Sadly, this is the reality for my cousin Kelly Stewart and her beautiful family, which includes two amazing little girls, a baby boy and a dedicated husband, Jeff , who works as an elementary school teacher.
During her pregnancy with her son, Kelly noticed she felt more “off” than with her other pregnancies. Shortly after giving birth she noticed some oddities with her skin and losing feeling with her hands and feet. After countless tests and many stress-filled, sleepless nights of researching; she was diagnosed with a very scary and very rare disease called Scleroderma. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease which means that it is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and can harden organs. Scleroderma has already affected her mobility.
Also shortly after giving birth to her son, she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer that has spread to her lymph nodes making it inoperable and now requiring chemotherapy/radiation. However the radiation for the cancer can accelerate the progression of the Scleroderma.
She has been advised that she may have to have her bowel and bladder removed but no surgeon in her area will attempt this due to the combination of diseases and the lack of specialized training on their part. Without a willing surgeon in her area, she will need to travel 1700 km (almost 1100 miles) to Toronto for this specialized treatment.
Another factor hindering her health is that fact that stress causes the Scleroderma to progress and it cannot be reversed. As you can imagine, it is quickly advancing with the stress of having to travel and the worry of impending medical expenses. Kelly is a stay-at-home mom. Until the fall of 2014 her family had been living off of her husband Jeff' small teacher’s salary. Late last year Jeff unfortunatley had to leave his job for medical resons as well. He started to experience extreme pain and limited mobility. After months of testing he has recently been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease. They are still in the midst of testing but it has been narrowed down to a form of Muscular Dystrophy. The diagnosis is majorly life altering to Jeff and his family. making the situation even more incredibly difficult.
Since having to leave his job they have been fighting with the insurance company to pay what he is entitled to. It is an ongoing battle and an unneeded stressor in their already difficult lives.
No one should have to let the worry of finances overshadow their efforts to recovery, which is why I am asking for your help to give her a little peace of mind so she can focus on being well.
It seems like the odds are stacked against Kelly & Jeff's family but they are strong willed and positive and will do what it takes to keep their family together. Any donation, big or small, will be accepted with gratitude, including prayers. Thank you all very much in advance for your kindness and generosity.
If you would like to donate in another way please contact me directly!
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