My name is Michael Hill, I'm 21 years old, and in April, I was diagnosed with heart failure. I inherited my condition from my mother, who had a heart attack at 32, the cause of which is unclear and not substance related. She was able to get by with medication for 12 years before getting a transplant. My condition is exactly the same as hers down to a t, except that mine is much worse. I am not going to make it 12 years with medications keeping my heart going, it's just too weak. By June, it was clear that a heart transplant in my immediate future was a necessity to survival.
The dream I was pursuing of becoming a ballet dancer is on hold, probably forever. After assessing my options, I moved to California to stay with my father, who is looking after me while I'm unable to be independent, and to be treated at Cedars Sinai Hospital, who perform more heart transplants than any other in the country. I'm currently an outpatient, meaning I'm able to stabilize enough with medication to stay at home in the short term, while I wait for the call with promise of a new life. Until then, my existence is very muted. I don't have the energy to walk a block, or the strength to carry a bag of groceries. I'm on a fluid and sodium restrictive diet, which takes a lot of managing.
My campaign has a beneficiary, my father, Anthony Martin Hill. What this means is that he'll be withdrawing and handling the money from the campaign, a decision I made, as he handles my hospital bills, prescriptions, grocerery costs, clinic visits, lab tests, etc and can guide me through a system that isn't made to be easy to navigate.
Any donation would be greatly appreciated, as this campaign is what stands between my family and I, and a crippling amount of debt, and could be a factor in the level of care I am able to recieve. Any donation, no matter how small, can mean the world. I'd also like to add that the silver lining I've found in all this is that it's made it very clear to me that we need to come together as a country and fight for a proper healthcare system, and I intend to do everything I can to promote that, and appreciate your support there too.
- Dierdre Burger
- Jocelyn Raquepau
Organizer and beneficiary
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