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$735 of $35,000
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11 donations

This fundraiser ended on 07/29/11

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The family and friends of Grant Richardson are uniting to raise money to help fund the back surgery that he needs.

There are lots of family and friends out there who know me, and lots who probably don't. I feel terrible doing this, but I don't know what else to do. I am a United States Army Veteran. Since separating, I have done all sorts of construction work, the last type as an apprentice boilermaker. I have worked very hard most of my life. About 17 mos ago, I began to have lower back pain. I didn't think anything about it. It comes with the territory of construction work. However, the condition started to worsen. Gradually, it started down into my hip, then lower into my whole left leg, and eventually causing numbness and pain in my foot and toes. I had to abandon my apprenticeship, as I could no longer work. The pain is so excruciating that I cannot function normally. The doctors at the VA started out slowly, with muscle relaxers, oral steroids and the like. It was determined through CT scan, and an MRI that I am still making payments on that I have a severe bulging disc at L5-S1. Over time, the medications have escalated to a regimen of all of the above, plus the maximum doses of hydrocodone and morphine daily. After much fighting with the VA, I finally got them to refer me to a pain clinic at another VA hospital, as we don't have one here. And with Government budget cuts, they certainly won't outsource my care to a civilian physician. At any rate, the pain clinic that I have been referred to is doing me no good. I have become physically addicted to opiate pain killers, and they are ruining my life. I have researched an endoscopic laser surgery through Laser Spine Institute that I have heard nothing but great things about. Through my research, I've discovered that the odds of the surgery eliminating my pain and allowing me to get my life back are phenomenal. The problem is, I am uninsured, unable to work, have been denied pension through the VA due to downplaying my diagnosis, and the VA just flat out is refusing to do the right thing to help a veteran in need. This pain, inability to work, and physical opiate addiction is ruining my life. I have so much to give, but at this point I am stuck.
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