I set up this Go-fund me page for my niece, Jolene Steenrod, and her parents, Joel and Jessica Steenrod. Jolene is 15 years old and suffers multiple chronic illnesses. Before all of these chronic illnesses reared their ugly heads, Jolene was a straight A student, she was in competitive gymnastics and was a very active girl. Since being stricken with these illnesses, she has had to stop going to school and is home taught now, and cannot do any physical activity. She still has a strong spirit, she is super smart, and is the most wonderful teenage girl you could ever meet.
Jolene has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which is an inherited condition that affects the connective tissues in the body. EDS can affect so many different things in the body.
She also suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). With POTS, the body does not control blood pressure or heart rate as it should after you stand up. So for a brief time, you may not get enough blood to your brain. This can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded. You might faint. Sitting or lying down helps you feel better. For many people with POTS, fatigue and other symptoms may make it hard to keep up with daily living.
Another recent major problem that has developed due to EDS is paralysis of the stomach. Jolene has not been able to eat anything for about a year now. She has had 3 different types of feeding tubes and now is having problems with the most recent one. She has been hospitalized at least four times in the past 3 months and is currently at John Hopkins. With no current plan of action, other options are being looked at to help Jolene, but are not covered by insurance.
Joel and Jessica are the most giving people I know. They are constantly helping other people and never ask for anything in return. They are both self-employed and when they don’t work, they don’t get paid. Thank God they are self-employed, because even though they have struggled over the past couple of years, they have been able to make it work by balancing their schedule between Jolene’s doctor’s visits each week and work to keep afloat.
With the string of recent hospital stays, Jessica hasn’t been working at all because she stays with Jolene at the hospital. Joel is home taking care of their son Blake and the pets and works when he is able. I am asking that we donate to them to help lighten their burden with their basic living costs. With the traveling expense to and from Baltimore or D.C. including gas and parking, the time not working, their basic household expenses, and new treatment options, they could really use the extra help. It doesn’t have to be much, any little bit will help. I know they would really appreciate it. Thank you!
- Adam Smith
- McKenzie Lumpkins
- Mary Ruble
- Margo Shelton
- Amy Lundgren
Organizer and beneficiary
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