My name is Bethany, and I want to tell you about my Mom's journey.
My Mom, Jan, has had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for over 30 years, but for the most part she has been able to live a pretty normal life. Four years ago, though, our family went through a really hard time helping someone in need, and Mom's health fell apart. She went to our family doctor, who gave her a medication to help with her exhaustion. It seemed to work well at first, but after a few months, my Mom began to have really strange things happen. For the last three years, Mom has had to wear bandages on her hands, because her veins are swollen. She is so weak, she has a hard time walking or getting up the stairs. She is so dizzy she often can't stand up. She has a hard time breathing, and coughs and chokes a lot. She feels like she is going to throw up most of the time. The pain in her joints often wakes her up at night. The eye infection makes it hard for Mom to see well. She spends most of the day in bed, and even then, she still feels tired.
Mom has seen over 25 doctors, but they haven't been able to help her. Mom has done a lot of research to try and find out what's wrong. She talked to her doctor here in Toronto about what she found, and her doctor thinks she is on the right track. But the testing and treatment she needs isn't available here in Canada. Because she needs such specialized medical help, our doctor says Mom needs to go to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. We think they'll be able to give her treatment that will help make her well. It's an expensive trip, though, and we don't have insurance to cover the costs.
In the last three years, my Mom hasn't been able to get out of the house much and spends almost all of her time in bed. She used to volunteer at my school and did a lot of work helping people at our church, but she can't do any of that now. She can't come to school or church or my soccer games. She can't even make a meal. My Dad goes to work, does all the housework and takes care of me. It's hard for our family to do anything together, except maybe watch TV. I am 12 now, and I don't really remember what Mom was like before she got sick. It's really depressing to have Mom in bed all of the time. It's lonely without her. I need my Mom back! Could you help her get to the Mayo Clinic?
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