Stem Cell Treatment for Severe RA

$11,600 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 3 months
Created March 17, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Jennifer Capozzi
Stem Cell Treatment for Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hello & Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I am a 35 year old woman who has been battling Rheumatoid Arthritis since the age of sixteen. I am eligible for Stem Cell treatment at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City. For one round of intravenous stem cell treatment for five days it is $25,000. The hope is that through this fundraising page I can obtain the means for this life-changing and life-saving treatment. With one round of stem cells, I have an 90% chance of remission, not to mention regrowing cartilage, tendons, connective tissue, and repairing my internal organs. This treatment alone could save me from multiple surgeries as well as curing my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Your kindness and generosity can not only change my life, but also save it. Below is a bit more of my story. 


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My Journey with Rheumatoid Arthritis 

When I was sixteen I experienced what some physicians consider a "perfect storm;" traumatic stress, in conjunction with having one too many vaccinations administered within a short time period, which resulted in what is now termed "non-hereditary rheumatoid arthritis." My onset was also a rare occurrence — 20 years ago, it did not exist in the medical world. I was not able to actually begin any form of relative treatment for RA until I was 21. By that point I had only 40% range of motion and full deformities in my hands not to mention decreased liver function. I was put on a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, immune-suppressant injections and a heavy duty anti-inflammatory, along with physical therapy 5 days a week. By 23 I almost lost my liver from the meds, most of my hair fell out and I threw up every time I had to get an injection. By my late 20s I had exhausted every pharmaceutical drug combo and nothing was working to manage my RA. I kept looking for answers. I knew that there had to be a way to heal my body, not to deplete it through conventional medicine.

What was exceedingly helpful as I began researching and trying out different herbs, nutrients and diet options was becoming gluten-free and vegetarian. This helped tremendously with decreasing inflammation, but brought to the surface a bigger issue that is overlooked in our healthcare system, which is addressing the pain, depression and anxiety that comes along with such a terrible disease.

Through this process of sampling various pharmaceutical meds and quickly experiencing their numerous side effects, I started to ask my body what it really needed in order to feel better. I had already cultivated an awareness of how my diet effected my RA positively, so each step brought be closer and gave me more insight, I believed that there had to be a better way. All the while trying to address and work through the depression and anger that ensues from being in a state of chronic pain. 

As a woman who has dealt with — quoting my rheumatologist here — one of the worse cases of RA he has ever seen (he cried on my 30th birthday because he honestly did not think I would live this long) – speaks volumes to the power of plant medicine and one’s own determination and will to not let conventional medicine be the only course of treatment. I chose a different route and I would not be here if I didn’t continue to fight for a better life and for better options. 

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For the last 4 years I have struggled to maintain functionality, with a flare-up that left me unable to walk for over almost a year, and my losing the use of several fingers, due to the tendons dissolving. I have officially arrived at a cross-roads, I have exhausted all conventional treatment methods and have tried every alternative and holistic option as well.

In May of 2018 I finally had to undergo reconstructive hand and wrist surgery on my left hand. The tendons in my fingers had disintegrated  and needed to be re-attached, along with full silicone joint replacements. I was fortunate enough to find an incredible surgeon who repaired my left hand.

Most recently, at the end of January 2019 I had my right hand operated on with a similar surgery however, the integrity of my tendons is very poor and will need transplant surgery later this year, if I cannot find the means for Stem Cell treatment.  Both of my knees also need full joint replacements, my right knee in particular, the joint is collapsing and therefore bone shards rest in the joint, which causes fluid build up.

To make matters even more challenging I am severely allergic to all forms of pain killers. I have no real means of pain management, and undergoing surgery is quite traumatic as the only offering of relief is a nerve block, while under limited anesthesia. Can you imagine going through major surgery with no pain meds to help you recover?


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Last summer, I reached out to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City to see if I would be an eligible candidate for treatment and was accepted as a patient. Now I need the funds to obtain this life-changing treatment. RA is a disease that takes away until there is nothing left, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally. It is a hard disease to watch, constantly having to adapt with less, while fighting to keep what you do have everyday. 

Stem cell treatment has always been on my radar, but it has always felt out of reach. I wanted to try everything I possibly could to heal myself and now I am out of options. Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals only mask the problem and buys time. In the US this has been my only option, which I exhausted years ago. Now I have the chance to truly repair and heal my body with Stem Cells. My hope is to go for treatment this summer. Not only do I have an 80% chance of going into full remission with one round of treatment, but ensuring that I will be spared from a life of constant surgery, debilitating pain and loss of mobility. For the first time I am hopeful, the odds for this treatment are in my favor. There is always another option however, not always the easiest to find, but with your support this course of treatment can be achieved!

Thank you for taking the time to read my story! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out!

Much Love & Gratitude,
Jen

*** UPDATE: Since April I have been dealing with an RA flair up that has spread to my left eye, that has caused a hole to develop on my cornea. I have 10% of the tissue remaining before I lose my vision in my left eye. Luckily I found a great specialist who has been monitoring this closely.  Fingers crossed. 

Due to this new and very scary development and because the clinic had an opening, I have put a deposit down to hold a spot for me to go for treatment June 24th, 2019. I am hoping to reach my fundraising goal by the end of May to ensure I can go for this procedure and hopefully save my vision. Your help and generosity is profoundly appreciated! Thank you to everyone who has donated, this means more than I can possibly express. Each of you are instrumental in changing my life for the better and there are no words for me to possibly express how grateful I am! Thank you! Please help me to spread the word and reach this goal! Xoxo!
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Hi Everyone!

My dearest and oldest friend Daisy Isler is hosting a fundraiser event tomorrow evening (Thursday, May 9th) on Facebook at 9pm EST/6pm PST in concert with Beauty Counter. Please join us for an evening talking about wellness, beauty and how you can help!

I will be joining the FaceBook goLive event and will be able to answer questions.

It will be a great night and a prefect opportunity to get a Mother's Day gift + something for yourself too!

Link Below - Please share with Friends + Family who may be interested in joining!

https://www.facebook.com/events/844291099268429/?ti=ia

Much Love,
Jen
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Thank you so much to each person that has donated, without you this treatment would be out of reach. I am profoundly grateful and moved by everyone's love and support!!! You all are amazing! Let's keep the momentum going!

The Stem Cell Clinic reached out to let me know they have one opening the last week of June and I have decided to move ahead and schedule myself for the week of June 24th! Tressa is going to be my travel buddy to Panama, I am so thankful for her support, love, encouragement and for starting this GoFundMe!

I share all of this because I need your help to reach this goal by the end of May! Additionally, the doctors have reviewed the MRI's from my knees and would like to add localized injections in both knees to re-grow the missing cartilage. There is an extra coast of $2,000 per knee, but well worth if it spares me from more surgery with no painkillers.

The reason why I decided to move forward with scheduling, is not just because of everything else, but also for the past 4 weeks I have been dealing with a very serious flair up in my left eye, that is creating a hole in my cornea. Unfortunately for auto-immune folks we are not eligible candidates for eye surgery because we have a greater chance of complications, rejection and loss of vision. This hole that is developing has the potential to rapidly change to the point of blindness. I never thought I would have to worry about loss of vision with RA, but here we are, another rare occurrence, which has been the norm for me since the very beginning.

All that being said, please share the link with your friends and family! Advocate and donate!

Much Love to Each of You!
Jen
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$11,600 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 121 people in 3 months
Created March 17, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Jennifer Capozzi
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