To support the medical and life needs of the Verspohls-let’s be their angels
My friend Renee…she may be your friend too or part of your extended family. In fact if you don’t know her on a personal level, I must say, you are missing out. The first time I saw her at NYCollege of Health Professions, I knew we would be close friends. Someone who can evoke such a strong feeling at first glance, well, she’s gotta be special.
Months later, we officially met and Renee joked we would end up being two old cat ladies living together. We quickly became close friends. The following year, she became one of my massage clinic patients-in fact, my case study. It may seem unusual to choose a person in her twenties as my case study. To understand this, we will have to start at the “beginning”.
At that time, the Verspohls consisted of Mama Louise, Papa Jerry, 18 year old Kristina and 9 year old Renee. Life has many odd twists and turns and as fate may have it, the beautiful and talented cheerleader Kristina was killed in a brutal car accident. Grieving holds no bounds and as many may know, emotional crises can cause a lot of lasting damage. Five years later, 14 year old Renee developed Ulcerative Colitis. While other girls were celebrating with over-the-top sweet sixteens, Renee was ill and lying in a hospital bed.
About 7 years ago, Renee went to the doctor with a very bad cough. Her usual doctor wasn’t there and she was put on Zithromax (not typically a drug used with colitis patients). Soon after she developed hives and small, painful bumps, which ended up ulcerating. After much deliberation she was diagnosed with a systemic and very rare disease called Pyoderma Gangrenosum. Then, less than 3 years ago, I received a phone call from my beloved Renee: “Hi Vanessa,” “Hey Renee, what’s up?”…”my dad died today.”
At first Renee may seem quiet or unobtrusive; stick around and you’ll find a breath of fresh air. She is sweet, optimistic, and FUN. She’s that little ladybug you can’t bear to harm, or that sweet scent that fills the air on a warm summer night. No matter who is in the room, or what’s going on in her life, Renee will always make you feel special. For all of these reasons and more, I say, it’s her turn. Time to feel special and to receive, my dear friend…
This will be an ongoing “fundraiser” until Renee and her mom are as stable as possible. After we reach our goal, we may periodically ask for more. However, this first goal is really important. Renee is hoping to get a PICC line so she can receive the Ozone therapy that helps her so much, to explore other alternative avenues and to never need Prednisone again.
It would be wrong if I didn’t address the unsung hero in this situation…Mrs. (mama) Louise Verspohl. She has held it together as much as possible for many years. Through the death of one daughter, sickness of the other, the death of her husband and constantly struggling to pay the bills…she’s had it rough. She may look youthful, but she should have been able to retire years ago. Please, help me put this family in a better place.
Let’s review our goals: better treatments for Renee’s health, be able to pay all necessary bills with ease, be able to make simple home repairs, and help put some savings aside for Mama’s retirement. So let me pose the question: WHO IS IN?!
*If you would like to make a direct donation, please contact me at VMFriedlander@gmail.com*
On behalf of Renee and Louise, I would like say a BIG "thank-you" to all of those whom have helped them throughout the years. I'd like to extend special acknowledgement to: Cheryl & Susan for their amazing friendships with these fantastic women.