This photo above is of Madeline about 25 years ago right after she graduated university and was about to launch her career and right before she became disabled by post viral syndrome. Edema due to illness has altered her appearance so radically that this picture no longer is a recognizable version of her physically, however we feel it very much speaks to her personality, spirit and soul.
A gentle FYI, the money you see accrued so far in the GoFundMe has already been used up over the course of the year. Madeline's very existence continues on a financial knife's edge.
She needs $3,000 a month to do the bare minimum to slow her deterioration, and much more to halt and begin to turn it around
* 25 July 2021, up-date * HUGE thanks to our many kind donors ! Madeline's medical treatments are working, but she’s still in pain, fatigued, and the funding is running low. Other help is around the corner, which could prevent any further deterioration, and hopefully stop her untimely death. Your support helps secure access to treatments and literally buys more time. Madeline cannot survive without the biochemical supports she needs to manage her protracted post viral syndrome. Every donation DOES make a difference ! Thank you.
* Relevant links to news article and recent podcasts:
Canada land podcast
article in The Tyee, 5 July 2021: https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/07/05/I-Should-Not-Have-To-Beg-For-My-Life/
17 May 2021: up-date on Madeline's situation
Since our earlier reports, journalist Ash Kelly has continued her important conversations with Madeline and now is releasing these in a series of podcasts. The first one is available through the link below, 32 minutes of an engaging, valuable, heartfelt account:
I AM MADELINE PODCAST EPISODE: Ep. 1 - How do you solve a problem ?
"One woman’s struggle with a debilitating disease so stigmatized, many doctors still don’t believe it's real."
Co-produced by Kelvin Gawley and Ash Kelly
"Madeline has a magnetic personality and she's a prolific volunteer who is well known in her community. She's also scheduled to die in just a few weeks. Madeline lives with a debilitating but treatable disease that is so stigmatized many doctors still don't believe it's real. Now millions more are likely to join her, as some long-haul covid sufferers appear to have the same illness.
Madeline's story is woven into the history of infectious disease, post-viral illnesses, and other chronic diseases that have marginalized and impoverished so many."
Please give to help Madeline manage her illness and reduce her pain. We value every donation, whatever the amount.
Thank you so much for helping us to help our dear friend.
For those who are uncomfortable with online donations, please contact team member Liza Rogers for the Vancity account that is collecting donations.
This past month has been about taking small pleasure while she still can...here's a link to Madeline speaking about being out on her scooter for a spell under spring cherry blossoms and realizing that this could happen to anyone.
Any one of us could become injured, infirm or lose our independence. Please listen and give what you can. Click on the link below...
More about Madeline: she is a fighter, has a huge heart, and has been deeply involved in her community. One of the things she is most proud of is her extensive, valuable volunteer work. Although she can’t share her gifts currently, we know her as a bright and joyful star who has always given so much to others.
She has lived with this debilitating condition for 25 years and has found solutions even when there appeared to be no hope. She has survived with too little for a very long time. And while she has had to be tough for many years, she fully deserves more support.
Madeline faces major “crashes” that can land her in the emergency room and leave her lingering on edge for weeks. These “crashes” are becoming more frequent and Madeline’s health is declining as her access to funds is simultaneously depleted.
Madeline lives in poverty. She faces daily decisions about what drugs and treatments she can afford. The tragic story about this once vibrant Vancouver woman broke some months ago in a news article that we have shared below.
Privacy is important: We are Madeline’s friends and closest allies, asking for your help, while expressly committing to protect Madeline’s anonymity. Like many people with disabilities, she has been afraid and ashamed to ask for help. She's also been advised by her medical team that public attention could compromise her fragile health further. There are a number of us on her team, and as a team, we have been working together to support her, move her case forward with Government bodies and share her story.
Urgency: Without funds, Madeline won’t make it beyond this June. At her current state of deterioration, she needs about $100,000 each year(approximately what chemotherapy alone would cost a cancer patient per year) to manage her illness, (which has little to no universal healthcare coverage for her post viral syndrome illnesses) and some of the simple things in life that she can’t afford and also aren’t provided for. Her doctors and naturopaths believe that her health could gradually improve with consistent treatments and the costs could then decline.
We are appealing to you to open your heart and your wallet and help us keep Madeline alive and even improving. We know this campaign is a stop-gap but we must act now while working closely with her health team and the governing bodies that are involved in the multitude of issues faced by people with disabilities.
Here’s how your contributions help!
· $85 covers one pain management session through physiotherapy or massage therapy
· $320 covers one critical naturopathic treatment which Madeline needs at least twice weekly
· $1088 would pay for monthly over the counter medication, pharmacy items and supplements
· Any amount helps with daily living, including housekeeping and nutritious food.
We value every donation, whatever the amount.
Thank you for helping us to help our dear friend.
For those who are uncomfortable with online donations, please feel free to contact team member Liza Rogers for the Vancity account that is collecting donations.
Media coverage and background
Madeline’s story was first shared by Vancouver journalist Ash Kelly in July 2020.
You can read more about some of her health struggles here:
Ash Kelly has also reported on the shortfalls of MSP coverage for people with complex disabilities in British Columbia, which remains a massive barrier for people on disability assistance to access the care they require to live in dignity.
LINK CityNews1130 People with Disabilities