Please help our dear friend Sheila get the diagnosis and treatment she needs to fight this rare disease!
A loving wife of 20 years and devoted homeschooling mom to 4, Sheila has been struggling for a couple years with intermittent autoimmune symptoms that have become increasingly serious and debilitating. This fall things took a turn for the worse and have now become quite serious and frightening.
Constant pain since September 2015 has caused Sheila to resign from her job of 15 years necessitating pulling the kids from all of their activities and finally in the difficult decision to enroll the kids in school this coming fall as mom can no longer spend her days teaching them. It also places extreme financial strains on her teacher husband as he becomes the sole bread winner for all their expenses including any and all medical ones.
Watching her body deteriorate over these many months has been extremely difficult on her family as a once vital and energetic mom can no longer do the things she once could and even speaking has become difficult. Needless to say, the emotional strain has been immense.
At first doctors were stumped as to a cause but now many have uttered their suspicions- a rare disease (1 in a million) called RELAPSING POLYCHONDRITIS. This is a disease that attacks cartilage and collagen proteins of the body destroying them in the process. It effects every system including; eyes, ears, nose, trachea and lungs, joints and tendons, blood vessels and heart, nerves, skin and vital organs. Unfortunately, due to its rarity doctors here are dragging their feet in giving the official diagnosis.....mostly because they don't know what to do and are completely unfamiliar with the disease. BUT, WITHOUT A DIAGNOSIS, NO TREATMENT CAN BE GIVEN!! Sheila has been in contact with the National Institute of Health in Maryland and is hoping to see an autoimmune specialist there (who has confirmed everyone's suspicions) to get a firm diagnosis and treatment plan.
Once a diagnosis is made, travel may once again be necessary to see more specialist in connective tissue disease, to get experienced treatment, specialized tests and much needed medication.
All funds will be used toward medical expenses. Speed is of the utmost importance as this disease is considered progressive and any damage is irreversible! BUT REMISSION IS POSSIBLE! With early diagnosis and proper treatment the chances are even greater that we can stop this devestating disease!
Please help us give this family back their mom and wife. It would mean everything to them and to us, her friends to see them able to enjoy the everyday things again and to have mom around for a good long time to come.
We thank you in advance for your generosity and for your care for our treasured friend.
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