If you came here, you're probably interested in hearing a little bit of her tale and why we started this page for her. So, here it goes . . .
Min Young Choi is 42 years old and emigrated from Seoul, South Korea when she was 14 to the USA. From the moment she stepped ashore in the US, she worked multiple jobs to help pay for herself and well as her family's livelihood (and vice versa).
Min has a degree in History, but her main passions are cooking (anyone who’s had her food will testify that she's a master chef) and painting (please personal message us if you're interested in her works or if you would like to commission her for a painting as several of our friends have done in the past - a great example of her art is the sketch above!).
She is an enthusiastic lover and support of the arts (especially Jason's writing of Film, TV, novel and music!) and is one of the funniest, loveliest people you know. Min’s energy is just infectious and all that get to know her really, really adore her.
Around 7 years ago, she met the love of her life and soulmate (as she is his), Jason Krieger. For most of the time that Min and Jason have been together, she has been hit with one catastrophic medical condition after another.
First, Myasthenia Gravis (http://bit.ly/2fbxHgG ) which hit her like a freight train: Min had 2 MG crisis within weeks of each other. These hospital stays incapacitated her for 4 months on a respirator until her doctors could figure out the correct medication to allow her muscle strength to regain the ability to breathe on her own and take her off of the machines.
Post hospital, Min had to have radiation treatment, which was due to the fact that the thymoma tumor (one of the causes of MG) was/is a malignant tumor. Roughly a month of treatment, it seemed that Min was on the road to recovery and leading a normal and healthy life.
Through the MG journey she had a few close calls but her resilience kept both her and Jason afloat and determined to conquer whichever came her way.
Things with Min's health finally seemed to be on such a great upward trajectory: Min and Jason were in the midst of planning their wedding. when again, tragedy struck in the form of an ischemic stroke.
The stroke was so devastating that Min lost roughly 25% of her brain, causing paralysis on her entire left side and the need to have a craniectomy (removal of a piece of skull - which was implanted in her abdomen and eventually placed back in its proper place on her head) to relieve pressure on her brain. She had to wear a helmet to protect her soft spot area and when Min and Jason would go out, people would stare: high school kids would point and laugh. Still, between the ridicule of those who do not understand, Min pressed on and was determined to heal. She was able to regain the function of her left leg (albeit it, needing an AFO brace to assist with walking). Min's left arm still remains mostly paralyzed, but with PT and OT, she has continued the long, arduous path of recovery.
Again, life started to get to a place of normalcy acceptance of one's disabilities is hard, but with the support of loved ones, both family and friends, Min once again was feeling the best that she could be.
Last year, Min was diagnosed with Stage 4 thymoma cancer, which is a rare cancer stemming from the thymoma tumor/myasthenia gravis that the unfortunate radiation therapy did not successfully eliminate. When a thymoma goes to stage 4, it spreads in the chest cavity and either on the pericardial (or heart) sac and/or in Min's case, the lungs.
It is not a 'standard' lung cancer (whatever that is!!!). In Min's case, there are multiple nodules on the outside of her lungs. In the past 12 months, the nodules have grown rapidly, in most cases doubling in size. Her breathing has started to show tremendous wear from the tumors and our daily life has become a struggle of making sure she is as comfortable as possible. Due to her MG, she has a compromised immune system that makes standard cancer treatments impossible. She's not only tried chemotherapy (the treatment sadly almost killed her), but also several experimental treatments - all to no success. Prognosis is not good.
Min and Jason still searching for other cures, but for the most part unless there is a new break through, Western Medicine will not provide a solution. Her only chance at beating this illness are experimental treatments, including cannabis oils, which she is currently ingesting a large amount daily. All of which is not covered by insurance. On top of the cancer and her other illnesses, the past few months been extremely difficult to care for her.
All of the illnesses and their valiant efforts to rise above the fray of them have depleted both Jason and Min's life savings. Mounting hospital bills and inability to find employment (though Jason continues to try - it is proving difficult while being a full time caregiver) has put them in a valley of debt and leave them no choice but to ask their good friends to please help in any way possible.
While being very proud people, Min and Jason need your help. If you can donate, please do. If you can't send money, please pray, think of them, call/message or stop by.
Whatever you can do to help is really really appreciated.
If you like to hire Min for a painting/sketch (see above for a sample of her drawings) or Jason for some writing (TV, film or music), please PM us on Facebook - we are eagerly available to be your artists!
Thank you for taking the time to visit the page and read Min's story.
- Kristine Kocan
- Christine Giffin
- Jitthip Suthammanuwat
- Alice Kaminski
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