$1,325 of $10,000
18 donations

This fundraiser ended on 12/11/11

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Friends who are raising funds to help Teresa Atkin's medical expenses incurred from P.O.T.S/Dysautonomia and other medical conditions.

Teresa has been facing unrelenting financial hardships due to a chronic and debilitating health condition of, but not limited to, P.O.T.S./Dysautonomia (for which there is no cure) and rising health care costs.

She is no longer receiving health care benefits from an employer, nor does she qualify for Medicaid, Medicare or Healthy NY, making the task of staying healthy that much harder. With her sole income being Social Security (she will be ineligible for government assisted health care until October 2012,) after she takes care of her necessities (rent, utilities, car note) she has very little left over. But she still has more to pay:

• Co-payments ($40 for regular doctor visits)
• Medication ($300-400/month)
• Cobra Insurance ($500-600/month)
• Medical Insurance 2010 ($3,500 after employer contributions)
• Medical Insurance 2011 ($5,400 out of pocket with no employer contributions)

Teresa’s battle with medical issues began to get severe in her early 20's, when she began having mini-strokes. She was diagnosed with a hyper-coagulation disorder, Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, and placed on blood thinners. Other, unexplained symptoms that took nearly ten years to diagnose as Pure Autonomic Failure. A condition that is degenerative and without cure.

This failure, or P.O.T.S./Dysautonomia, is the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system – the system that takes care of bodily functions automatically – like your digestion, eye dilation, body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. Teresa has Pure Autonomic Failure which means the system that regulates your entire body is failing to do its job. This causes her to have symptoms daily:

• Extreme fatigue, having little energy for daily activities
• Low blood volume, requiring 24 hour a day IV fluids
• High heart rate, making standing or walking feel like running
• Low blood pressure, causing blackouts when standing up
• Shortness of breath, even from just talking on the phone
• Slow digestion, causing weight loss and pre-osteoporosis
• Constant nausea from her stomach not digesting fast enough
• Poor concentration and memory – foggy brain
• Rapid eye dilation, causing partial loss of vision and pain
• Hot and cold flashes, sweating when cold
• Constant muscle pain
• Trouble sleeping, requiring multiple medications
• Easily over stimulated, getting worse when in busy/loud situations

During the same time Teresa was diagnosed with P.O.T.S., it was discovered that she had thyroid cancer. She endured two surgeries to remove her thyroid and then a round of radiation. At that time, the doctors reviewing her case said that in comparison to her other diagnoses, overcoming cancer would be easy. Her cancer is now in remission and she is focusing on her other health issues.

Now you have an idea of what she deals with daily and more importantly, how you can help.
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