Jarrad Owenby Gift of Sight

This fund has been set up to assist my husband,Jarrad 38, with his battle to retain his vision. Until the time frame given, he led a normal active life. He enjoyed things that so many of us do without thought. Now, he has to think and prepare and still may not be capable of following through. The things Jarrad enjoys doing things that require one important sense...sight!
The battle began in 2007 with a routine eye exam for him seeing \"spots\". Since that day, he has been through the proverbial ringer with oral steroids, intraocular injections, subcutaneous injections around his eyes, vascular ultrasound, etc.. All this and all the doctors were stumped. Finally we decided to do our own research on the web. We had lots of time and had depleted funds for health coverage to continue any sort of treatment or obtain diagnostic information. So the vision dwindles without treatment. Jarrad has become numb and bitter. In the spring of 2009, he saw an Opthamologist that began treating for the inflammation in Jarrads eyes. Jarrad had alot of \"floaters\" and haziness of differnt colors. He explained that the blood vessels in Jarrads eyes were leaking and his eyes were saturated like a sponge. This is when the injections started. Then he began oral steroids, which did nothing except cause other issues. He is non-reactive to steroids, they do nothing for his inflammation. He had been diagnosed early on with Diabetic Retinopathy, because the pictures and symptoms were all \"textbook\". He was tested twice for diabetes, which was negative. He had MRI\'s, XRays and a spinal tap to test for a miriad of things that could be causing his condition. No news. Finally his Opthamologist diagnosed Uveitis and Cystoid Macular Edema. He continues the intra Ocular injections..upon his last visit after oral steroids AND injections in both eyes, he announced that his eyes looked no better and in fact looked worse! Jarrad shared that his vision was worse than before the injections.I am certain that fear and depression had by now given Jarrad a feeling of doom and gloom. So off to Emory University we go. Now, seeing a specialist in Infectious Diseases of the eye. After examination and many painful pictures of Jarrads\' eyes he presented us with the following: Jarrad has an Ocular Inflammatory Disease that is little known about and very rare. Not all physicians are familiar with it at all. This disease has affected Jarrads\' central vision and will eventually, without a solid diagnosis or aggressive treatment lead to permanent blindness.
Of late, Jarrad has been given hope in his battle. He has been temporarily diagnosed with Behcet\'s Disease. This disease is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of unknown origin that is primarily found in the Eastern Asia regions. This disease not only affects the eyes, but every system in the body and there is NO CURE only treatment. You may read more about this disease here: http://www.behcets.com/site/pp.asp?c=bhJIJSOCJrH&b=262321 He is now seeing a pair of specialist that seem to believe treatment is available and MAY help retain what little vision he has and hopefully regain some lost. He also let us know that because prior treatments had failed, that there is a time frame of about 4-5 years before the damage causes complete blindness. We are in year 4 and very scared. His treatment has not yet started, but many tests and appointments are at hand. The pair of doctors are apprehensive about treatment that is not associated with a solid diagnosis because insurance companies can refuse coverage for \"rare\" disorders and associated medications, some of which are not FDA approved, eventhough they are medically necessary.We are unsure about his ability to remain working if the treatments are physically draining or cause increasing problems. Thousands of dollars have been spent with no solid answers, and the debt has mounted due to no insurance for the past three years. When you are dealing with specialties of the eye, the fees are very high. He is not eligible for any private disability insurance because of his condition. The doctors had tried to have Jarrad participate in a clinical trial, but the inlfammation is too great and he is no longer a candidate.In the event that the two specialist (Opthamologist and Rhumatologist) cannot get the inflammation in his eyes under control, he will then need to see world reknowned specialist in Boston, Dr. C. Stephen Foster, a pioneer in treating Uveitis and Inflamatory Eye Disorders. MERSI ...Read more here:(http://www.uveitis.org/about/default.html). 
Appointments with this specialist have a wait and will require him to miss alot of work and alot of travel. Our resources are drained and his visual time frame according to his Opthamologist, is running out. He is not prepared for more trauma or drama and fights to keep his chin up. Your support through donation will make things happen. Please help if you can. All donations are very appreciated and will assist in Jarrad in getting his treatments,and salvaging his sight. Sight is so taken for granted until its almost gone. Thank you all!:Beckie
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Beckie Jo Hoover Owenby 
Maysville, GA
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