Maryam's Miles

Please help Maryam.

“Maryams' Miles” (a true story...please travel to Ohio with us) –
written by: Nicole Russo

June 25, 2014

I am reaching out to friends, strangers, churches, communities, websites, businesses, organizations... essentially the world! I'm inviting anyone who is willing or able to partner with me to help my friend Karen get the medical care in which her daughter Maryam needs. Karen is more than a friend, we call each other “soul-sisters.” We've known each other for six years . We have cried together, held each other and been there for one another in some of our darkest of days.

Maryam is a fourteen year-old teenager living with Cystic Fibrosis and Immune Deficiency, along with other complicating medical challenges. Our lives are parallel because our children share the same medical diagnoses but our journeys and worlds are so very different.

I am sitting on my couch at home typing on my computer, while Karen is sitting next to Maryam's hospital bed trying to figure out how she is going to get Maryam to Columbus, Ohio for a surgery she needs in the next couple weeks. I am certain that Karen is smiling behind her own pain assuring Maryam that there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

My heart is broken, my spirit feels helpless and the fear I have is over-shadowing my words as I try to type and think. My tears are not normal in size, they are raindrops rolling down my cheeks. I am so sad.
I can not let my soul-sister and her daughter travel this journey alone and I'm hoping others will travel this journey with us. Life was created and intended for us to walk along side one another...lets do this!

Maryam needs to go to Columbus, Ohio to have the wires from her stomach pacemaker replaced. This procedure is not done anywhere else in the world on a child. Her current wires (leads) are infected and she has been on IV medications for three months and is only getting sicker. (been in the hospital for over a week.)

Maryam's team of doctor's at UCLA and Miller Children's in Long Beach are working quickly to get everything coordinated and Maryam stabilized so she can have the surgery, however, there are additional details that Karen is working out on her end. Unfortunately, there are expenses that are not covered by the medical insurance company and this is where I'd like to help Karen and Maryam if we can?

Airfare for Karen and Maryam from Los Angeles, California to Columbus, Ohio.
(Karen has asked me to go with them for support, so my hope is to get enough frequent flyer miles donated so I can go with them.)
Maryam's max out-of-pocket medical cost is $3,000.00.
Karen took a leave of absence today from her summer school position at the school district where she works making the month of July financially impossible. (July salary = $2,500.00)
The Ronald McDonald House asks for a $25.00 dollar donation per night. (not sure how many nights Maryam will be in the hospital – a lot depends on how she does with the surgery.)

I think we can all agree that we would walk miles for the ones that we love...or walk miles carrying the ones we love on our backs. Let's make “Maryam's Miles” easier for her to walk and allow Karen to walk with her, not having to carry her daughter by herself.

If you are able to travel with us and would like to make a donation any amount will be of great help. I will be keeping a detailed log of events on Maryam's CaringBridge Website called, “Maryam's Miles.” If you prefer to make a donation directly towards the Ronald McDonald House, or other, please let me know and I will help arrange that.

Please email me if you have additional questions.
[email redacted]

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.

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