Andie's Knee Reconstruction Surgery

This is really long, but please take the time to read it.
I have been struggling with the idea to start a GoFundMe. I have seen both positive and negative comments about it, as well as good reasons and flat out vain reasons for the mission behind the fundme pages.

I have a birth defect that needs to be corrected or I will (at the very minimum) have severe arthritis issues as early as 30. The surgeon seems to think I will be in a wheel chair by 50. My tendons in my knee are too long and not attached in the right location and my knee cap is too small. My knee caps are deviated inward, which causes extra pressure on my hips and ankles.

I have a surgery date set for March 31, 2014 (or April 4, 2014 depending on whether or not it's outpatient or inpatient).

I need to have proximal-distal patellar realignment surgery on both knees. It's fancy lingo for a knee reconstruction surgery. It basically means they are going to slice me from the bottom of my thigh to the center of my shin and reconstruct everything but my kneecap.

My surgeon can push my knee cap out of it's socket with only using pressure from his index and middle fingers.

This is immediately followed by 4-6 weeks COMPLETELY off my feet, then 6-8 months of rehabilitation… Per knee. And I can’t get both knees done at the same time.

The first time this problem popped up was in 1999. I was 9 years old and I remember running from the kick-ball field towards my elementary school as recess ended when my knee first locked-up and dislocated. I remember being scared and worried that I broke my knee (I was 9, I didn't know better), and being incredibly embarrassed when no one heard me crying from the field and I was left there by myself until my teacher realized I was missing from the line-up.

Throughout middle-school and high school, I attended countless physical therapy sessions. I wore knee braces under my jeans, and didn't dare participate in sports. Yes, like every high school girl, I hated PE, but for different reasons. I didn't want my knees to give out on me in front of 60 other students. I didn't want to change in front of other girls, not just for my body, but for those stupid, ugly braces. When I was young, they thought it was general weakness from my premature birth. Then they assumed I had arthritis. Every time they were wrong, but never suggested I see an orthopedic specialist.

When I hit college, I sort of gave up on finding the answer to the problem until it got worse and worse with my age. Within minutes of meeting my current specialist, he diagnosed the problem and set the course for my recovery.

I’m in pain everyday.

At least once a day, my knees will lock into the extended or flexed position and dislocate from their sockets.

I can’t go up and down stairs by myself. I'm 23 years old and I have to have an escort up and down a flight of stairs. I feel so ashamed and embarrassed.

I move slower than molasses on ice because one misstep and my knee will “slide” into the extended position and snap out of place. During the winter months, I have to have someone walk me to and from my jeep incase my knees lock-up and I fall to the ground and can't get up or get to my phone to call for help.

I’m not allowed to run/jog, bike, or skate AT ALL or swim for long periods of time.

This is everyday.

Only twice has my knee cap not gone back into its socket on its own. and It was terrifying. I kept thinking, "This is it. This is the time my knee cap will finally break."

My insurance deductible is roughly $1,750 (per knee). Not to mention I will not be working for at least a month after the surgery date.

Since I can only do one knee at a time, I'm focusing on the money I will need for the deductible cost, medications, physical therapy, and my bills/rent for the month I will be missing work.

I need to save/raise $3000. I’m working every odd job and hour that I can in the meantime to save for the months ahead, but its not enough.

Since I’m a live sound engineer and know a number of talented musicians in Columbus, I was thinking of hosting a “benefit show” to raise money as well, or just a show to say "Thank You" to all the people that donated money to my surgery.


Live sound alone is hard on a body. And I would like to keep working in this career that I'm so passionate about for a least a few more decades.

Anyone that knows me could tell you that I'm the first to offer help, but the last to ask for it.

I don't know if it's pride, guilt, or me simply trying to maintain my independence, but please know it's taking everything I have (and a giant push from a few loved ones) to create this GoFundMe page. Believe me, if I wasn't in dire need of help, I wouldn't dare ask for a cent. And every last donation is more than appreciated.

I would spend my entire month off creating pieces of artwork for anyone that donated. So… There’s that. I'm trying to learn how to knit. Who doesn't love beanies and scarves?

You can't imagine how grateful I am for every penny donated to my surgery. I don't expect to hit my goal, in all honesty, I'm hoping to just be able to cover my deductible.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or concerns.

I will literally have the beez kneez after both surgeries are complete.

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Andie Cascioli 
Columbus, OH
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