From the outside, nothing looks terribly out of place: a slightly tilted smile and a jaw that swings a little to the left. But like many people who live with chronic pain, we suffer with our pain deeply and silently on the inside, not always in a way that others can see. Every morning I wake up, I have to force my jaw back in its place multiple times. Almost daily it gets stuck out of place and I have to crank it back into its socket while in conversation. And as a musician, nothing is worse than needing to stop your set to pop your jaw back so you can continue on performing.
Through the past 8 years, that pain has led to serious stress and anxiousness not only in my face, neck, shoulders and the rest of my body, but mentally as well. The constant clenching of my jaw makes up half of the stress and anxiety I deal with daily. Because of the misalignment in the set up of my facial structure, I need this surgery now to help fix what has already been done and prevent any other major health issues that could occur in the future connected to my jaw. Due to my condition being “pre-existing” my insurance will not cover the surgery or any of my hospital bills. They would only partially cover it if my condition also caused sleep apnea. On top of those, my insurance company (and the others I have tried) will not cover my surgeon… the only one who has been aware of my case for over 5 years.
Oddly enough, I also suffer from Endometriosis, which can link to major jaw pain. Endometriosis is a disease found in women who have excess endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. This disease causes extreme pain in millions of women across the world. There is no cure yet and since jaw pain can be linked to Endometriosis symptoms when flaring up, I’m expectant that this surgery works miracles in any and all of my medical uncertainties.
After months of praying for God to provide for this financially, I felt God nudge me towards starting a Go Fund Me page. So, here I am 2.5 months away from this major surgery and I am humbly asking for your help. I am reaching out to this community in the hopes that some of you out there may be so gracious and willing to help me overcome this heavy and stressful burden.
As I go through this journey, this surgery, and long recovery process, I am forever grateful to anyone who gives to this life changing cause. I am so fortunate to know and have so many incredible people in my life who support me emotionally in this surgery and in creating this funding platform. It hasn’t been easy and I want to be as open and honest as possible in this process. Along with the incredible stress of major surgery, I am not one who likes to ask for things. My friends joke that I will starve and suffer if I have to before I let someone give to me, and that is something I am working on.
At a time like this, so close to surgery and still no considerable options, I have no other choice but to be vulnerable, humble and trusting in this position. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you in advance for the giving of any amount and for listening to my story, this has not been easy to write. Far too many of us struggle and don’t say a word because our pride gets in the way. I hope this may help others speak up who feel they don’t have a voice in what they are dealing with. Thank you for allowing me to be myself in this and let you into a big part of my life. I also would love to give back to my supporters in any way I can. Below you can find out how!
With love and thankfulness,
Casey Stumpo <3
How Can You Help?
· Donations of any amount! There is nothing too big or too small, every offering counts! I pray God blesses you an in abundance with whatever you decide to give.
· PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE THIS PAGE on any social media platform, email, online groups, and with anyone who would possibly want to help this cause.
· Prayers! There is power in numbers.
· Any helpful ideas or tips, encouraging words/messages would be greatly appreciated <3
Written below, you can find out more about myself, my story, reasons for having this major surgery, and breakdown of how the funds will be used. If you would like to read more on who and what you are giving to, then please read ahead.
The journey has definitely been tough, with curveballs in every direction from insurance problems, financial hardships, and so on. But I have complete faith in the journey ahead of me. Let me tell you a little about my story…
The Back Story
I remember at age 16 complaining about major jaw pain, the right side of my face popping and clicking at any given moment. My family and doctors had chalked it up to the fact that I was 1) still growing 2) under stress of my family’s separation, school and choosing a college 3) just stop chewing gum 4) maybe just stop talking so much (only sort of kidding on that one haha) but that was about it.
Not until my first couple years in college did I realize how bad it actually was. On top of your typical college stress, at age 18, I was waking up in excruciating pain, popping my jaw back into place and even finding it getting locked in mid conversation throughout the day. The popping is audible and I would constantly see heads turn their heads in confusion. It would flare up, and then die down but I always seemed to be feeling a large amount of stress in my jaw, face and in my shoulders.
I was 19 when I reached out to a specialist. My Dr. in Santa Barbara told me I would have to get Double Jaw Surgery to fix the issues. I froze in fear of recovery time, finances, and if I’m being honest, I worried about having to get braces again while still in college (silly me for ever worrying about that one).
