Bubbly, free spirited, optimistic, a sweet soul — all ways to describe Anne. For most of her life, she could be found hiking in Montana de Oro, practicing Crossfit during her lunch breaks at MindBody, or walking her dog Zeeta on the beach in Cayucos.
Yet in January Anne started feeling ill; she was overly-tired and always out of breath. After countless doctor visits, extensive testing, and a trip to the ER, she was finally diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy.
We were all shocked: “Heart failure? That doesn’t make sense. She’s only 26!”
As devastating as the diagnosis was, Anne remained determined to get better. She followed the doctor’s orders; taking her medication and making modifications to her diet; she went on regular walks, and got plenty of rest. She made spiritual amends and explored new techniques in health and wellness to relieve the mounting stress. She tried virtually everything to recover naturally.
On September 11, Anne went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with her boyfriend Anthony for a routine check-up. Hours later she woke up in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her neck connected to heart monitoring machines. Her heart is failing quickly. On September 13 Anne was officially put on the transplant list as status 1a, the highest priority.
Bubbly, free spirited, optimistic, a sweet soul, and an urgent heart transplant patient — all ways we now describe Anne.
Anne wouldn’t want us to dwell on the hardships, but they are here. In addition to the emotional stress, there are also very serious financial challenges. Anne’s hospital stay will be partially covered by insurance but not even the best insurance can cover all the unforeseen costs associated with a transplant and issues that follow. Other costs not included are the loss of her income, relocation costs to LA, alongside all the other regular daily bills.
Once the heart transplant surgery is complete, she must reside within proximity to the hospital for 2-3 months to ensure she has access to vital care if there is an emergency, and also for frequent doctor check-ups. In addition, Anne will be taking, and paying for, anti-rejection meds for the rest of her life. These are just a few expenses she will have to endure, and we’re asking for your help!
As Anne sits in her hospital room at Cedars-Sinai, waiting for the call that will save her life, she remains a bright light in what is a very dim situation. Through her pain, she has inspired us all with her motivation and strength. Anne has befriended not only the hospital staff but also the other patients. Her hospital room echoes with laughter as she tells stories to nurses and visitors.
Without fully understanding the dire situation she would be in today, back in June Anne wrote,
“I am happy, I am free and I fight for my life every day. I am okay with how my story plays out now because I know I am doing the best that I can and some things you just can’t control. If you are fighting for something right now, my advice to you is keep filling yourself up with light and have strong faith. Help others and always listen to your heart… your miracle might be right around the corner waiting for you to complete the final task.”
We are hoping there are two miracles around the corner for Anne — a new heart and the financial help of our community — help from you.
Please contribute what you can to help Anne Knapke get through the mounting expenses she has acquired throughout this entire journey, and into the future. Any amount you can contribute to Anne’s Fearless Heart Fund would be greatly appreciated.
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