Judy's Medical Fund

My mother, Judy Kidwell, is one of the most selfless people I know. She's always giving more than she takes in this world. She retired a few years back after teaching for 42 years, and has been enjoying spending time with her friends, family and little dog Moonie.

She's not one to ask for help, but I think she could use a little support from her friends.

About a month ago, Mom was diagnosed with nontuberculous mycobacterium abscessus pulmonary disease -- an infection in her lungs. These mycobacterium are in the air that we all breath, unfortunately Mom has a compromised immune system and was unable to fight off this infection. Nontuberculous mycobacterium abscessus is hard to treat because it is resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs. When she first became sick, a culture was sent to National Jewish Health, a leading respiratory hospital, to identify the infection and subsequently test for the exact sensitivies of the bacterium in her lungs in order to develop a treatment.

In the coming weeks, we are hoping to travel to Denver, CO, to meet with specialists at NJH to discuss Mom's case, treatment and to better understand why she contracted this disease in the first place. She will likely undergo further testing and hopefully start treatment in Denver. She needs someone to travel with her to support her and be her advocate, so I'm planning to meet her in Denver. We estimate our stay to be about a week.

The therapy will last much longer than a week. In the beginning, it will be a multidrug macrolide-based therapy based on the susceptibility testing results. It will need to be delivered via an IV, at least at first, and will likely make mom feel very bad. Many patients have not been able to tolerate the initial cocktail of drugs, which is one of the reasons we are hoping to start the treatment in Denver. If Mom needs her treatment adjusted, the response will be more timely if we're there with the specialists.

Once her treatment is locked in, Mom will return to Connersville and continue treatment. She will need further assistance getting to and from the Infusion Center in Richmond -- possibly through medical transport -- or we may be able to have a nurse come to her house to give her the treatment.

Right now, mom feels very tired and is coughing a lot. Our goal is to get her feeling better and hopefully strengthen her system so that she can better fight these infections off in the future.

The expense of traveling to Denver (airline fare, hotel, rental car) to see the specialists and the added medical costs involved with her treatment are going to take a toll on her fixed income. I know that many of you would like to help her, and this is the best way to do it right now. Of course, she also likes food, chocolate and warm smiles!

We're looking to get to Denver as soon as we can work out the details with the doctors ... hopefully in the next few weeks.

Thank you very much for your interest in our story. Any support you can offer is much appreciated.

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Karen Kidwell Wood 
Camas, WA
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