Basia is our friend and we love her, most people don't know how sick she's been, and how brave. She always puts everyone else first so lets help her out until she's well enough to help herself.
I bumped into Basia at the Vet’s office a couple of weeks ago. To my dismay, she was pushing a walker carrying her deceased, beloved cat (Dennis) home to say a proper goodbye. She could hardly walk. It was heartbreaking. Yet our effusive and charming Basia gave me the largest smile with the most positive of energies.
I sat down with her to understand what was happening?! Wondering if the cancer had come back? Basia explained that she has a rare auto immune condition called Stiff Person Syndrome, a condition that affects 1 in a million. She has been working and carrying on despite living with it for years!!! She had a set back last November leaving her unable to walk without aid. Basia is back in treatments and improving daily.
A gifted stylist, the bulk of her earnings come from styling work which requires being on your feet for large portions of the day.
With the current state of medical coverage and costs, being freelance with no benefits and unable to be on set, the costs are overwhelming!
She urgently needs funds as soon as possible.
An advocate and hero for those that are in need, known for her unconditional love of animals and tireless efforts with the cat rescues.
Many of us have sought and received her sage advice for our own animals.
Let’s get Basia back on her feet! Let’s send kindness, love, light, support for this woman who has been so loving and generous.
Any and all that you may be able to do is greatly appreciated. Truly.
With gratitude and all the best,
Please see below, from Basia...
In May 2009 I was suddenly diagnosed with CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia*). It was all rather scary and crap and I ended up in ICU and began to prepare to go back to the UK to die. Biggest headache was my cats; who could be adopted out, who had to come with me. And who would take care of the strays.
I clearly survived and was tossed back out into the world, sparrow-thin and unable to work and taking meds to try and bring me to remission.
I was lucky to have lived and as there was a chance I would be well enough to chalk up some more years, I volunteered at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to put something back. They put me in the best medical hands, and hilariously had me training to run a half marathon while I was still anemic. My running history had previously consisted of running for buses or taxis in heels.
I ran three half marathons in 2010 and the full NYC marathon in 2011 pretty much back to back, raising $10,000 for those who would no doubt be diagnosed after me, just as someone had gone before me.
After I achieved full remission I decided to give running a break to concentrate on my styling and cat rescue work. Instead got myself a rare autoimmune condition, Stiff Person Syndrome, affecting one in a million. Having been misdiagnosed for a year, I finally got the really expensive treatment I needed to be able to walk and function normally. The syndrome is extremely debilitating and painful but I brazened my way through it as I am a freelance and simply couldn’t stop working. Pretty much all my pay in the last few years has been going on insurance to keep myself functioning.
Last summer, under my neurologist’s guidance I came off the treatment. I found out the hard way that I need to be back on it. In November, my symptoms returned with a vengeance. It has been impossible for me to work, and my neighbors and friends have had to do groceries and shopping for me as the pain is excruciating. At my worst I was unable to cook, clean, do my laundry or even feed my cats.
The condition is contrary and unpredictable and I fell several times and fractured my hand and ankle, thereby rendering myself even less able to function. The pain is like needles stabbing my ankles and balls of my feet and all I could do when like this is lie down with ice packs. The cold affects me too, making one limb lock, usually my right leg, so I had to be carried. I have crawled on all fours to open my door to friends as it was less painful than standing.
Luckily my treatments are beginning to work again and I see small improvements daily but it is slow and I would like to be able to receive acupuncture and take supplements to help with recovery and pain management. I have also accrued debts and am concerned about paying my rent and utilities while I wait to recover. I am of course frustrated at the speed this is taking but cannot hurry my body's healing with will alone.
I am able to work part time at my vet clinic job and continue to do clerical work with my cat rescue group. I have even managed a few forays outside to feed my managed colonies.
My kind and loving friends have encouraged me to set up this Go Fund Me page to tide me over to a time when I can work full time. I was terrified that I would lose clients and that no one will ever employ me again yet I worked for over 4 years with both my life-limiting conditions and I know I will get back to it, with your help in the meantime. I love you all my wonderful friends.