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This fundraiser ended on 07/02/10

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Jesse is a 19 yr old from Wisconsin who was paralyzed from a fall on March 9, 2009. He is now faced with many challenges both physically and financially. We are trying to raise money to buy therapy equipment that the insurance will not cover.

Jesses Journey to Walk

Jesse was a 17 yr old senior in high school when he went to Mexico with his family for vacation. On March 9, 2009 Jesse fell from a balcony and damaged his spinal cord and several vertebrae. We spent two days trying to get him back to the United States. When we finally got him transported to San Antonio TX he underwent surgery. Although he is paralyzed from the waist down, we learned that his spinal cord was crushed but not severed. This gives Jesse hope to regain some mobility. Jesse and his parents had to spend several weeks in Texas while his family battled health insurance companies to try to get him back home to Wisconsin. The health insurance company won. The cost for lodging, meals, transportation, etc added up quickly. Once we finally got Jesse home to Wisconsin he spent 6 weeks in the rehabilitation unit at University Hospital in Madison Wisconsin. While there Jesse learned to adapt to his new lifestyle. Many adjustments needed to be made at home to accomodate him. Once again the battles with the health insurance companies continued. Much of the doctor prescribed equipment for everday needs was considered convenience and not necessity by the insurance. How is a paralyzed person suppose to take a shower when a shower bench is looked at as a convenience by the insurance company? That is just one of many ridiculous examples we have encountered and costs that we have incurred. For over a year Jesse continued with physical therapy locally. He was not given much hope of recovery. Then this past winter we discovered Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore MD. This past March we spent two weeks at this remarkable facility. Here they believe that with different types of therapy and continued research paralyzed individuals can and do regain function and sensation. Once again the cost for travel, food and lodging were not covered by insurance. While at Kennedy Krieger Jesse was able to use a FES bike that uses electrical stimulation to fire the muscles which in turn pedal the bike. Not only does this help keep the muscles healthy it also can regain the lost communication between the brain and the muscles. Jesse's therapists were very encouraged by how well Jesse's muscles responded to the bike. Jesse also used a standing machine to bear weight on his legs. This is proven to improve bone mass in paralyzed people. Jesse was given prescriptions for both pieces of equipment but health insurance once again denied both. Although it is well documented that both therapies improve overall health complications in paralyzed people. Some of the examples of the complications Jesse faces are bone mass loss, skin breakdown, osteoporosis, and muscle deterioration. Jesse is scheduled to go back out to Kennedy Krieger in July. We are trying to raise money for that trip along with the $15000 cost for the FES bike that would drastically improve his condition and continue to give him hope for improvement. It is recommended that he go back to Kennedy Krieger every 6 months for re-evaluation. We would also like to get a standing machine for Jesse. Even though he faces many challenges Jesse continues to have a positive attitude. He plans to start college this fall and hopefully start driving again. This of course will add to his financial burdens. He will need to convert his vehicle to allow him the independence that he requires.

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