As many of you know, in the past few weeks, I've undergone multiple spinal surgeries, as well as a brain operation, first to remove my spinal LP shunt, & then to place a cerbral VP shunt, to remove the excess spinal fluid on my brain and save my vision. I have a rare neurological disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri (aka Intercranial Hypertension). What is Peudotumor Cerbri / Intercranial Hypertension?
This is all just the latest in a long hard fight against this disease - since my diagnosis in 2006, I've had nearly 20 operations to repair and replace the LP shunt (many of which I still owe on,) plus countless lumbar punctures and medical treatments. I've worked whenever physically able, but now find myself again in a very difficult situation:
I've had to give up work again, due to the inability to even get out of bed on most days. My fiance, Jamie Riley, has been unbelievably supportive in every way possible. His employer has been beyond accomodating and understanding - in fact, we still can't believe how supportive they've been. It allowed Jamie to be there for me every step of the way, holding my hand through every painful test and procedure, as well acting as both parents in caring for our 4 boys and household.
As lucky and grateful as we are for thier flexibility, it has meant he has used up all vacation pay (yes, sadly no Montana mountaintop wedding for us this August I'm afraid lol!) But much, much more importantly, he has had to take many days off without pay, in order to be by my side through multiple major surgeries, and to look after our four sons. Unfortunately this will continue to be the case throughout my recovery - I still have many MRI's, CT scans, physiotherapy, and continued testing and monitoring ahead of me, to ensure the shunt in my brain is healing correctly and functioning properly, and that my spine recovers as it should.
With me unable to bring in any income, and now Jamie losing a significant portion of his, we find ourselves struggling terribly to make ends meet -rent, bills, daily living expenses for a family of 6 - and that's before the medical copays for four neurosurgeries even start rolling in. We're behind already, before any of my follow up care even begins, and to be painfully honest, we're worried.
Once I'm well again, I have so much to contribute, and I can't wait to get back out into the workforce! But in the meantime, we just don't know how we'll make it through, so with that said, it's with great humility and humble, grateful hearts, that we turn to you, our family and friends, and ask kindly for your support.
Any help, no matter how great or small, would make a huge difference to us, and we would be eternally grateful. There aren't words big enough to convey how much your love, kindness, prayers, and support mean to us. You lift us up, keep us going, and give us hope. We love and thank you all.
Jennifer & Jamie,
Storm, Jack, River & Nathan
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