As most of you know, I have had quite the medical journey. It started years ago with unexplained angioedema throughout my body, followed by a reoccurring mass in my throat that was surgically removed 6 times. Most recently, I have had 2 pituitary tumors resulting in 2 brain surgeries. The tumors caused a disease called Cushing's Disease that came with a host of complications like kidney stones (requiring 2 surgeries), multiple infections, osteopenia and stress fractures due to muscle and bone breakdown. Removal of the tumors, and ultimately my entire pituitary gland, led to Adrenal Insufficiency. Without my pituitary gland, my entire endocrine system cannot function normally, or in some cases at all. You cannot live without your pituitary gland and many major bodily functions are regulated carefully with medication. I now have residual effects of the Cushing's Disease, plus Adrenal Insufficiency, Diabetes Insipidus, Thyroid Dysfunction, and Angioedema.
With that said, I have the opportunity to be seen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. My appointments start on May 9th and will continue for 7-10 business days. The projected trip will be May8th - May23rd. The Mayo Clinic is rated #1 in the nation for endocrine care. I will be seen by an internal medicine doctor that will lead a team of endocrine, allergy/immunology, and neurology specialists. I will see everyone in that time frame and have various tests and scans completed. It is my prayer to find the best care possible and to receive expert insight into my medical management and to return to a more productive lifestyle.
This amount of time away will obviously be very costly. At this point, my medical insurance should cover the majority of my medical care. My brother has graciously donated airline miles for he and I to travel to and from MN together. That still leaves a huge chunk of expense for travel while there in MN (minimal due to several shuttle options to the hospital), food, and lodging. While I am looking into several charitable lodging options, many I do not qualifiy for due to age or the reason of my visit (not a child & not getting an organ or chemo). Because of reduced immunity, I have to be mindful of staying in shared housing with people who are sick. I will continue to look into options, but know that lodging expense will be large.
Any monetary donation towards travel, food, or lodging (including gift cards) would be greatly appreciated.
I love you all! Roni
- Jason Cooke
- Woldeab Haile
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