About 2 months ago, Ashok's visa was approved, and he arrived in Chicago in December of 2017.
After several consultations with the medical specialists and many tests, it has been determined that Ashok will require two surgeries: one for the tumors on his face and cranial reconstruction, and one to place a prosthetic eye. The cranial reconstruction is of course a risky and difficult procedure due to the exposure of the brain during the procedure. Ashok's skull will need to be literally taken apart and completely reconstructed, and the brain will lack support and protection during this most delicate part of the procedure.
In addition, the cost of lodging in Chicago has been higher than he anticipated, and he will need someone to help him with meals and other needs after his has been discharged from the hospital, while he is still recovering from the surgery. He has no family and no traveling companion to provide him with day to day assistance and care.
Ashok's arrival in Chicago coincided with an art exhibit in Norfolk, Nebraska to raise NF awareness. The art, by a good friend of mine, Rachel Mindrup, features paintings of people with NF. This painting of Ashok is among the featured paintings in this exhibit. Ashok made a trip here to Nebraska to participate in the exhibit. This is how I met Ashok, as he needed lodging in Omaha to be able to attend the exhibit with Rachel. My husband and I offered him a place in our home while he was here. Rachel was able to schedule several media interviews for him during his visit regarding neurofibromatosis in general and his situation in specific.
Out of these interviews came a request for a US-based GoFundMe page to facilitate the additional fundraising needed to cover Ashok's surgeries, as well as any lodging and meals while he is in Chicago, and any after surgery care he requires during his recovery. Hence, this page.
His surgeon would like to perform the first surgery on Feb. 8th, 2018, if lodging and caregiving help can be found in a timely fashion. If not, the first surgery will be scheduled as soon as lodging and a caregiver are secured. The second surgery will follow at a future date, perhaps 1 to 2 months later, but we do not know for sure at this time.
Because Ashok does not have a US social security number, he is unable to withdraw his GoFundMe donations himself. I will be withdrawing them on a weekly basis and wiring them to his bank account in Chicago.
To see more of Ashok's story, you can view this video:
To review his fundraising efforts to date or to donate in British pounds, you can see his UK-based fundraising page here:
Kristina, the founder of the UK-based page, and I are working together to ensure the comfort of all donors, whether they prefer to donate in US dollars or in British pounds.
If you know of anyone who can help us with lodging and/or a caregiver near Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, please contact us! If you are able to assist in covering the costs of the second surgery and additional unanticipated living and caregiving expenses, please do so. We appreciate any and all support, be it financial, prayer support, or assistance with lodging and caregiving.
Many thanks from Ashok and his Nebraska "team", Rachel Mindrup, Dipta Rai and Mary Borchert
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