$748 of $2,500
21 donations

This fundraiser ended on 06/18/11

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Join us in providing greater independence, mobility, and spontaneity to Michelle Devon's life by way of a motorized wheelchair.

UPDATE: 6/15/11 We're coming to the end of this fundraiser for Michy. It has been extended until June 18 so that we could update one last time! Based on a rash which developed and on a consultation with another doctor, Michy has a tentative diagnosis of dermatomyositis (DM). In addition, Michy's primary care physician has also issued a tentative diagnosis of poly-glandular auto-immune deficiency type II (PGA II). PGA II is sometimes referred to as Schmidt's syndrome and features two or more of the following conditions: hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, diabetes mellitis, hypogonadism, vitiligo. The good news is that both PGA II and DM are treated with high-dose steroids, which were already prescribed for Michy. The bad news is that After a week of steroids, Michy developed incessant thirst, salt-cravings, muscle cramps, and stomach cramps. After doing additional reading, we found that most patients who are prescribed high-dose steroids are also prescribed mineral corticoids to help balance their aldosterone. We're still waiting for Michy's PCP to let us know whether a mineral corticoid should be prescribed in her case because of the fluctuating blood pressure problems she has faced. We suspect there may be more testing in store, first. Many Thanks to everyone who has given their time, positive energy, healthy thoughts, prayers, money, love, light, and hugs. All of it makes a difference for Michelle! UPDATE: 5/11/11 Based on the results of a cortisol stimulation test run on 4/20/11, the endocrinologist asked Michy to schedule her appointment as soon as possible. She saw the doctor on 5/5/11. The stimulation test confirmed that Michelle is adrenal insufficient (AI). Based on the numbers and on our research, what probably started as a secondary insufficiency looks like a primary insufficiency at this point. Adrenal Insufficiency is a condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough adrenaline in response to stress to allow the body to properly respond. This can result in Adrenal Crisis, causing the person to tremble, vomit, faint, and/or become comatose. Untreated, adrenal crisis can lead to death. Addison's Disease is usually thought of as primary adrenal insufficiency, but untreated secondary adrenal insufficiency can cause atrophy of the adrenaline glands to a point where the secondary AI becomes primary. This appears to be what has happened to Michelle. The testing required to diagnose this condition is, unfortunately, quite expensive. The stimulation test was $500.00 and the follow-up 24-hour urine collection tests run $150.00 per test (three so far, at least two more on the horizon). Michelle was started on dexamethasone, a longer-acting and more potent glucocorticoid steroid than cortisol or prednisone. However, this new finding precludes the possibility of surgery except for life-threatening emergencies. Therefore potential surgical solutions to the scoliosis, ruptured disks, and loss of lordosis are no longer open to Michelle. For more information, please also see Michelle's updates on Facebook: Michelle's Facebook page We're coming into the "home stretch" of this fund raiser. Thanks for the generosity that so many of you have shown. If you know of anyone else who might be able to help us, your referral would be greatly appreciated. ______________ UPDATE: 4/11/11 In addition to the power chair, funds raised will be used to purchase curb ramps and/or a mechanism to load the chair into/out of a vehicle. Michelle is heading to the doctor on Tuesday to discuss additional testing for a tumor in the abdominal cavity. ---------------------- UPDATE: 3/31/11 Twin Trinity Media, LLC (TTM) has offered an incentive for donations! TTM will be providing one of two books (and matching bookmarks) to be delivered to you or the recipient of your choice in return for a qualifying donation. You may choose either Elements of Time or Elements of the Soul for each donation of $15 or more up to a maximum of two books per person. If you have any questions, please contact the fundraiser organizer, Lynn Hunter, by email at Otherwise, contact Lynn at the time of your donation to take advantage of this offer! ---------------------- UPDATE: 3/14/11 The MRI reports came in today. The most shocking portion of the report for Michelle was that she has a tumor on the T7 vertebrae. Based on imaging. they believe it is a hemangioma, which is good news, since that means even though it is vascular in nature, it is probably not cancerous. She will make an appointment later this week with her PCP to discuss these results in greater detail. It was confirmed that Michelle has moderate to severe dessication of every disc of her lumbar spine and thoracic spine, except for the T11/T12 disc - why that one disc isn't dessicated, who knows? Based on her study of the MRI images, she expected that portion of the report, the spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis), and the spinal stenosis as well, along with 'flat back', called loss of lumbar lordosis. It also reported Schmorl's nodules. Wikipedia says: "Schmorl's nodes or Schmorl's nodules are protrusions of the cartilage of the intervertebral disc through the vertebral body endplate and into the adjacent vertebra." She is not entirely sure what that means and is still researching to find pictures of it so she can relate it back to her own MRI pictures. We will update as we know more. ---------------------- Mobility for Michy! Michelle Devon (Michy) is a writer who has spent the majority of her life as a single mother of two. She has worked not only to provide for herself and her family, but also to help others to establish their writing careers. She lives by a motto of "You are what you help others to become." She has sought to help others to become successful through coaching, teaching, advising, editing, and mentoring them. I'm hoping that now we can come together and help Michelle as she has helped so many. A motorized wheelchair will allow her greater independence and mobility. Over the last four years, Michelle has fought a number of health problems. A scratch on her leg while unloading groceries led to cellulitis and ultimately to septicemia, which required hospitalization and three separate rounds of Zyvox in concert with doxycycline and clindamyacin to clear the infections. It is suspected that the combination of sepsis and the potent drug protocols led to the failure of her pituitary (hypopituitarism), also resulting in hypothyroidism and adrenal insufficiency. These conditions seem to have accelerated existing degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis. Michelle has no insurance and has been covering her own medical costs because she has been turned down by every insurance company to which she has applied. Last week, she had an MRI of her spine and the degree of degeneration and damage has become more clear. For the last two years, when Michelle has gone out, she has used a wheelchair. However, it is a manual wheelchair and she needs a friend or family member to push her, limiting her independence and spontaneity. Based on the new information which she has obtained, the use of a wheelchair is even more critical to preserve as much spinal integrity as she can and to limit further injury. Please join us to help Michy to continue to help others and herself by maintaining her independence.
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