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Sara's Medical Fund

$85,595 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 503 people in 18 months
 The short story: 
Our sweet sixteen year old Sara is doing hugely better after being sick with toxic mold poisoning and Lyme for 2 1/2 years. Her treatment costs $10,000 per month and we need help to pay for it so that she can continue on the road to full recovery.   Her condition is not covered by insurance. As of January 31st we will not be able to pay for her treatment as we have emptied our bank accounts. Without these treatments she will quickly regress in health.  Would you please help by donating toward the cost of Sara's treatments at $10,000 for six months time so that she can complete this journey to full recovery?

The details: 

  Sara got very sick in July of 2015 with a mysterious illness, to the point that she was bedridden by Christmas and didn't even have the strength to cut a scrambled egg. Every joint in her body hurt, she couldn't tolerate light or sound, when she ate she bloated to look 4-5 months pregnant even when she adhered to a strict autoimmune protocol diet, and she couldn't think clearly.   Four doctors and many tests couldn't explain it. In March of 2016, after 9 months of being very sick, we discovered toxic mold growing in Sara's bedroom in our rental house in WA state.    We took Sara to a friend's house for a month while we worked to get out of the rental house.   Sara never went back inside the house.   Blood work revealed 14 toxic molds in every member of our family that matched air quality testing that we had done on the home.  The worst of those molds, stachybotrys,  is never supposed to be airborne  but it was in all of our blood and showed on the air quality test.  We eventually found mold in the attic, crawl space, and under the stairs.  We pursued the home owners legally but could not prove that they knew of the mold prior to our moving into the home. Our renters insurance also denied our claim as their was no active leak in the home.   
  We left WA on May 1st and finally settled in a safe home in dry AZ in September 2016 after a journey that showed Sara was now also extremely chemical sensitive, as well as, also reacting to outdoor mold. After trying to find an existing home to rent we discovered that almost every home had some water damage and even an old, dry but water damaged kitchen cabinet was enough to set off her symptoms immediately.  We also quickly discovered that previous residents' air fresheners, new paint, or freshly cleaned carpet caused Sara's chemicals reactions to flare up immediately.  Getting Sara healthy in those environments would not work.   We purchased a small new home (no mold!) that was purpose built with low chemical materials in an area where outdoor mold doesn't bother her.  We brought nothing with us into the new house except  two brand new outfits each and brand new air mattresses.  Everything we owned that wasn't completely glass or metal had to be gotten rid of, as it was contaminated and would contaminate a safe environment.  Sara continued to show improvement and it was clear that the new house was a safe haven for her.  As she continued to grow stronger she progressed to taking short hikes, doing some school work, writing a blog for teens with chronic illness, and leading a Bible study for younger girls.  However, as she started doing more things her body systems and organs began to crash until all of a sudden on May 25, 2017 she couldn't hold her body weight up, couldn't feed herself, was consumed with anxiety and irrational thoughts, started being nauseous all the time, and couldn't read a book that she'd read multiple times in the past.  And just as suddenly we found a very experienced doctor (who still works on the Olympic team of doctors after 30 years) that knew the answers and was only 30 minutes from our home.  She spent 6 hours with us the first week she was treating Sara.  She told her receptionist to cancel all other patients and bring us in if I ever called.   By the end of the June Sara could walk down the street, feed herself, have mental peace, read books, and even begin writing her book for other teens.  The simple explanation is that the mold and other bacteria were stealing all of her nutrients and as she did more, her body needed more nutrients to survive.   Unfortunately, due to the mold and the Lyme we discovered Sara also has, her body wasn't getting the nutrients it needed and it was already extremely deprived from two years or more of the mold and Lyme already stealing her nutrients.  Her brain was also damaged from the mold and Lyme. Her doctor says she is essentially recovering from a traumatic brain injury.  But recovering is the biggest part of that sentence.   
  She can now laugh like a regular teenager, do increasingly more amounts of school work, go on short hikes, cook for short times, fold laundry, plan and lead a Bible study group again, and even go to the movies.  
  As we have reached January of 2018 her medical bills have reached $10,000 per month in order to rebuild her body, get rid of the mold and  Lyme,  and keep her moving back to the point of full recovery that the doctor expects.  We have lost (well, paid to get rid of at lot of it at the dump actually) everything we owned and only replaced the absolute essentials to daily life, we bought a house that we were not expecting to purchase, had to replace our only vehicle as it was also cross contaminated from the house, and we have finally reached a point where there is nothing left in our bank account and we can no longer pay for Sara's treatment on our own.  Her Dad is working 60 hours per week and I have a part time job as well in between all of the hours it takes to care for Sara but it just isn't enough to cover the medical bills. 
    We ask for help so that Sara can complete this journey back to complete health and truly live again.  She has a heart for Jesus and a love for people.  Even at the points when she couldn't get out of bed and everything hurt, her most discouraging thoughts  were that she couldn't have people over to our home, that she wouldn't be able to get married, care for a family,  or be physically able to got to places like Uganda and love on children.  She has used her time in bed to read the entire Bible, to faithfully and diligently write  blogs to reach out and encourage other teens, to write and be the co-editor of a Christian girls magazine, and to be in the editing stages of a book she hopes to publish this year to encourage other teens with chronic illness. Sara has big dreams and a sweet, humble heart. 
   Please help us help her to continue to grow in strength and health so that she can see those dreams become reality.  Your funds will help her not to regress in her symptoms and health because we can't provide the finances to continue her treatment. We don't know for certain that she will be fully recovered in 6 months but based on her progress in the past six months and on her doctor's prognosis we do expect her to be much closer at that point..hopefully she'll be all the way there! 
Please help us help Sara continue to receive her twice weekly doctor's appointments and treatments by donating toward her need of $60,00 for 6 months of care.
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Mid July already…wow! So thankful that we haven’t topped 105 this year and monsoon season is coming. And thankful that while monsoons will still draw fuel they won’t send Sara to bed anymore like they used to do. Thanks to a wonderful donor Sara was able to go for her full treatment last week and because of that to have one elevation challenge… not all the way to Flagstaff but she did happily make it to 6,200 feet in elevation and was able to intermittently “hike” around for about 1.25 miles…without an increase in symptoms, without excessive tiredness, and without increased nausea. Such a huge improvement!

