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$3,000 of $25,000
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33 donations

This fundraiser ended on 11/04/11

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Jessica's family and friends are uniting to raise money to help with her battle against a brain tumor. Thank you for your support!

In May 2010, Jessica was rear ended in an automobile accident. Looking back…we realize this accident may have saved her life because that was the beginning of her journey of the toughest chapter of her life. After the auto accident she was having severe headaches, nausea and vomiting. So in September 2010, after a lot of testing, MRI’s and several hospital stays she was diagnosed with a brain tumor on her brain stem. The local hospital that was treating her determined that it was too risky to do a biopsy and wanted to proceed with chemo and radiation. We were a little uneasy with this option since we didn’t even know what type of tumor we were dealing with and whether or not it would even react to chemo or radiation.

After doing lots of research on the internet, we were fortunate enough to be referred to Dr. Friedman at Duke University who was willing to operate to possibly remove the tumor or at least do a biopsy. Unfortunately, Dr. Friedman was not able to remove the tumor because it was infiltrated in the nerves, but he was able to do a small biopsy that determined it was a pilocytic astrocytoma, which is a slow growing tumor. So basically, as long as the tumor did not grow and her symptoms did not get worse, they would take a “wait and watch” approach.

Unfortunately, Jessica has had several complications since her initial surgery in February 2011. Approximately, five weeks after her first surgery she started having severe headaches and a stiff neck and was hospitalized for a week before having to go back to Duke for another surgery to repair a few tears in her dura. Her recovery from this surgery was slow…but eventually things were looking better. Then recently she started having severe headaches and her double vision was getting worse so she was hospitalized locally for a week once again. She is now at Duke University and is scheduled to have a VP shunt placed in the 4th ventricle of her brain on Aug. 5th. This should help with the intracranial pressure and will drain the extra fluid to an area around her stomach and her body will absorb the fluid. She will have to make several more trips to North Carolina for follow up visits to make sure things are going okay.

As you can imagine, the many hospital stays and traveling back and forth to North Carolina have taken a tremendous toll on their finances. Plus, since Jessica had to resign her position due to her medical condition she is now on COBRA insurance…which is very expensive.

Jessica is an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She has always been very willing to help others during their time of need…so I feel this is the least I can do to try to help her during her time of need. We truly feel God has chosen Jessica for this journey because He knows the impact she will have on people. We know not everyone will be able to donate, and that is fine too, but please keep her in your prayers.

Jessica has adopted the motto “Never Lose Hope”…which speaks volumes as to her amazing character, strength and courage.

You can follow Jessica’s progress at: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jessicamckinney

Thanks for your support!

Hope and Prayers!

The family of Jessica Evans McKinney
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