Stem Cell Transplant - Scleroderma

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
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Briana Connor Garcia 
Stoneham, MA
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