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BreAnn Ahara

$50,685 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 335 people in 10 months
Created July 25, 2018
We Love Bre
on behalf of BreAnn Ahara
With a heavy heart, we have decided to reach out to you our friends and family to help this young, struggling family in crisis. 

BreAnn Ahara is a woman who, at 33, found her life as she knew it to be over.  The once vibrant, independent, business owner and mother of 3 is now essentially incapacitated with no definitive diagnosis, treatment plan, hope or end in sight.  She's seen dozens of doctors and had numerous hospital stays.  She's been living in chronic, torturous pain and growing weary.  Her husband, Rikio, has taken over caring for their 3 daughters (10, 7, 6), their household, working full time, and caring for her like a rock star.  There is still a huge financial deficit to be covered with her much-needed and life-saving medical treatments that are not covered by insurance.  

Her pain is chronic and widespread and she cannot even care for herself with the simplest of tasks.  Pain medication doesn't even begin to alleviate the chronic pain.  Her body is being taken over by new and unknown sickness/disease/ailments that doctors are baffled by and referring her to specialists that her insurance won't cover.   Every time a medical professional seems to have some semblance of an answer, it ends up being a dead-end and she's left discouraged and still in chronic pain.  

The life that she knew has been stripped away to where she's almost completely bedridden, relying on caregivers for help constantly.  

We are
1. reaching out for emotional support for this family in a heart-breaking crisis https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/breannahara 

2. asking anyone who can, to please consider donating any amount possible to aid with the mounting medical bills and costs of trying to stay afloat as a family of 5 after losing an income and gaining medical debts.

A note from Megan:  Many of you have been surprised that she's suffering so much despite "those cute pics of her on facebook".  There have been a couple of days a month - A COUPLE - here and there where she's been able to somewhat get herself out of bed and put on lipstick to feel human again and show up outside of her home and into the world around her.  These moments have been few and far between, and she's often needed to rest in bed for days afterward just to recover from attempting to walk around.  Lately, she hasn't even been able to get out of bed unassisted.  Lately her world has been closing in on her even more and leaving her bedridden and alone.  It's torturous for me (her friend) to have to write that truth down, but I think it's important that we share this harsh truth with all of you so you're aware how desperate the situation truly is.  WE NEED TO GET HER BETTER!

With so much love and gratitude,

Megan (friend), Coco (mother) & Melissa (sister)

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From Rikio:
Bre has let me know that many of you have inquired as to how I’m dealing with this. That is kind and considerate of you all and I feel I should give you the latest, and answer as honestly as I can.

On the health front it’s been brutal. She has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Dystonia amongst others and additionally gets to deal with continuos testing and whatever else in-between. Basically, the doctors have given us the over-simplified analogy that her body has been run in the red for so long that her figurative engine looks to have blown. It’s been difficult. This is what I know so far.

I feel like a frog in a pot. Finally realizing things are critical. Unsure of how it got this far and flailing to jump. I’ve watched it go from a state of discomfort, to complete immobility at times. I’ve watch her bite down on her lip and push through what she deemed necessary for family to an existence that requires her to bear down (literally and figuratively) just to stay relevant, and alive, unlike a ghost wandering around mourning what she used to be like. Or feel like. Or look like. Or sound like.

She’s said there’s something excessively cruel about her diagnosis. One that includes her joints feeling like they’re stuck and on fire teaming up with another that causes her to move uncontrolled and to exhaustion. Regardless of what it will cost her body later. She’s right. We’ve watched it play out. Over and over for quite awhile now. And generally that’s what she mourns the least.

