Stem Cell Transplant - Scleroderma

$32,325 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 571 people in 75 months
The battle against scleroderma is a constant uphill battle. It's mentally,emotionally and financially draining. Over the past year I have watched my heath rapidly deteriorate in front of me. I went from being able to work a full time job and a part time job to no longer working at all. Daily tasks such as brushing my daughters hair for school in the morning or even getting myself dressed are now very difficult. I have to be very careful when going out in the cold because I have Raynauds and also need to be sure where ever I am going there are elevators since I can not walk down a hall with out stopping to catch my breath. Many people with Scleroderma end up loosing full function of their body and and some even lose fingers and toes due to raynauds. My biggest fear is losing this battle completely and leaving my beautiful 5 year old daughter and loving husband. Not many people know what this disease is. If they have heard of it they  think it is just thick skin but the reality of this is much more. There is not a lot of awareness or funding for research for Sclerodrma. The disease over produces collagen in your body and hardens the skin starting with the hands. I am unable to open or close my hands which casues everyday tasks to be near impossible. Scleroderma also can cause the internal organs to have scar tissue which in the lungs causes pulmonary fibrosis it can cause pulmonary hyper tension in the heart and can cause the  kidneys to fail. I have gone through a year of chemo to try and slow the progression down but that did not work. There is a procedure that can stop the progression of the disease for sometime called a stem cell transplant. This procedure is currently being done at North Western Memorial in Chicago by Dr. Richard Burt. I have been approved as a candidate for the transplant but insurance is denying me.  I lost my mom when I was 10 from cancer and I refuse to let this happen to my daughter. 

   I am trying all aspects to get this out and trying to raise the funds on my own. The procedure cost at least 150,000 and I feel like if I can get my story out I might be able to raise the funds to save my life. Unfortunately with this disease time is not on my side.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Briana Garcia
+ Read More
So after multiple letters from actual patients, clinical studies, letters from the doctors news articles and much more BCBS has yet again denied me.... I have one more chance to appeal to an independent review panel but I have to fill out an application and go through this process. God please just give me a break and let me get better.
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I spoke to BCBS of MN this morning. My appeal has been received and I have a phone call scheduled on February 10th at 10:20am to speak to the board. I will have 7-10minutes to speak my concerns and 10 days after that they will send me a written decision. I am hoping and praying that with all of this media attention they decide to approve it this time around but I certainly am not going to hold my breath!
Love you all, your support is so amazing!
Briana
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I have an update on Insurance.... I have officially been denied again! I am heart broken. I was so hopefully that they would see what amazing results Stem Cell transplantation has had on others and find my life to be of value. What was I thinking.... This is going to be brief because I am to sad to write much. Please keep sharing my story and please keep sharing my go fund me page and please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
xoxox
Briana
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As you may have seen on Sunday, Dave and some friends took the Polar Plunge at Castle Island for Scleroderma awareness and to help raise money for my stem cell transplant. 7 news was there and they did an interview and put together a 2 minute segment but due to the Patriots winning the AFC championship they were unable to air it. They did show a brief clip http://www.whdh.com/story/27883355/dozens-take-icy-plunge-in-south-boston which is awesome. Well Hot 96.9 also posted the story to their Facebook wall and website!!!! Slowly but surly my story is getting out there and more and more people are seeing it. My video has over 33,000 views in just over a week which is amazing! I still have not heard anything back from insurance but will be calling again today to follow up. We have some people who have offered to organize some fundraisers so when we have more details on that I will let you all know. As always I thank you all for your love and support.
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Read a Previous Update
Lesley Whittier
32 months ago
2
2

Ivan you are an asshole

+ Read More
Ivan Miles Miller
32 months ago

I feel bad, but you should sell that huge house behind you in the picture if that is your house? because there are people starving all over if that is your house sell it use the money and then move into a smaller home?!? That house looks like its over millions of dollars? Do not scam us?

+ Read More
Cici Chaney Remy
12 months ago

Please look into other forms of stem cells. Inquire from patients who have had them and reputable clinics doing clinical trials, or protocols from clinical trials collecting data establishing safety data. You may very well have less expensive much more effective and safer options that would not require you to have immunisuppressives for life. I am happy to help you try to find someone in your area, and to help you find reputable data so you can learn for yourself what may be worth considering, and what would be a waste of your time and money.

