Taking steps to fight for a cure.
Twelve years ago, Angela was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the large intestine/colon, which becomes inflamed and develops tiny open sores, or ulcers. The combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause severe abdominal pain and frequent emptying of the colon. This began a roller coaster ride of doctor visits, tests, procedures, blood transfusions and surgeries to remove and then salvage parts of her digestive system, not to mention feeling like a guinea pig for toxic and expensive medications; everything from pills, shots, IV infusions, and drugs normally reserved for cancer. In 2010, one of Angela's fears came to reality when she had an emergency total colectomy surgery to remove her entire large intestine. This then lead to three additional surgeries in nine months to piece her intestinal track back to as close to a normal functioning digestive system, eliminating her need of IV feedings and her ileostomy (i.e. an external colostomy bag).
Angela has spent a total of 100 days in the hospital since her diagnosis combating acute flare ups and disease complications, as well as having to deal with unexpected side effects of the treatments meant to get her well (i.e. hallucinations, kidney failure, allergic reactions, chronic nausea, vomiting, insomnia, the list goes on and on). As you can imagine, these medications, treatments, and hospitalizations can be quite expensive. Even with medical insurance, Angela has accumulated over $75,000 in medical
debt which she struggles each month to stay on top of. Her past medical bill payments alone cost more than what many people pay for a home mortgage each month! In addition to paying off those monthly medical bills, her monthly prescriptions pile on another $300-$600 a month after insurance.
With the multiple surgeries behind her, she thought she finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, however, in December of 2012 she was given devastating news the disease has spread to her small intestine and has developed into a secondary incurable autoimmune disorder called Crohn's Disease. Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the lining of your entire digestive tract from mouth to rectum, which can be both painful and debilitating and can lead to malnutrition, emotional turbulence and life-threatening complications.
Angela continues to fight but sadly the medications used to treat the Crohn's have not been effective. Her health, as well as her quality of life, continues to decline. The debt, however, continues to accumulate as she tries new treatments and has additional hospital stays and emergency room visits due to complications from the medications and the disease. Often these medications and visits to the hospital are far from fully covered by insurance.
Because Angela is a fighter, and so many of her treatments and therapies have failed, she is seeking treatment from some of the best specialists in the nation. This has led her to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Ultimately, with as advanced as her disease has become, she is potentially in a struggle that could cost her life and she needs help. Anything that you can donate will help Angela continue to fight, have access to specialists that can guide her to the right medical treatments, and possibly even save her digestive tract and even her life!
If we as her friends, family, and supporters, can help with her financial burden, she can concentrate on what is most important; healing herself and getting well, so she can beat this disease and not let it beat her! Thank you in advance for opening your heart to Angels for Angela.
*Please help spread the word about Angels for Angela. If every person shares and forwards her story, we will be one step closer to reaching our goal!
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