The far greater loss has been to watch Bre struggle with the neurological and cognitive symptoms. Its heartbreaking. It’s one thing to be stopped in your tracks, your trajectory changed and deal with your life looking different than what “it should be.” Analyzing all of that from a damaged vessel is one thing, but taking away even the ability to analyze is another thing completely. She took pride in solving problems. Many mothers do. That ability is constantly being chipped away. Numbers, schedules, and even problem solving at its rawest (“does she need to eat?”) can now cause anxiety and overwhelm. She still tries though. Tries to problem solve while managing limited resources. I’ve learned that to be a steadfast hereditary trait of the women in her family (well, a lot of women I guess, but particularly our pack of resilient bitches I’ve had the privilege to be around and absolutely LOVE and admire). They still try to move forward. However dire the circumstances and despite the cost to themselves or how little they are working with.

I’ve watched her look at numbers our whole life. Prospective, historical, appreciated, depreciated. It’s a language I’ve been allowed to remain blissfully illiterate in. It was a great luxury. As long as they weren’t grossly misrepresented on a pay stub all was good. I had a wizard at home. An accountant that would translate that into food, electricity, water, clothes for the girls, food for the animals, etc. It’s how we made any and all forward progress as a family. She was responsible for that. Sure, I showed up, but left in my hands it would have all culminated in an ungodly amount of Del Taco or Jack In The Box and the girls being absolute barn cats. They still kind of are but they are ours. And the base she laid then was crucial to them being as resilient and loving as they have (also) proven to be.

As mentioned above, we've been fortunate to have an army of support from our family and friends as well. It’s not lost on us the sacrifice our people and their families have made to keep this machine running. People from throughout our life’s paths and histories have crossed vast distances and shared energy and love in all forms. And although we may have shifted away from others we’ve learned it’s sometimes necessary, a blessing. Both the love and support and the bitterness of learning to overcome life when it’s extremely non linear. Bre’s still trying to be grateful for that. Even when she’s pissed. Or I am, or we are, or the girls are. Even when it’s difficult to communicate it to you or I in a way that doesn’t make her face hurt and symptoms worse.

Always managing resources. Only they tend to be of an extremely limited mental and physical currency. She scratches, stumbles, claws and does her best to make her numbers work for the day. Still trying to let me sleep in the morning. Even if she ends up crawling to the bathroom after falling. Crying quietly and in the dark so I don’t wake up. I’ve woken up to it more than I’d like to say. That’s who I married. Who she’s been the whole time. While I was off doing God knows what. I swear, she composed jazz. While still trying to improve her situation. However. Trying to will it. Through pain, her limitations, desperation, depression, degeneration, realistic expectations, anxiety, whatever. As long as I have known her, it’s been her nature. While herding cats. Myself included.

As far as I go, I really just try to manage. Calendars, cars, kids, school, teachers, pinche “jogathons,” medications, dosages, phone calls, texts, appointments, doctors, insurance, mail, food, and making sure the girls don’t look like absolute trash pandas. That’s my life. It’s a lot. I suck at it a lot of the time and failing is always painful. And I have fucking help. Ive been fortunate to learn that starting and ending work at x and y then shutting off is the definition of decadence. It’s comfort and I did it for years. Years. With three kids.

I remember being on patrol training with the Sheriffs department (aka non existent to anything at home) while she was dealing with what we didn’t know was part of this declining health avalanche. She still did laundry, meals, pets, bills and dreamed forward for us. While trying to be as healthy as possible. She was also in an accelerated Bachelors program. While simultaneously testing out of additional college courses every week. For reals. Oh, and she was also working.

I was going in at whenever o’ clock and coming home to sleep and assume a good enough job was done throughout the day or night to keep our little savages off of poles for the next decade. And even then she tried to keep the house quiet so I could sleep. She put in her work during the early year. For sure.

If I’m honest, now it’s just my turn. It’s just the way it is......how it has to be, for awhile so we can be “equally yoked.” For me to look in the mirror and be ok. It’s what is honorable, what is just and a gift I have to learn how to unwrap. But it’s still a gift. She’s still a gift. That’s how I feel.

We have things in the pipeline and I’m sorry if I’ve turned to vapor in all this. I promise I’m not. Know I’m filled with gratitude and managing as best as I can. Some days are better than others.

