At the end of March of this year (2017) I was hospitalized after experiencing sudden/unexplained vision impairment in one of my eyes. After extensive testing I was finally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (commonly known as MS). The news of this disease came as a heartbreaking shock to me and my family. Of course, at the time, I was not thinking about the financial end of things and I was just worried about getting better. I stayed in the hospital for a week getting high-dose IV steroid treatments, among other tests to try and recover from this “episode” as fast as possible.
I was discharged from the hospital after the treatments, but saw no improvement with my vision. I was extremely scared and depressed. Inflammation of the optic nerve was found behind my right eye with some apparent abnormalities of the nerves in my brain. A bit later than that, an inactive lesion of a nerve in my neck was found which proved that this issue has been going on for longer than anyone knew. I was out of work for almost an entire month and very unsure of what my future would be like. Could I see normally again? Drive again? Work again? I had no idea what to expect, but I did know that there was always a chance that I could get my vision back. I was devastated just at the thought of not being able to see normally again, but I tried to remain hopeful.
In about a months’ time, after countless visits to various doctors, my vision FINALLY got back to normal! As the return of my vision is something to celebrate, I can’t forget my long journey ahead with my battle against MS. As time went on I learned more about the disease and things I can do to make life easier for myself. I am currently researching different medication options that would work best for me. The biggest issue now is, of course, money. The expenses for these medications are outrageous, to say the least. I am trying my best to stay focused on my goal and not let my finances deter me from getting the medical care that I need.
The immediate issue now is that my insurance company did not cover a lot of the expenses from my hospital stay. I currently owe approximately $4,000.00, which I worry will go to a collections agency and potentially ruin my credit and lessen my chances at being approved for loans or other financial aid for future MS treatments etc. As I know this is a lot to ask, and I am the last person to ask for help, I don’t have a choice this time. I am hoping that I can raise any amount of money to go towards my medical bills up to $4,000.00, but ANY amount helps.
I am currently trying to get approved for one of the newest IV infusion therapy drugs to get a control on my MS symptoms sooner than later. The sooner I can get my finances straight, the sooner I will be able to start this medication. The IV infusions will help prevent future MS episodes from happening by up to 67%! The expenses for treatments is an entire different ball game, but I intend on worrying about one step at a time. The thought of being able to lead somewhat of a normal life is encouragement enough for me to do everything I can to make this happen. I will never give up!
More information about Multiple Sclerosis can be found on the National Multiple Sclerosis webpage at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/
I am GREATFUL for any and all support!
- Matt Reiff
- Rob Thorpe
- Post Ben
- Natalie Cahoon
- Dan Luning
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