+ Read More
Ivan Miles Miller
32 months ago

I am terribly sorry. I really did not mean to hurt anyone so, I will keep my mouth shut from here on. Sorry I just skimmed through the information and then came to a very rude conclusion of the house and scam and I appoligze for being insensitive. So very sorry guys that was very rude of me! My appoligies to the family? You can definetly call me a moron that is totally what I am with that post. So really again sorry everyone I was being insensitive and just not educated in the matter of what was going on. Thanks everyone for your comments it did make me think and I will not do something like this in the future. I pray that she gets better. And I really can not imagine what shes going through. Like everyone said do not comment on things that you do not know about for my sake.

+ Read More
Chris Ahern Glynn
32 months ago

Seriously Ivan? You are a moron. Craw back under your rock

+ Read More
Micshell Self
45 months ago

For all of you wanting to contact BcBs on the behalf of Scleroderma Warriors that are being turned down for our life-saving stem cell transplants call 1-800-565-9140 . We are forever grateful & in your debt. I have had SD since 1999, keep the faith & stay strong Brianna!!

+ Read More
Joanne Payne
53 months ago

I pray that you get the funds raised to cover your surgery and that your daughter is able to have happy times with her mommy!! Will they cover it if you have the surgery in the state of MA? Will Mass Health cover it? Maybe try to apply for that? Fingers crossed!!

+ Read More
Dawn Bouchea
53 months ago

Hello! If the public wants to contact BC/BS on your behalf, who do we contact. Also contact your Alderman, Senator, the Governor and Mayor- They all helped me find services for my son. Good Luck!

+ Read More
Jaime Roskam Greer
55 months ago

Look into Stemedica. They are a San Diego based company who works out of Tijuana and offers Stem Cell treatments. I have a family member who just returned from having the procedure done and we have seen MIRACLES happen. And I believe their fees are under $25K. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. http://www.stemedica.com/

+ Read More
Hannah Schwartz
55 months ago

I to have Scleroderma, because people, are not aware how life threatening it is, and like you said that it's just a skin problem. Which it is far from that. I also have lupus which unfortunately happens a lot with immune from diseases. We need to raise more awareness. I pray and hope you get the treatment. I'm going to share on my FB. Raise the awareness.

+ Read More
Michelle Harris
55 months ago

I have posted this, and texted my entire phone book. I also contacted my friend, a newscaster at channel 7, to try to get them to re run the story. I posted to WAAF as well. Praying and pulling for you!!

+ Read More
Christine Blanchard
55 months ago

Hi when I was diagnosed with an illness Blue cross told me wasn't sick enough to have my 12 thousand dollar treatment paid for .we have had them as our insurance company for almost 20 yrs I contacted the pan foundation and they paid for my medicine.Maybe they could help you. Best of luck to you and your family.Visit there web site .Pan Foundation.com.

+ Read More
Melissa Homer
55 months ago

Write a letter to your state's insurance commissioner!

+ Read More
Carly Reim
55 months ago

Don't give up Briana. You have come this far and you are doing a great job raising awareness! I'm praying you will be approved.

+ Read More
Susan Gail
55 months ago

If this one doesn't work keep fighting and yes, use all of the media available to you. Keep us posted on the appeal and how it goes.

+ Read More
Carinda Estes
55 months ago

I pray everyone will know what this disease is really capable of. I psi the stem cell transplant works not only for mt sister but v fire everyone with this awful disease. Endometriosis should be eligible for this treatment from insurance since there is no cure. I'm going to do all I can do to bring awareness. I pray you will be healed from this Briana! ♡

+ Read More

$32,325 of $150,000 goal

Raised by 571 people in 75 months
Created June 15, 2013
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$25
Frank Pignone
22 months ago

Please contact the Town Administrator regarding the 'Stockwell' Fund. Also: I would be willing to sponsor or co sponsor an article at Town Meeting to fund this procedure . I saw this painful condition in my Army Hospital work overseas and do understand. We are 'all' Family.

VA
$50
Vincent and Karina Anastasia
49 months ago

God bless.

DA
$25
Deborah Atchue
49 months ago

My son Scott told me about your illness, you have my prayers.

MF
$30
Melanie Fiore
49 months ago

Best wishes to you and your family from another Stoneham family.

LK
$20
Lucyara Kensy
49 months ago
$20
Anonymous
49 months ago
$15
Anonymous
49 months ago
JM
$100
John Marcinkowski
49 months ago

Miss you Briana! So glad to hear you're making good progress!!! Wishing and praying for your health to be perfect!!!!!