She did have a hard time at her last two horse back riding therapy sessions with weakness, dizziness, nausea…and the diagnosis from the doctor was that she’s been doing so much more (yay!) that she is using a lot more energy and just simply needs to eat a lot more. After being nauseous so much of the past 18 months eating is not her favorite thing to do. She has increased in her appetite lately which is great but she has to increase in her eating too. Pray for her to have a taste for beef, chicken, and all things healthily “fattening”

We still really need to pay that remaining $3500 in bills and we have exhausted all of our sources. Now that Sara is able to function without me being constantly available for her, I have had several interviews for a job supporting families of children with special needs and am waiting on board approval for that position. However, I do still need to be somewhat available for her treatments, etc so I can’t realistically work full time at the moment. If you’re able to help us pay down that pre-existing bill that is due though my pay will make a dent in her care…not all of it…but a decent dent.

Thank you for all of the encouragement and support. We are so thankful!
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Happy belated Fourth of July for those of you in the U.S. It was fun this Fourth of July to recount how much progress Sara has made since the previous Fourth of July. For starters, she was able to attend a friend’s party for the whole time instead of just an hour, to visit with the other guests poolside instead of out front away from any chlorine in the air, to tolerate being outside with the lingering wildfire smoke without wearing a mask, to talk with other guests who were wearing chemicals (ie. deodorant, hairspray, shampoo, Tide, etc) without wearing a mask, and to enjoy the fireworks display. Each day and each new activity is one step closer to life for Sara getting more normal. She even called a college counselor this past week to start exploring what God has for her next. So exciting that she is able to dream and think that way again.
Unfortunately, her last treatment had to be very, very short as funds were lacking so she is hurting this week and anxious for treatment. She was supposed to try going up to Flagstaff (elevation) this week but she’s been hurting too much to add that burden to her body. Being able to do that challenge and succeed is a big marker for her adrenals being back to almost normal. We $80 short for a full treatment this coming Thursday. And it’s time to order more supplements to keep her going forward but we still have about $3000 to pay for the last six weeks. Please pray, share, and give if you are able to help. It has been such a long journey and we are weary of having to ask for so much help but we are so thankful that help has been given and that we have our Sara….so close to recovered.
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It was such an encouragement to our hearts to see the sudden influx of gifts for Sara last week. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and giving for Sara! We were able to pay $400 for her treatment and $1500 of her outstanding (but very much due) bills. The treatment gave her some relief from the headache and nausea so she can keep moving forward which is exciting. We made her next appointment for 10 days out which is such a big change from 3 times per week back in January to 3 times per month now. Those treatments though farther apart are still so needed for her. Thank you for making the last one happen when we didn’t think it could!
Some of her aches and pains now are just from getting out and moving through life again. With two birthdays and Father’s Day all within one week she had many opportunities to get out and try “new” things. The doctor’s next assignment is to have 3 more adventures before her next appointment and if all goes well, then we’ll head back up in elevation again. That elevation limit feels like the last big hurdle in recovery for Sara.
We are still in need of $2675 to pay the outstanding bills that are due and to pay for her next treatment on July 1st. Please praise Him with us for last week’s provision and pray with us for what is still needed. Thank you so much for sticking with us on this journey.
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Sadly, I just told Sara I couldn't take her for her treatment this week because we can't pay for it. We were already stretching her to 10 days but it will be at least 14 this time and possibly longer. While she is able to challenge herself and continue to do more and more she is still actively flushing out mold and feeling nauseous and has had a headache for a few weeks now as a result. It is great that her body is able to flush out mold on it's own but she really needs the support of at least every 7-10 day treatments still to feel good in the process. I so wish I could just fix all of this for her but I can't...it is a long journey and she has been such a trooper in the long process.
Please celebrate with us that she was able to hike with Nina on her birthday at 5200 feet of elevation. She pushed on and had a good time although she was hurting both during and after. And please pray with us for financial provision for Sara finish this journey completely.
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$85,595 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 503 people in 18 months
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