Stay up,

Rikio.
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Hi everyone.
First of all : THANK YOU to everyone who has shared/donated! It means the world to the Aharas and us.
Second: THANK YOU on behalf of BreAnn for all of the calls/texts/messages to her. Currently, however, she's heavily sedated and unable to keep up with her phone. If you'd like to let her know you're thinking of her, physical cards are best right now. Text or private message Meg or Coco to get the address.
Third: There have been many worsening symptoms Bre is facing and the medical bills are growing quickly. For now, we know that she needs around-the-clock care (which is currently falling 100% onto Rikio). We need to raise more money so we can get her home healthcare/nurses until her insurance will get straightened out (if it ever gets straightened out! A medical social worker is trying to intervene but the process is painfully difficult and slow).
Fourth: Bre has been denied disability benefits. AGAIN. It seems criminal that someone like BreAnn can't qualify for it, but that is the reality her family faces.
Lastly: Is there something you are willing to do after reading this? Please donate $50. or $5. Share this with all your friends. Send a card. Say a prayer.

With love and hope,
Megan
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A note from Bre:

After 8 months of pure agony, 5 hospital stays, 50 pounds lost and dozens of expert medical opinions.... as of this morning, I finally have an OFFICIAL diagnosis: Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis/Disease.

I know it’s hard to understand how a disease with “arthritis” in the name can be so disabling, but it’s a devastating and insidious disease that causes systemic inflammation throughout the whole body. Most people notice it in their hands first and it slowly spreads. But for me, it knocked me down like a fucking avalanche-putting me in a wheelchair within 6 weeks of symptom onset.
Because of the systemic nature of the disease, it can affect the heart, lungs, skin... pretty much every part of the body. While this diagnosis is one of many I've received, they believe this is the main driver behind everything else going on. The doctors feel confident that this is the reason for my massive weight loss, and I’ve been cleared of all the cancers that they were looking for.

It may seem odd to be so damn excited about a diagnosis of a disease that’s incurable, chronic and disfiguring... but now I know definitively, what I’m fighting. We now can treat the actual disease instead of just guessing and managing symptoms. Plus having an actual diagnosis makes getting things approved through insurance sooo much easier.

To say I feel relieved and validated is an understatement. I’ve known in my heart for months, that this was going to be my diagnosis. Unfortunately it took the medical community a little longer to come to that conclusion. Today they also decided to up my methotrexate. We are incredibly hopeful that I can eventually regain some of my mobility.

Thank you again for your continued support!!
Also, for local Orange County peeps, tonight is our fundraiser at Newport Rib Company...we hope to see you there:)
Bre
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A note from Bre:
It’s been over two weeks since we started this GoFundMe and you guys have blown our minds. Never in our wildest dreams did we think it would go this way.
We are SO incredibly grateful for this generous outpouring of love and support. Thank you.

Especially since in the last few weeks, my condition deteriorated rapidly and we had to make some tough calls. The big one being Rikio taking a leave of absence from work to care for me (until we have full time care/nursing staff in place). This GoFundMe has made this and so many other things possible.
Because of you, I’ve been able to pay for: my back due medical bills, medication, in home health services to keep me comfortable, a POWER WHEELCHAIR, safety equipment for the home, and additional extensive testing. All of these things insurance SHOULD be covering. Unfortunately, they have managed to deny almost everything or make us jump through hoops for months, dangling the prize of care just barely out of our reach. I could go on for days on the craziness that is going on with the insurance company, but now, I really don’t HAVE to. Thanks to the GoFundMe, I’ve been able to finally pull the trigger on basic level services and care that I’ve been previously denied. Insurance approval or not.
THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
Bre
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A CaringBridge campaign

$50,685 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 335 people in 10 months
Created July 25, 2018
We Love Bre
on behalf of BreAnn Ahara
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