KH
$25
Kent Harnois
51 months ago (Monthly Donation)
$50
Anonymous
51 months ago
Lesley Whittier
32 months ago
2
2

Ivan you are an asshole

+ Read More
Ivan Miles Miller
32 months ago

I feel bad, but you should sell that huge house behind you in the picture if that is your house? because there are people starving all over if that is your house sell it use the money and then move into a smaller home?!? That house looks like its over millions of dollars? Do not scam us?

+ Read More
Cici Chaney Remy
12 months ago

Please look into other forms of stem cells. Inquire from patients who have had them and reputable clinics doing clinical trials, or protocols from clinical trials collecting data establishing safety data. You may very well have less expensive much more effective and safer options that would not require you to have immunisuppressives for life. I am happy to help you try to find someone in your area, and to help you find reputable data so you can learn for yourself what may be worth considering, and what would be a waste of your time and money.

+ Read More
Ivan Miles Miller
32 months ago

I am terribly sorry. I really did not mean to hurt anyone so, I will keep my mouth shut from here on. Sorry I just skimmed through the information and then came to a very rude conclusion of the house and scam and I appoligze for being insensitive. So very sorry guys that was very rude of me! My appoligies to the family? You can definetly call me a moron that is totally what I am with that post. So really again sorry everyone I was being insensitive and just not educated in the matter of what was going on. Thanks everyone for your comments it did make me think and I will not do something like this in the future. I pray that she gets better. And I really can not imagine what shes going through. Like everyone said do not comment on things that you do not know about for my sake.

+ Read More
Chris Ahern Glynn
32 months ago

Seriously Ivan? You are a moron. Craw back under your rock

+ Read More
Micshell Self
45 months ago

For all of you wanting to contact BcBs on the behalf of Scleroderma Warriors that are being turned down for our life-saving stem cell transplants call 1-800-565-9140 . We are forever grateful & in your debt. I have had SD since 1999, keep the faith & stay strong Brianna!!

+ Read More
Joanne Payne
53 months ago

I pray that you get the funds raised to cover your surgery and that your daughter is able to have happy times with her mommy!! Will they cover it if you have the surgery in the state of MA? Will Mass Health cover it? Maybe try to apply for that? Fingers crossed!!

+ Read More
Dawn Bouchea
53 months ago

Hello! If the public wants to contact BC/BS on your behalf, who do we contact. Also contact your Alderman, Senator, the Governor and Mayor- They all helped me find services for my son. Good Luck!

+ Read More
Jaime Roskam Greer
55 months ago

Look into Stemedica. They are a San Diego based company who works out of Tijuana and offers Stem Cell treatments. I have a family member who just returned from having the procedure done and we have seen MIRACLES happen. And I believe their fees are under $25K. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. http://www.stemedica.com/

+ Read More
Hannah Schwartz
55 months ago

I to have Scleroderma, because people, are not aware how life threatening it is, and like you said that it's just a skin problem. Which it is far from that. I also have lupus which unfortunately happens a lot with immune from diseases. We need to raise more awareness. I pray and hope you get the treatment. I'm going to share on my FB. Raise the awareness.

+ Read More
Michelle Harris
55 months ago

I have posted this, and texted my entire phone book. I also contacted my friend, a newscaster at channel 7, to try to get them to re run the story. I posted to WAAF as well. Praying and pulling for you!!

+ Read More
Christine Blanchard
55 months ago

Hi when I was diagnosed with an illness Blue cross told me wasn't sick enough to have my 12 thousand dollar treatment paid for .we have had them as our insurance company for almost 20 yrs I contacted the pan foundation and they paid for my medicine.Maybe they could help you. Best of luck to you and your family.Visit there web site .Pan Foundation.com.

+ Read More
Melissa Homer
55 months ago

Write a letter to your state's insurance commissioner!

+ Read More
Carly Reim
55 months ago

Don't give up Briana. You have come this far and you are doing a great job raising awareness! I'm praying you will be approved.

+ Read More
Susan Gail
55 months ago

If this one doesn't work keep fighting and yes, use all of the media available to you. Keep us posted on the appeal and how it goes.

+ Read More
Carinda Estes
55 months ago

I pray everyone will know what this disease is really capable of. I psi the stem cell transplant works not only for mt sister but v fire everyone with this awful disease. Endometriosis should be eligible for this treatment from insurance since there is no cure. I'm going to do all I can do to bring awareness. I pray you will be healed from this Briana! ♡

+ Read More
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