From that point on, I would go through seasons of uncertainty and worry on how big the changes would be if I ever did commit. It was like having an identity crisis. We know our face and how we look our whole lives and the thought of me looking different was frightening. So, I put it on the back burner yet again, until now.
The Journey Today
For years I struggled with the decision to jump. But I realized I needed to take control of my health and take hold of these serious issues rather than put it off for another 5 years. The pain hasn’t subsided, my teeth are grinding away, my jaw is visibly getting worse and I started losing my joy and just becoming unhappy with the constant pain and physical stress. I was not made to live a life in pain, nor is anyone. It was time I took care of my health over anything else in my life.
This past August is when I made the decision to move forward with getting Double Jaw Surgery. As I said before, I was told at age 19 that I would need to do this invasive operation to fix the jawbone and tendon issues inside my face. I am now 24. I had recently moved to LA, low on finances, and college loans and rent were taking control of my life. I started working 2-3 odd jobs just to survive, and it was all just a lot to handle. The stress had become too much and this flare up was the final straw. Nothing has gotten better, the pain and pressure has significantly progressed and in recent years it even started interfering with how I eat and digest things.
The first step into Double Jaw Surgery was getting braces again. And because of my condition, I had to see an orthodontist who specializes in TMJ treatment, which can be pretty pricy. So $10,000 later, my journey had begun in debt. That’s when I really knew, no matter what excuse I would come up with again, I couldn’t get out of it. This was it.
I had no other choice but to trust God in this position. If He was going to bring me here, He would provide for me. Since I had found an incredible surgeon 5 years ago, there was never a question as to who would preform this operation. He is an incredibly trusted Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. Again, it’s my face we’re dealing with, so trust is a major key to all of this.
However, my insurance company does not cover my surgeon... or my hospital bill or anything else. As research shows, this is somehow a common occurrence… FOR MAJOR SURGEY. I then started to realize the thought of getting my procedure covered by insurance was nearly impossible. I tried switching insurance, changing plans, taking out a loan on top of my already $50,000 loans from college I just started to feel helpless. My plan to switch insurance providers fell through, as it was a “pre-existing” condition. And even so, I would have to suffer from sleep apnea as well to even be a candidate. Nothing was working.
I started praying and asking God for His hand over the situation because frankly, I couldn’t do this alone. Through all of the turmoil, I am so fortunate with my faith and the support I have around me, without it things would be really dark. I worry about how my rent will be paid, how I will pay my loans and so on due to me being out of work while recovering for up to two months. Its honestly too much to bare and I’m not quite sure how people do it. Lack of insurance coverage and finances is not an easy thing. I owe my faith for getting me through this whole thing.
Why Am I Getting The Surgery?
The reasons are endless but here are a few of the main reasons:
· Realign/level my jaw bones to the correct functioning position
· Have normal jaw function and bite
· Be able to open my mouth fully without pain or jaw coming out of socket
· Help with severe anxiety and stress issues
· Be able to live without daily, hindering pain
· Help with any symptoms connected and linked to Endometriosis
1) Chronic pain in jaw, neck and connecting muscles
2) Clicking, popping and locking of jaw
3) Teeth grinding/gum and tooth loss
4) Chronic headaches
5) Chronic cheek bites/sores due to bites
6) Stress in body
Because Double Jaw Surgery is such a major operation (with a huge recovery time) there are a lot of serious and overly obnoxious (but necessary) expenses to go along with it. NONE of it is covered by my insurance.
Goleta Valley Hospital $12,000
History & Physical $300.00
Estimated Total Surgical Cost: $50,000.00
(crazy I know)
Rent, Bills, Loans while in Recovery and out of work $3,700
Total Double Jaw Surgery Journey: $62,075!!!!!
How Can I Give Back?
I know a lot of the time we give to a cause and don’t really know what happens after that. But as a thank you to my supporters I will be doing my best to keep you updated on my journey. I will post updates on Facebook and Instagram and you can also find me @
Level 1 ANY DONATION- EP download of covered songs
Level 2 $100 EP, handwritten thank you letter
Level 3 $250 + EP, handwritten letter, custom gift
Level 4 $ Highest contributors by end of campaign:
EP, handwritten thank you letter, custom gift, Face Time Q and A
For all of you who got through this whole post, I appreciate you and your time! Thank you for taking time to learn a little bit more about me and the situation at hand. Again, THANK YOU so incredibly much to anyone who feels a tug in their heart to help me out in this situation. I am forever grateful to you and your generosity.
With love and a grateful heart,
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
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