$13,150 of $45,000
56 donations

This fundraiser ended on 06/06/10

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Help Melissa get rid of those pedunculated fibroids!

Earlier this year, Melissa noticed a lump in her abdomen. After several visits to the doctor, she has been diagnosed with pedunculated uterine fibroids. In layman’s terms, uterine fibroids are tumors attached to the uterus and the peduncles are stalks connecting the tumors to one another. The tumors started out small and unnoticeable to the naked eye, but have grown quickly. Two are the size of oranges and one is easily visible as a lump (see photos). Continued growth could result in a number of complications (organ damage, bleeding, etc). For that reason, she needs treatment as soon as possible.

Melissa does not have medical insurance that would cover the treatment she needs, which at this stage looks to be a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). The less invasive treatment options that exist for other patients won't work for Melissa, because her tumors are already too large.  Her initial conversations with the doctors indicate that surgery could cost up to $40,000, which the family does not have. This comes on top of already mounting bills for ultrasounds, consultations, etc.

On a personal level, this is a very important cause for us. We have known Melissa for over 20 years now. We met her in Seville, Spain, where we spent a year abroad together. She has been a dear and loyal friend, whose unique characteristics include tremendous emotional intelligence, honesty, an outgoing personality, a love of life, and a great sense of humor in the face of adversity.  She has always been quick to lend a helping hand.  In fact, the photo of her above was taken when she came to Washington, DC, to help one of us (Claudia) take care of a newborn and a toddler.  At the same time, she is proud and independent, and doesn't ask for help, even when she really needs it.

Melissa is one of the most amazing, positive people we know.  She always tries to look on the bright side of things, though she has been through a lot.   It pains us to see her having to deal with both the medical condition and the stress of trying to find the funds she needs for treatment.

Many of those of us who know and love her live far away and can provide little support beyond words of encouragement.   But we hope that together, we can raise the money to help Melissa get the treatment she needs.  She has given us so much, and now we have the chance to give back!

Please give, and then please spread the word!  Remember, there is strength in numbers!

Thank you!

Claudia Weinmann and Lars Benson

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