BREATHE!

For the past eight years, breathing has been a struggle and focus for our family. As a severe and resistant asthmatic, something so many take for granted is not taken for granted in our home. I find myself in the 5-10% of asthmatics that are unable to successfully manage my chronic illness in spite of doctors interventions. With scores of medications, countless side effects, weeks upon weeks of  hospital stays, ER visits, ambulance rides, tests, specialists and even a trip to Denver to the number one respitory hospital in the U.S. for 10 days of assesments, the end result has been . . .nothing.

A once busy active young mom of two beautiful little girls is limited in mobility, activity and must continue to take scores of medications, suffer from countless side effects, spend weeks upon weeks in hospitals, visits to the ER, rides in the abumlance, undergo more tests and see lots more specialists with no future outlook of a solution.

Until now.

A revolutionary three part surgery called a Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) has the ability to completly change my life, allowing me to return to the wife, mom, friend and woman I long to be. Using incredible radiofrequency technology, BT thins and opens the smooth muscular airway walls eliminating it's ability to constrict during an asthmatic flare.

The results are phenominal.

Across the board, BT dramatically reduces flares, lessening hospital stays and ER visits and would finally allow me to taper off prednisone (!!!), reversing some seriously dangerous side effects that will only worsen with time and get rid of some of the 25 medications I currently take twice a day.

Although this surgery has been practiced for 10 years and FDA approved for the last 5, our insurance company is denying us coverage calling it "experimental." In spite of an endorsement by the American Lung Association, and the surgery currently being successfully performed in over 25 countries including right here at our local hospital, our insurance company still calls it "experiemental." Two top pulmonolists in the state have said I am an excellent candidate and continue to help in the fight to appeal my insurance company. 

With a medical file over 6 inches thick exhibiting my history of illness over the past 8 year, we are baffeled at  how the insurance company continues to say it is "experimental." We have gone through multiple appeal processes, the final being an apperance before the insurance board ourselves. We had the opportunity to share with them supplemental information they may not have been able to read in the paperwork. We brought in a photo board of our family 8 years ago when we were active and outside and had a dog and traveled and were healthy. Then we brought in the 25 bottles of meds I am dependent upon and can't even manage this disease effectivily with. Then we showed them the nebulizers that stay by my side at all times in order to avoid or delay a hospital visit when I get into a flare. We shared with them the growing list of damaging side effects because of the long term steroid use. (like gaining 100 pounds in spite of a gluten free, sugar free, high protein diet, cataracts, the beginning stages of glaucoma, osteopenia, constant bruising, immuno compromised, suppressed adrenals (So much so that I have to wear a medical bracelet for it now), hypoglycemia, insomnia, edema, tremors, dibilitating nerve pain, heart burn, and the list continues) Many of these side effects would reverse when I am able to be free and clear of the steroids.

We then showed them countless articles from medical experts and reputable foundations and organizations touting the incredible life changing effects of this amazing surgery. We left there feeling like we proved I am a candidate, that it will drastically change my life, and it's not "experimental". We recieved a call the next day letting us know that they were once again denying coverage.

Thanks to the encouragement of friends and family, we have adopted the motto of "not IF but WHEN".

This three part surgery would cost us $75,000 out of pocket.

It seems like an absolutly unattainable goal but we know miracles can happen. We know that this surgery would give back the quality of life that is not found being hospital bound for weeks upon weeks and couch bound for months upon months. We know that this surgery would allow me to walk my little girls to school again instead of getting winded walking my stairs. We know this surgery would allow us the freedom to travel without having to first locate their area hospital and check air quality and ensure we don't stray to far from my doctors. We know this surgery would allow the simple act of breathing to take a back seat to this amazing life we've been given.  

We know, that no matter what - we have been blessed with incredible family members and unbelievably loyal friends. We humbly appreciate your support and sharing in our story.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 39 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 50 mos
  • Christie Johnson 
    • $50 
    • 55 mos
  • Heather Lenihan 
    • $40 
    • 55 mos
See all

Organizer

Karla Marsh 
Organizer
Arlington, WA
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