....she just wants to be able to treat it, maybe slow it down, and be able to give her children their mother back. 

All money raised through this site will go to medical tests and treatment needed, as well as the hospital emergency room bills she currently has...already totaling almost 5000.  We have set the goal at 10,000, and the time frame short, so that I can get started on necessary tests as soon as possible (this site does not provide funds from fundraising efforts until the goal date is passed)...however, I know this is a very conservative goal, as medical costs are huge right now.  And should this be determined as MS, the medications alone can costs hundreds to thousands a month. 

I thank everyone of you for taking the time to read Debbie's story, and if you are able, for helping to get her one step closer to the treatment she needs.  We thank you for all of your support and help.

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