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Sara's Medical Fund

$82,662 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 482 people in 16 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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We are still 3000 short for her April bills and won’t be able to continue with treatments in May without more donations. We are so thankful for all of the gifts that have helped save Sara’s life and get her so close to the end of this journey. It is so hard to keep asking for help but we are so thankful for all of those God has brought to encourage us and to provide for her needs.
This past weekend Sara was able to go to Flagstaff to test her responses to elevation. She did have symptoms but much less than last time and her stomach did not retaliate so that is a good improvement. She’s been tired since the journey so there is still some work to do on her adrenals and organs but getting much closer. Please pray for her body to continue healing and at the same time to start stockpiling the fuel it needs instead of having to use so much for healing that it doesn’t take much real life to run her tank close to empty.
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Sara recently said how much she enjoyed getting to experience every season in AZ for the first time these past 11 months. Prior to that she spent at least one season if not two in bed. Another milestone of improvement for her.

The summer temperatures are returning... and while we aren't ready for spring to be done we did enjoy that the whole family went to the river for a few hours this past weekend. Having the whole family out for adventures is something we have missed incredibly.

Sara didn’t swim but she did float while her siblings pushed her down the river and it was amazing to see her splash and paddle around with them in her float. She was tired afterward from using muscles she hasn’t in quite a while but didn’t have any symptom flares. Hallelujah! Another sign that the toxic load in her body has come down hugely.

The heat in the past has also been hard on her as it kills Lyme/mold/etc but this past week she said her body is able to handle the heat much better than last summer. Another great improvement!

We are finally starting to day dream about what next for Sara. Just the fact that we are dreaming about it is a big step from where we’ve been the past almost 4 years and we are thankful for dreaming.

We are still 2500 short for Sara's April bills if you're able to help. Thank you for hanging in there with us on this journey. We are still praying (and praising) many times a day for provision.
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At an Easter themed worship night this past weekend we were taking turns sharing things that we were thankful for and Sara said that “it feels like this her season of resurrection as well…that she is regaining life after having almost lost it.” Wow…we are so thankful…and my tears welled up with joy as she spoke. It is true…she is coming back to life!

An excerpt from Sara’s blog for teens with chronic illness:

“I don’t know how long we’re going to have to wait for relief from our pain and the resurrection of things lost. Probably a bit longer than three days. But guys, take hope! We’re waiting for a purpose. There is something at the end of this waiting, be it a resurrection in this life or in the life to come. And it could be right around the corner, we just don’t see it yet.

Like the disciples, we will be overjoyed and God’s peace will be with us. It’s not a question of if, but when and how. The when and how might be different than we imagine, but God’s not done with us. He’s not done with you. Okay?

And He will help you in the waiting. In your three days, when it all seems for nothing. When the darkness closes in. When the sky is blood red and the earth is shaking and your hope is in a tomb. Because eventually, He will remove the grave clothes, and roll away the stone.

You will be able to eat your bread and fish, see your friends, and share amazing truth with them. Your resurrection will be for God’s glory. And it’s going to be amazing. But hang on in the waiting. I know it’s scary. I know you want to lock yourself away. But keep hoping. Keep waiting.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 NIV)
Your resurrection is coming, and it might only be just around the corner.”

She has come very far but still really, really needs each of her treatments. Her organs are improving and her mold count is dropping continuously but she still isn’t all the way there. We are $2800 short for her April bills. Please keep sharing, praying, and giving. We are so thankful for the privilege of knowing this wonderful girl.
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Found a big leap! Sara was able to go to our local high school musical performance of Newsies on Sunday in a full theater….with an orchestra, drums, actors with loud mics, lots of singing, and an overly enthusiastic audience that cheered like it was a football game. We were in the auditorium for about 2 ½ hours and she only wore her mask at the end when they turned on the fog machines but she able to handle all of the different chemicals and probably mold from all of the different people. Leading Bright Lights, going to another track meet… in the rain, and going to the musical without any setbacks was huge for her. The doctor told us to go “have some more fun” this week and hopefully we’ll try high elevation in Flagstaff again in the next few weeks if she keeps handling "excursions" at this elevation so well.
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$82,662 of $90,000 goal

Raised by 482 people in 16 months
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